Starwood takes over Al Maha management
Dubai, November 1, 2010
Starwood Hotels and Resorts said it has taken over the management of Dubai-based Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, which has been at the forefront of eco tourism in the Middle East for over 10 years, from the Emirates Group.
The hotel will be renamed ‘Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai’, with Emirates retaining ownership of the resort and Starwood overseeing the management of the property, said a statement from Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Al Maha, which rests within the 225-sq km Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), one of the largest protected conservation reserves in the Gulf, has been added to the Luxury Collection portfolio of Starwood Hotels effective from Monday, it added.
The internationally-recognised DDCR is being sponsored and managed by Emirates.
Designed and built following the principles of environmentally friendly development, Al Maha was lauded for its efforts by the World Travel and Tourism Council earlier this year and was identified as the region’s leading sustainable eco-tourism development by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The resort was designed to recreate a Bedouin encampment spread across the vast dunes, featuring 42 secluded suites with tented roofs, floor-to-ceiling windows, marbled bathrooms, private deck and pool, said a top official.
“A pioneer in the area of luxury conservation-based hospitality in the Middle East, Al Maha will be a valuable addition to The Luxury Collection,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline & Group.
“As a leading hotel management group, Starwood’s Luxury Collection brand represents some of the finest properties across the world, and with their extensive network, global infrastructure and history of successful brand management, we are confident that they will take Al Maha to even greater heights,” he remarked.
“We are delighted to take over the management of the Al Maha Resort, extending our long-standing relationship with the Emirates Group and adding a spectacular hotel to the Luxury Collection portfolio in Dubai,” observed Roeland Vos, president of Starwood, Europe, Africa and Middle East.
“The addition of the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa is symbolic of our continued focus to grow our portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts in the Middle East,” he added.
Surrounded by some of the region’s most spectacular landscape, rich with protected wildlife and filled with experiences of traditional Bedouin pastimes, Al Maha offers a sophisticated, yet simple and serene experience to its guests, explained Vos.
'Sunset camel rides, desert safaris, wildlife drives, horse-riding and falconry are all part of the unique indigenous experience at the resort as well as soothing massage treatments at its spa with an infinity pool overlooking the sands, scrub and mountains.'
The Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa is Starwood’s second Luxury Collection hotel in the UAE, joining the iconic Grosvenor House Dubai, and third in the Middle East, he added.-TradeArabia News Service