Emirates, wasl renew Le Meridien deal
Dubai, January 11, 2011
Emirates Group and wasl Asset Management Group have extended the operation and management contract with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort.
In addition to this deal, wasl Hospitality has renewed its operational agreement with its fully-owned properties: Le Meridien Dubai, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Le Meridien Fairway and the Westin Dubai until 2025.
The agreement was signed by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman of Dubai Airports, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, and chairman of the advisory council of wasl Hospitality, Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim, CEO of wasl Asset Management Group and Frits Van Paasschen, president and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
Sheikh Ahmed pointed out that the tourism industry had played a key role in positioning Dubai and the UAE on the global map.
'This partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts brings a wealth of global presence and experience to the hotels in this region; Starwood’s extensive network and renowned brand management will add immense value to these properties.”
Al Qassim hailed the strategic initiatives launched by the Dubai Government with the aim of further developing the emirate’s tourism sector, as well as the future visions and plans for the sector.
He said wasl had a strong presence in Dubai’s hospitality sector through its fully owned subsidiary, wasl Hospitality.
Wasl’s portfolio comprises seven hotels with more than 2200 rooms, through which wasl Hospitality delivers an unprecedented experience to businessmen, tourists and visitors.
These include four hotels under Starwood Hotels and Resorts –Le Meridien Dubai, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Le Meridien Fairway and The Westin Dubai and three hotels under the Hyatt Group – Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and Park Hyatt –in addition to entertainment facilities such as Grand Cineplex.
Outlining its future plans, Al Qasssim said wasl was set to develop key entertainment projects and also boost the number of hotels within its portfolio.
Al Qassim stressed the importance of tourism, saying that the sector has become one of the cornerstones of Dubai’s economy.
He pointed out that the sector’s tremendous growth had encouraged a large part of real estate investment to be directed to the hospitality and tourism industry in order to serve the emirate’s vision of becoming a world class tourism destination.
'In addition, this growth is adding more momentum to the emirate’s economy, in general, and the tourism sector, in particular,' the official remarked.
Van Paasschen said, 'Starwood is focused on growing and maintaining our footprint by working with the right partners in the right locations, and today's signing with wasl and Emirates Group is absolutely illustrative of this.'
'We value our competitive advantage in the Middle East and this region is a priority for Starwood moving forward as we look to grow with our partners,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service