Starwood Hotels & Resorts to Open New Sheraton Hotel in Dubai

Owned by Abdulsalam Alrafi Group LLC, the New Sheraton Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road Hotel to Debut Early 2014

DUBAI, May 04, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) has signed an agreement with Abdulsalam Alrafi Group LLC to open a new Sheraton hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Scheduled to open beginning of 2014, the hotel will be part of a three-tower mixed-use project located in the heart of Dubai's commercial district. The new Sheraton Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road Hotel is part of the Sheraton brand's global strategic expansion plan that includes adding more than 60 new hotels and over 20,000 rooms to the Sheraton portfolio over the next three years.

"We are delighted to be working with the Abdulsalam Alrafi Group as we open our newest Sheraton hotel in Dubai, a destination that continues to see growing demand from both business and leisure travellers," said Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & the Middle East. "Starwood is established as the sector leader in the Middle East and we are dedicated to continued growth and expansion in the region. This market continues to be integral to our overall development strategy."

Mr. Mohamed Abdulsalam Alrafi expressed his pleasure and content for signing the management agreement with Starwood and said: "We look forward to a very fruitful association with Starwood and we are confident that, through this partnership, the Sheraton Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road shall be one of the leading destinations in the U.A.E. and Gulf Area."

The new Sheraton Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road Hotel will comprise 660 rooms including 480 guest rooms and 180 serviced apartments. The hotel will also feature extensive dining, conference and leisure facilities as well as signature Sheraton amenities including the all-white Sheraton Sweet Sleeper(R) bed, designed to meet AAA's Five Diamond Award(R) criteria, a Sheraton Club Lounge and the Link@Sheraton experienced with Microsoft communications hub where guests can socialise or make connections on-line.

The hotel will face the Dubai World Trade Centre and Dubai International Financial Centre, a prime business location that also offers convenient access to the Dubai Mall, Jumeirah Beach and the Dubai Marina. Dubai is a key trading, tourism and financial centre and has experienced extraordinary growth in the past two decades. In 2010, it received more than eight million international visitors, an increase of 9.4 per cent over the previous year.

Sheraton recently announced that it has invested more than $100 million into upgrading 120 Club Lounges around the world. The enhancement to Sheraton Club Lounges - one of the most popular Sheraton signature amenities - is the final chapter of the brand's recent $6 billion revitalization effort.

Sheraton Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road Hotel is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, which made headlines when it launched in 1999 with a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. SPG(R) offers members the ability to redeem awards at more resorts, more luxury properties, more European hotels and more golf properties than any other hotel program.

Starwood today operates 15 hotels in Dubai, including three Sheraton hotels. The company continues to strengthen its long established position in the Middle East as one of the leading luxury hotel operators in the region with a portfolio of approximately 50 existing hotels and a growth index of nearly 50%. By 2015, the Middle East will become the second region, after North America, to operate all nine of Starwood's world-class brands - St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft and Element - further reinforcing the company's commitment to the region.

About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

Sheraton helps guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 70 countries around the world and recently completed a $6 billion global revitalization and is now in the midst of a $5 billion global expansion over the next three years. Sheraton is owned by and is the largest and most global brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1051 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element SM. 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.

About Abdulsalam Alrafi Group LLC

AbdulSalam Alrafi Group, LLC was originally formed as a privately held company in 1959. The company primarily was involved in local trading of manufactured goods, however in 1970 it expanded into real estate development and property management. The company has grown into one of the largest and most successful property developers in UAE with a portfolio of over 30 properties. Its portfolio consists of multi-family residential apartment towers, industrial warehouse space, and office space. The company has continued to be a family managed business; the current Chairman Mr. AbdulSalam Alrafi has brought his son, Mohamed Al Rafi into the business as managing director of the Group.

SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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