The U.S. hotel giant Starwood has completed it’s month-long relocation to Dubai and is now looking to consolidate it’s position in the Middle East by announcing new hotel contracts in the region.
Arabian Business, a local publication, reports the top management of Starwood recently held meetings in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and India. The senior team held discussions with 3,000 associates, conducted nearly 50 owner meetings and visited all 14 Starwood hotels in Dubai. The meetings were aimed at reviewing strategies to drive future hotel contracts in the region and to further position Starwood as a global high-end hotel chain.
“It is hard to overstate the potential for our business in this region of the world. By bringing our executives here and spending time with our partners and local teams, we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime growth opportunity.” — Frits van Paasschen, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide president and CEO
The meetings underlined the strategic importance of Dubai to Starwood Hotel’s future growth plans. After New York, Dubai is the company’s second largest hotel market. The city’s strategic location allowed the management to travel extensively to 19 cities across 12 countries to meet government officials and potential development partners in rapidly-growing and emerging markets.
Last month, Starwood announced it’s ambitious plans to increase it’s Middle East and Africa (MEA) portfolio by more than 60 percent and open nearly 50 new hotels over the next five years. The new openings would add more than 14,000 guest rooms to the region and generate several thousand jobs. The hotel chain currently operates 82 hotels in the region, while 20 additional hotels (by 2016) will start welcoming guests.
A full copy of the company’s annual report (Form 10-K) is available by clicking here.