Starwood HQ to relocate to Dubai
Dubai, May 10, 2012
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which operates nearly 50 hotels in 11 countries in the Middle East, will relocate its US-based headquarters to Dubai in 2013 for a month-long managerial endeavour.
The announcement was made on the occasion of its hosting of its top 100 global executives to Dubai for its annual leadership conference.
This also marks the first time the leadership conference is held in the Middle East, underscoring the importance of the region as one of Starwood’s fastest-growing hotel and travel markets.
During the relocation, Starwood president & CEO Frits van Paasschen and more than a dozen of the company’s top executives will conduct day-to-day business on an eight-hour time difference with their “usual” home office in Stamford, Connecticut.
During what van Paasschen describes as “an unconventional effort to understand, appreciate and ultimately leverage different cultural perspectives and approaches to business,” Starwood’s team will delve into the company’s extensive operations throughout the Middle East, meeting with regional customers, partners, developers and owners, while also touring new properties throughout the region.
Building upon the success of Starwood’s 2011 headquarters relocation to China, the company has selected the UAE because of its significant footprint, pipeline and growth potential, plus the region’s popularity as a business and leisure travel destination as well as its growing importance as an outbound travel market.
“Our brands resonate well with Middle Eastern guests and the fact that our brands reflect the various lifestyle aspirations of our guests allows us to further penetrate this market,” said van Paasschen.
“This is only possible because we have long standing teams in place who have a deep understanding of the Middle East’s complex dynamics and strong relationships with some of the region’s most influential investors.”
The company has announced plans to unveil another five new hotels in Dubai by 2017, including the debuts of the W and St. Regis brands in the emirate.
“With hotels in 100 countries and 80 per cent of our future pipeline outside of North America, Starwood is the world’s most global high-end hotel company, perfectly positioned to capitalize on an ever growing global marketplace,” said van Paasschen.
“Dubai is emblematic of how globalization is creating new travel patterns and travel hubs, and serves as a crossroad between the emerging and developed worlds,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service