Starwood has once again increased its Middle East portfolio this year under the leadership of Guido de Wilde and exciting new deals have solidified its position as the leading hotel operator in Dubai, where the company currently has 14 hotels under five of its brands.
In what was the most talked-about hotel development deal to be announced so far this year, Starwood will add to this with three hotels on Sheikh Zayed Road — the St. Regis, Westin and W — being built on the site of the former Metropolitan by the Habtoor Group. Opening of this vast complex is scheduled for 2017 and Starwood has also signed a W on Palm Jumeirah.
New openings over the past 12 months included the regional debut of the ultra-luxury St. Regis brand in both Abu Dhabi and Doha, and the opening of the first Westin in Abu Dhabi. In addition, Starwood added one tower to the Grosvenor House Dubai, increasing the inventory to 730 units. Looking ahead, a second St. Regis will launch in Abu Dhabi in early 2013, followed by Starwood’s debut in Sharjah and Ajman.
In 2013, Starwood will also be expanding its portfolio in Saudi Arabia with two properties in Medina, Sheraton Medina and Four Points by Sheraton Medina. Other exciting pipeline hotels include a property under the Aloft brand in the emirate of Sharjah and the re-entry of Starwood into Iraq with the milestone signing of a new Sheraton hotel in Erbil.