Starwood to move global HQ to Dubai for one month
US HQ to relocate to UAE in 2013 as group focuses on regional growth
Starwood Hotels & Resorts will move its US-based global headquarters to the Middle East for one month in 2013.
The group’s senior leadership team from Starwood’s US-based headquarters, including president and CEO Frits van Paasschen, will be temporarily relocated to Dubai next year for a “managerial endeavour”.
“With hotels in 100 countries and 80% of our future pipeline outside of North America, Starwood is the world's most global high-end hotel company, perfectly positioned to capitalise on an ever growing global marketplace,” said van Paasschen.
“Dubai is emblematic of how globalisation is creating new travel patterns and travel hubs, and serves as a crossroad between the emerging and developed worlds,” he added.
During the period, the team will conduct day-today business on an eight hour time difference to the group's usual base in Stamford, Connecticut.
In 2011, Starwood relocated its headquarters to China. It said it chose the UAE for a similar initiative this year because of its significant footprint, pipeline and growth potential, as well as the region’s popularity as a business and leisure travel destination and growing importance as an outbound travel market.
“Our brands resonate well with Middle Eastern guests and the fact that our brands reflect the various lifestyle aspirations of our guests allows us to further penetrate this market," continued van Paasschen.
"This is only possible because we have long-standing teams in place who have a deep understanding of the Middle East's complex dynamics and strong relationships with some of the region's most influential investors,” he added.
Within the last month, Starwood has partnered with UAE-based conglomerate Al Habtoor Group to launch a three-hotel complex in Dubai comprising, the emirate's first St. Regis and W hotels and second Westin all opening 2017; it has revived plans to open a W on The Palm Jumeirah in 2016; announced its reentry into Iraq after 20 years with Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton to open in Erbil; and launched Aloft Sharjah.