ABU DHABI, UAE - February 11, 2014 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced it has signed an agreement to open a new 172-room Aloft hotel in Al Ain, the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE. Scheduled to debut in 2016, Aloft Al Ain will be the first Starwood property to open in Al Ain and the second Aloft hotel in the UAE joining Aloft Abu Dhabi, which opened in 2009. Catering to the next generation of travelers, Aloft delivers urban-inspired design, innovative technologies and a lively social atmosphere featuring live music performances.
"I would like to thank Al Ain Club Investment Company for putting their trust in Starwood as we bring Aloft to Al Ain, furthering the brand's footprint in the UAE," said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. "Due to phenomenal demand in markets worldwide, Aloft is on track to open its 100th hotel within the next year, and we see huge potential for this stylish brand to grow in the UAE and throughout the Middle East."
Aloft Al Ain will be an integral part of the city's spectacular 500,000 square metre mixed-use development surrounding the iconic 25,000-seat Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, poised to be the most advanced sporting arena in the Middle East. The development will include office space, residential units, family entertainment, retail shops and dining.
"Our aim is to create a pioneering new entertainment and tourism destination," said Kareem Nagy Hassan, Chief Executive Officer, Al Ain Club Investment Company. "With the stadium as the central hub, this highly anticipated development will provide an exclusive combination of living, working and a healthy lifestyle in one location and we are thrilled to have Starwood's Aloft Al Ain as our flagship hotel within this."
Aloft Al Ain will feature 172 loft-like rooms, including two presidential suites, all featuring the brand's signature loft-like ceilings, oversized windows, an ultra-comfortable platform bed and large walk-in showers with complimentary Bliss Spa® products. The newly constructed Aloft will also offer the brand's signature W XYZ(sm) bar, an atmospheric public space where guests can mix and mingle. Additional amenities will include the RE:Charge(SM) fitness center and RE:Fuel (SM) by Aloft, a convenient grab-n-go kiosk with an array of sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and drinks available 24 hours a day. For meetings and presentations, the new Aloft will offer two creative spaces equipped with the latest audiovisual technology.
"We see great opportunities to grow our Aloft portfolio in established markets across the Middle East, where there is a strong demand for stylish and leading-edge hotel brands," said Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development, Europe, Africa and Middle East Division, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. "As the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi with increasing investment and growing business and leisure opportunities, Al Ain is an attractive destination for development."
Starwood currently operates nearly 50 hotels in the Middle East and continues to strengthen its long-established position as one of the leading luxury hotel operators in the region, with plans to open an additional 30 hotels in the next few years. The company currently operates an Aloft hotel in Abu Dhabi and is set to open another four new Aloft hotels in the region in the next three years in Al Ain and Sharjah in the UAE, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and Erbil in Iraq.
With more than 75 hotels in 14 countries around the world, Starwood's Aloft brand delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the 'always on' business and millennial traveler, Aloft offers a tech-forward experience and a modern style that is different by design. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com. Aloft, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, the industry's richest loyalty program. To learn more, please visit www.spg.com.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®SM. The Company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
The 25,000-seat, 45,000sqm and 50 metre-high Hazza Bin Zayed stadium is hailed as one of the most modern sporting venues in the Middle East and is set to become a central destination for citizens and residents in the United Arab Emirates, as well as tourists visiting from all over the world. It is also home to Al Ain Football Club and was completed in a record time of just 17 months, measuring up to the very best international standards.
The design of the outer façade was inspired by the trunk of the palm tree, while the outer shell is made up of 600 independently mounted fabric panels with independently controlled LED lights. The unique design provides extensive shade and features an exceptional parasol roof to fully shelter all visitors to the stadium. With 10 private corporate suites and three luxury suites, a total capacity of up to 700 people, as well as a dedicated area for VIPs and senior visitors, the stadium is well equipped to host cultural and entertainment events as well as international sporting activities.
The stadium is the cornerstone of a substantial 500,000 square metre mixed-use development project, comprising residential and commercial buildings, a sports centre, food and retail outlets as well as dedicated family and entertainment zones.
Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
32 2 204 5518
Manager Brand Communications & Events
Europe, Africa & Middle East
Ketchum Raad Middle East
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