Senior executives from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide met with Khalaf Al Habtoor, Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group on Monday, March 4th at the Al Habtoor Group head office.
The delegation from Starwood included Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO; Guido De Wilde, Senior Vice President & Regional Director Middle East; Neil George, Vice President, Acquisitions & Development and Aaron Glick, Director, Loyalty Marketing Analytics and Strategy. Also present from the Al Habtoor Group were Maan Halabi, Executive Director and Sanjeev Agarwala, Director Strategy & Business Development and Henning A Fries, Group Director of Operations for Habtoor Hotels. The group discussed mutual future business interests.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, an international hotel operator with well known brands, will manage the Al Habtoor Group’s new mega hotel project, the Habtoor Palace, which will bring together three of their brands together. The Al Habtoor Palace, located on a one million square-foot property on Sheikh Zayed Road, will include the first St Regis hotel in Dubai, a W Hotel and a WESTIN, adding approximately 1,600 rooms.
Starwood already has a partnership with the Al Habtoor Group. It operates the historic Le Méridien Budapest, which the Al Habtoor Group acquired last year.
Khalaf Al Habtoor said, “We have a very good working relationship with the Starwood and we have a prosperous future together with our new products coming on board. Our Habtoor Palace development currently under construction offers something very unique to Dubai. All parties involved are very excited about our future.”
He added that there is increased optimism in Dubai, “There is a renewed sense of optimism in Dubai, mainly in the hospitality and property sector. The recovery here has been very fast, while other parts of the world, including Europe, are still reeling from the global financial crisis.”
Starwood currently operates 15 properties in Dubai, the second-largest concentration of the company's hotels in a single city outside New York.