Dec 09, 2007

Aloha! Abu Dhabi!

Aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) and its much-anticipated new lifestyle brand aloftSM hotels  today announced plans for the first aloft hotel in the Middle East - aloft Abu Dhabi.  aloft is partnering with Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company PJSC (ADNEC) to open the new-build hotel in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Construction starts in 2008, and the hotel is expected to open in late 2009.    

The 408-room hotel will be located within the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, a key part of the Capital Centre mixed-use development. This micro-city consisting of premium office towers, luxury hotels and residences, restaurants, shopping and a marina is located just 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 15 minutes from the Abu Dhabi International Airport. Anticipated to become the premier lifestyle and business hub of Abu Dhabi, Capital Centre is expected to dramatically change the skyline of Abu Dhabi with a total of 23 skyscrapers.  "Rich with tradition and alive with excitement, Abu Dhabi is a prime location for the first aloft hotel in the Middle East," said Brian McGuinness, Vice President of aloft & element hotels worldwide.  

"We are thrilled to introduce a bold new destination sensation to one of the richest cities of the world, by providing a setting that celebrates style, culture and creativity."

The second largest city of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a cosmopolitan metropolis with bold urban architecture, lush gardens and traditional markets.  Popular attractions include Al-Hosn Palace, the Cultural Foundation, and the recently revamped Abu Dhabi Corniche - a stretch of scenic waterfront overlooking the Arabian Gulf.

"Abu Dhabi is an exciting, fast-growing city and ideal for the brand's debut in the Middle East, giving us an opportunity to provide today's forward-thinking travelers with a space that is open to design and open to possibilities," Roeland Vos, President Europe, Middle East & Africa, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

"This development marks the start of what we hope will be a long-term relationship with Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company PJSC, as we bring the new tWist in travel to the Middle East."


In addition to its loft-like guest rooms, aloft Abu Dhabi will also feature three food and beverage outlets and a gym. Located off Mussafah Road and Khaleej Al Arabi Street, the hotel is expected to benefit from direct access to the Exhibition Centre and the commercial components of Capital Centre.
 

"Capital Centre is one of the Middle East's most significant developments and I am very pleased to welcome Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. to the project," said Simon Horgan, Chief Executive Officer of ADNEC.

"This entire master plan has been focused on creating the world's leading exhibition and lifestyle destination, and the inclusion of this hip, new Starwood brand will help us achieve this vision."

As a Vision of W Hotels, aloft is shaking up the lodging industry with urban-influenced design, accessible technology, style and a social atmosphere. aloft offers a total sensory experience, with guest lofts featuring loft-like nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows to create a bright, airy environment. The centerpiece of the loft room is the ultra-comfortable signature bed, and large stylish bathrooms complement the guest experience with oversized walk-in showers and amenities created by bliss spa. Each guest loft is also a combination high-tech office and entertainment center, featuring wireless internet access and plug & play, a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops - all linked to a large flat panel HDTV ready television for optimal sound and viewing.       

 Designed in conjunction with world renowned David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group, aloft stays true to the W Hotel brand's heritage, offering atmospheric public spaces designed to draw guests from their rooms to socialize and make friends. Guests can read the paper, work on their laptops via hotelwide wireless internet access, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends at the re:mix communal lobby area and bar w xyz. The re:charge fitness center and splash, the indoor or outdoor pool, give travelers options to de-stress and re-energize; while re:fuel by aloft, a one-stop food and beverage area, offers sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages to grab & go, 24 hours a day.   The first aloft hotels are targeted to open in 2008.

For more information on aloft, please visit http://www.alofthotels.com/.

For further information please contact:

Cindy Yoong
UAE Area Director of PR
Starwood Hotels
Tel : (971-4) 207 1455
cindy.yoong@starwoodhotels.com