Starwood Hotels and Resorts is expanding in the Middle East with three new properties slated to open in Dubai and one in Iraq. The Sheraton in Iraq that's on the drawing board will mark the chain's re-entry to the country after 20 years.
Starwood currently operates 15 properties in Dubai, which represents the largest concentration of the company's hotel brands in a single city outside of New York City. The new properties — a St. Regis, W Hotel and Westin — will add 1,675 rooms to the city when they open in 2017.
Located on a one million square-foot property on Sheikh Zayed Road, the new hotels will have views of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Each will offer distinct food and beverage options, signature spas and traditional amenities you normally experience at each brand, such as the signature "St. Regis Butler Service" — a dedicated personal assistant who greets arriving guests, handles room customization requests and will even run errands outside of the hotel for guests' personal matters.
"Dubai has surged over the years as a top destination for international travelers," says Roeland Vos, president, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East in a press release. "This landmark project underlines Starwood's commitment to continued growth in the region and further strengthens our long established position as one of the leading hotel operators in the Middle East."
Starwood also signed an agreement with BCD Co. to manage and build a new Sheraton in Erbil, Iraq. This will mark the re-entry of Starwood in the turbulent country after a 20 year hiatus.
The new Sheraton is scheduled to open in 2015 and will be situated in the "new" part of the city about 10 minutes from Erbil International Airport and close to key attractions such as the historic Citadel and Sami Abdul Rahman Park, the largest green area in the region.
According to the release, Erbil, located in northern Iraq, is the capital of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region and is emerging as the country's commercial hub.
The new hotel will feature 221 guest rooms and 39 suites along with signature Sheraton amenities and a club lounge.