Starwood Hotels & Resorts Strengthens Dubai Portfolio with Debut of Aloft and Element Brands

With 2018 Openings of Aloft and Element, Dubai will be Home to all Nine of Starwood’s Iconic Lifestyle Brands

STAMFORD, Conn. - February 24, 2015 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) today announced an agreement with wasl hospitality & leisure LLC, a subsidiary of wasl Asset Management Group, to debut the Aloft and Element brands in Dubai. Scheduled to open in 2018, Aloft Dubai Raffa and Element Dubai Raffa will bolster Starwood’s presence in Dubai – the city with the second largest concentration of hotels for the company after New York City. With the debut of both brands in 2018, Dubai will soon be home to all nine of Starwood’s brands.

"We are very excited to introduce the Aloft and Element brands into Dubai, and are delighted to expand Starwood’s successful relationship with wasl hospitality & leisure," said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. "With the Dubai government promoting mid-scale hotel development ahead of the Dubai World Expo 2020, we believe the timing is right to widen the reach of our signature Aloft and Element experiences, which are revolutionizing the hospitality industry by delivering a modern, urban-style experience at an affordable price."

"Bringing the Aloft and Element brands to Dubai for the first time is the latest initiative in the long and fruitful relationship that wasl has enjoyed with Starwood Hotels & Resorts," said HE Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim, CEO wasl Asset Management Group. "wasl is committed to supporting the growth of Dubai’s hospitality sector, particularly in the mid-range segment, which has been identified as being an important area of hotel expansion in the run up to Expo 2020. We are delighted to have partnered in the launch of two new exciting concepts for visitors to the city and look forward to playing a continued role in helping to fulfil Dubai’s vision."

Aloft Dubai Raffa and Element Dubai Raffa will be built simultaneously and operate as a unique complex offering 165 and 96 rooms, respectively, upon opening in early 2018. Located near Dubai Maritime City — the new development at Port Rashid — the hotels will be conveniently located close to Sheikh Zayed Road and the heart of Dubai’s traditional commercial centre.

Designed to shake up the staid and traditional mid-market hotel sector, Aloft hotels are redefining the category by delivering urban-influenced, modern and vibrant design and a social guest experience at an affordable price point. Aloft Raffa will feature the brand’s signature W XYZ Bar, where guests can mix and mingle over lively music, and Re:fuel by Aloft, the grab and go eatery open 24 hours a day. Other amenities include Re:charge the fully equipped fitness centre and a refreshing outdoor Splash pool. All of Aloft Raffa’s facilities will be accessible to guests of Element Raffa.

Element Raffa marks the debut of Starwood’s trailblazing eco-wise brand in the UAE. Inspired by Westin, Element Hotels provide guests with space to live their lives, offering bright, modern design, green-minded sensibilities and a reimagined extended stay experience, perfect for the traveller who is visiting for a few days or a few weeks.

"The addition of these two new hotels is a testament to the confidence owners have in Starwood and our brands," said Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. "The pipeline for our mid-market brands is increasingly robust and we see many opportunities for both new-build hotels and conversions for the brands throughout the Middle East."

Starwood currently operates nearly 50 hotels and resorts across the Middle East under eight of the company’s nine distinct lifestyle brands including: The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Le Méridien, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft. The company has plans to further expand its portfolio in the region with a pipeline of over 35 hotels due to open by 2017.

Dubai is the company’s second largest market after New York City with 15 operating hotels and six properties in the pipeline, including Aloft Raffa and Element Raffa.

For more information, visit and

About Element Hotels

Element® Hotels is made to order for guests in the know and on the go. Its bright design defies convention, bathing guest rooms and public spaces in natural light. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers extended stay comfort with a conscience and lots of signature amenities from its healthy RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes to borrow and electric vehicle charging stations. Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are Element hotels in 14 markets in North America, 1 hotel in Europe with new domestic and international hotels in development. Visit or connect on Facebook.

About Aloft Hotels

With 100 hotels open now and coming soon in 14 countries around the world, Starwood's Aloft brand delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the 'always on' next generation of traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. For more information, please visit Aloft, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®) program, the industry's richest loyalty program. To learn more, please visit

About wasl Asset Management Group

wasl Asset Management Group, one of the largest real estate management companies in Dubai, was established by the Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC) in 2008 to oversee the management of its assets and grow its real estate portfolio. Through its three subsidiaries; wasl properties, wasl hospitality & leisure and dubai golf; wasl operates in various real estate, lifestyle, leisure, hospitality, and business sectors. wasl’s main objective is to strengthen Dubai’s position as the premier hub to live and work in and at the same time be the ultimate destination for tourists. For further information please visit:

About wasl hospitality & leisure

wasl hospitality & leisure manages a portfolio of several hotels and over 3,300 rooms. The Dubai-based portfolio includes five hotels under the Hyatt Hotels Corporation – the award-winning Grand Hyatt Dubai, Hyatt Regency Dubai, Park Hyatt Dubai, Hyatt Place and the recently launched Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights; and five under Starwood Hotels and Resorts including Le Méridien Dubai, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Le Méridien Fairway and Le Royal Club in addition to Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and the Westin Dubai Beach Resort & Marina. wasl hospitality & leisure also owns the Novo Cineplex movie theatre complex located adjacent to the Grand Hyatt in Dubai and acts as the Owner’s representative to oversee the management of Dusit Thani Dubai hotel.

SOURCE Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Media Contacts:

Ashley Chapman
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Associate Director, Global Communications
1 212-380-4015

Chandan Belani
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Middle East
Regional Director of Communications
97150 506 8465

Maitha Ahmed
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller

Daniela Gorini
ASDA’A Burson-Marstelle

Tariq Al-Sharabi
For wasl Asset Management Group:
Cicero & Bernay Public Relations
M: 971 50 626 5535


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With 100 hotels open now and coming soon in 15 countries around the world, Starwood's aloft brand delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape.


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