Starwood's Middle East pipeline split between midscale, upscale

(Luxury Collection)

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is on track to grow its portfolio in the Middle East to 100 hotels by 2020. This follows five new deal signings that will add over 1,200 rooms in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Starwood will also open five hotels in 2016 in the the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. 

Ultimately, Starwood is planning to grow its Middle East footprint by 75 percent over the next five years, with a strong emphasis on midmarket growth. The company’s mid-market brands—Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Element—represent more than 50 percent of the company’s growth pipeline in the region.

Starwood is also seeing opportunities for its luxury brands, and will double its luxury hotels portfolio in the Middle East with ten new openings across the St. Regis, Luxury Collection and W Hotels brands. The company’s upper-upscale brands—Sheraton, Le Méridien and Westin—which currently make up 70 percent of its current portfolio in the Middle East—will account for nearly 50 percent of the future footprint with seven new projects scheduled to open by 2020. 

Starwood's Pipeline

Starwood expects to grow its footprint by over 75 percent in the next five years, with more than 40 hotels and over 12,000 rooms across its luxury, upper-upscale and mid-market brands in the pipeline. This year, Starwood will expand its regional footprint to nearly 60 properties and over 17,000 rooms this year with five openings in the Middle East. 

Looking ahead, a Luxury Collection Hotel and Le Méridien in Lusail, Qatar are scheduled to open by the end of 2018 and will double the company's presence in the country. The two hotels will be owned by United Developers Company, and the Luxury Collection hotel (pictured above) will be the brand's debut in Qatar. 

Scheduled to open in 2020, the Four Points by Sheraton Jeddah will be the first Four Points to open in the city. Starwood will also make its entry into the Saudi city of Unaizah with the signing of Four Points by Sheraton Unaizah. Signed with Unaizah Investment Company, the hotel will open in 2020 and feature an urban-resort feel attracting leisure and business travellers with its 130 rooms including chalets and villas, health and recreation facilities with multiple swimming pools, a spa and nearly 9,000 square feet of meeting space.

Starwood is also growing in the UAE with its first hotel in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Signed with Hamarain Real Estate, the Four Points by Sheraton Ras Al Khaimah will open in 2019. 

W Dubai Al Habtoor City and The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City, combined with last year's St. Regis Dubai, make Starwood’s largest hospitality project in the Middle East. This double debut will mark the entry of the W Hotels brand into the UAE and the launch of the largest Westin hotel in the Middle East with over 1,000 rooms. Both hotels are scheduled to open in the second quarter of the year. The company will also launch its Aloft brand in Saudi Arabia with the openings of Aloft Riyadh and Aloft Dhahran in Q3.