November 20, 2008 // Franchising.com // White Plains, NY Powering ahead in key markets across the globe, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announces plans to open three new hotels in Saudi Arabia. Starwood has signed a long-term management agreement with the Alhokair Group to open Four Points by Sheraton Mall of Arabia in Jeddah, Four Points by Sheraton Dhahran and Aloft Riyadh. The addition of these three new properties increases Starwood's portfolio to 13 hotels in Saudi Arabia.
The Middle East continues to be one of the strongest components of Starwood's rapidly growing global portfolio, as the company continues to expand in the region at record rates. Currently, Starwood operates 50 hotels and resorts in the Middle East under five of its nine distinct and compelling brands, including Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and the Luxury Collection. Starwood expects to double its portfolio in the broader Europe, Africa and the Middle East region to approximately 500 properties by 2013.
"The signing of these three new properties in the Middle East underscores Starwood's commitment to expanding its footprint in this fast-growing market. We are proud of the trust bestowed upon Starwood's brands by the Fawaz Alhokair Group and we are looking forward to exploring future possibilities to expand our partnership," said Roeland Vos, President of the Starwood Europe, Africa and Middle East division. "We invite global travelers to experience our premium lifestyle brands in three dynamic destinations within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is a major cultural point of reference and a vital international market."
"Partnering with Starwood Hotels & Resorts provides us a great opportunity to further extend our business offering and move into the hotel segment with two truly world-class brands. We foresee a long-term benefit for both parties as existing facilities do not meet demand in the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia," said Mr. Fawaz A. Alhokair, chairman of the Fawaz Alhokair Group. "Continued economic and business growth will drive even more travel into this region, and this will maintain demand and profitability for the hotel business. By partnering with us, Starwood Hotels & Resorts is in the best position to tap into this opportunity."
Four Points by Sheraton Mall of Arabia is scheduled to open in early 2010 in a prime location in Jeddah, less than three miles from the King Abdul Aziz International Airport and just five miles from the old city. The new-build hotel will provide direct access to the Mall of Arabia, Jeddah's premier shopping complex, which is home to numerous retail stores, restaurants, an office complex, a gold Souk and an entertainment area with an ice rink.
Four Points by Sheraton Mall of Arabia will offer 300 spacious rooms, a lively social atmosphere, and popular extras such as complimentary bottled water and free high-speed Internet. Facilities will two restaurants, a lobby lounge, swimming pool, poolside snack bar, fitness center, business center and more than 3,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space for events and conferences.
Four Points by Sheraton Dhahran is expected to open in early 2011 at the prominent intersection of Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Road and King Saud Road in Dhahran, a major administrative center for Saudi Arabia's oil industry. The hotel's ideal location adjacent to the state-of-the-art Mall of Dhahran will provide guests with easy access to dining, shopping and entertainment. The newly constructed hotel will be 24 miles from the King Fahd International Airport and 20 miles from the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Four Points by Sheraton Dhahran will feature 236 comfortable rooms and suites ranging from deluxe room to Executive Suites, as well as two restaurants and a cozy lobby lounge where guests can relax with friends and colleagues while sipping their favorite beverages. The hotel will also offer a swimming pool, fitness center, gift shop and more than 3,700 square feet of meeting space for meetings and conferences of various sizes.
Scheduled to open in early 2011, Aloft Riyadh will be the second Aloft in the Middle East, following the opening of Aloft Abu Dhabi in 2009. Aloft Riyadh will be ideally situated in the Olaya district at the intersection of Olaya Street and Mecca Road, which links Riyadh to Jeddah and Saudi Arabia's eastern province. The new-build hotel will offer 225 spacious, loft-like rooms, tech-savvy touches, a hip, social atmosphere and easy access to Riyadh's commercial and shopping hubs. Additional facilities include the re:mixSM communal lobby area, bar w xyzSM, the re:chargeSM fitness center, the splash pool and re:fuel by aloftSM – a one-stop food and beverage area.
Designed in conjunction with world-renowned David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group, Aloft offers atmospheric public spaces where guests can mix and mingle, read the paper, work on laptops, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends. Guest rooms will feature the Aloft brand's signature nine-foot ceilings, oversized windows and the ultra-comfortable bed, as well as oversized walk-in showers and amenities created by Bliss® Spa. Each room at Aloft Riyadah will be a combination high-tech office and entertainment center equipped with wireless internet access and a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry all linked to a 42" flat-panel television.
Infused with the DNA of W Hotels, Aloft is a new destination sensation featuring loft-inspired design, accessible technology and a stylish urban attitude. Starwood opened its first Aloft hotels in 2008, with plans to open more than 500 in the next five years.
Four Points by Sheraton, with 130 properties in 22 countries, offers the self-sufficient traveler a new kind of style and comfort combined with a spirited "can-do" service -- all at an honest value. Four Points by Sheraton hotels are located in easy-to-reach areas – close to major airports, suburban centers, urban hot spots and resort and vacation destinations. Four Points' Simple PleasuresSM program celebrates the little things in life that make a big difference in guests' travel such as a great beer, a complimentary bottle of water, and a tasty treat at the end of a long day. It's those little extras that score big points with Four Points by Sheraton customers.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, AloftSM and ElementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
In just over 18 years Fawaz Alhokair Group has transformed the retail landscape of Saudi Arabia through successfully pioneering international retail franchising. Starting with just two menswear stores in 1990, today they are a well diversified corporation with core businesses in retail and real estate, as well as investment interests in six lines of emerging business. It is through diversification that they see their 06/07 turnover of SAR 5 Bn tripling in the next five years. The exponential growth of their business is reflected in a significant expansion of their current 9,000-strong human capital base, 18 million satisfied customers, five million square feet of prime retail real estate, a current network of 11 operational malls in major cities across the KSA and 5000 international branded hotels rooms under construction in major cities across the KSA. The Group also boasts nine international food brands with 111 food outlets and more than 40 international fashion brands at more than 700 fashion stores.