Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced an agreement with wasl hospitality & leisure LLC a subsidiary of wasl Asset Management Group, to debut the Aloft and Elements brands in Dubai.Scheduled to open in 2018, Aloft Dubai Raffa and Element Dubai Raffa will bolster Starwood’s presence in Dubai– the city with the second largest concentration of hotels for the company after New York City. With the debut of both brands in 2018, Dubai will soon be home to all nine of Starwood’s brands.
“We are very excited to introduce the Aloft and Element brands into Dubai, and are delighted to expand Starwood’s successful relationship with wasl hospitality and leisure,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “With the Dubai government promoting mid-scale hotel development ahead of the Dubai World Expo 2020, we believe the timing is right to widen the reach of our signature Aloft and Element experiences, which are revolutionizing the hospitality industry by delivering a modern, urban-style experience at an affordable price.”
“Bringing the Aloft and Element brands to Dubai for the first time is the latest initiative in the long and fruitful relationship that wasl has enjoyed with Starwood Hotels & Resorts,” said HE Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim, CEO wasl Asset Management Group. “wasl is committed to supporting the growth of Dubai’s hospitality sector, particularly in the mid-range segment, which has been identified as being an important area of hotel expansion in the run up to Expo 2020. We are delighted to have partnered in the launch of two new exciting concepts for visitors to the city and look forward to playing a continued role in helping to fulfil Dubai’s vision.”
Aloft Dubai Raffa and Element Dubai Raffa will be built simultaneously and operate as a unique complex offering 165 and 96 rooms, respectively,upon opening in early 2018. Located near Dubai Maritime City— the new development at Port Rashid — the hotels will be conveniently located close to Sheikh Zayed Road and the heart of Dubai’s traditional commercial centre.
Designed to shake up the staid and traditional mid-market hotel sector, Aloft hotels are redefining the category by delivering urban-influenced, modern and vibrant design and a social guest experience at an affordable price point. Aloft Raffa will feature the brand’s signature W XYZ Bar, where guests can mix and mingle over good music, and re:fuel by Aloft, the grab and go eatery open 24 hours a day. Other amenities include re:charge the fully equipped fitness centre and a refreshing outdoor Splash pool. All of Aloft Raffa’s facilities will be accessible to guests of Element Raffa.
Element Raffa marks the debut of Starwood’s trailblazing eco-wisebrand in the UAE. Inspired by Westin, Element Hotels provide guests with space to live their lives, perfect for the traveller who is visiting for a few days or a few weeks. Element hotels are grounded by smart thinking, a natural sense of balance and an optimistic energy that’s alive and vibrant.
“The addition of these two new hotels is a testament to the confidence owners have in Starwood and our brands,” said Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “The pipeline for our mid-market brands is increasingly robust and we see many opportunities for both new-build hotels and conversions for the brands throughout the Middle East.”
Starwood currently operates nearly 50 hotels and resorts across the Middle East under eight of the company’s nine distinct lifestyle brands including: The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Le Méridien, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft. The company has plans to further expand its portfolio in the region with a pipeline of over 35 hotels due to open by 2017.
Dubai is the company’s second largest market after New York City with 15 operating hotels and six properties in the pipeline, including Aloft Raffa and Element Raffa.