PHOTO: Dubai Skyline. (Photo by David Cogswell)
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has its sights set on the century mark.
At this week's Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company revealed that it's on pace to grow its Middle East portfolio to 100 hotels by 2020.
The anticipated milestone was announced on the heels of five new hotel signings in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar that are poised to add 1,200 rooms to the Starwood portfolio down the road.
Meanwhile, the company is on schedule to open five new properties across the three nations before the year is up.
"The Middle East continues to be one of Starwood's fastest growing markets and we are immensely committed to the trust that owners have in our world-class brands," said Starwood's president of Europe, Africa and Middle East Michael Wale in a statement. "Our long-established presence in the region, and the value we deliver, has set us ahead to further expand our footprint and strengthen our guest loyalty."
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In his own statement, Starwood President of Global Development Simon Turner said the company's "aggressive growth strategy will increase our footprint by 75 percent in the next five years."
A large portion of that footprint will be accounted for by Starwood's mid-market brands.
The company said that just three brands - Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Element - represent more than 50 percent of Starwood's growth pipeline in the Middle East.
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But the company's luxury and upper-upscale brands will also contribute with Starwood's St. Regis, Luxury Collection and W Hotels brands accounting for 10 new openings and Sheraton, Le Meridien and Westin brands accounting for nearly half of the future footprint with seven new hotels scheduled to open by the end of the decade.
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