W Hotels Unveils Plans to Open its First Luxury Resort in the UAE

Vacation News » Vacation & Leisure Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | May 6, 2010 1:04 PM ET

W Hotels Worldwide has just signed an agreement with Belbadi, a local UAE multidisciplinary corporation, to bring the design-led lifestyle brand to the United Arab Emirates in 2013.

Located on the waterfront of Al Bateen Wharf, W Abu Dhabi will be part of a multi-component development, including high-end retail stores, restaurants and residences and will offer stunning views over the marina and the open sea. The hotel will feature around 350 stylish guest rooms, including 25 suites and two "Extreme Wow" suites (W's interpretation of a Presidential Suite), a signature spa with 12 treatment rooms, three restaurants, a lounge and a rooftop night club.

"Abu Dhabi is an important market for Starwood as we continue a strong growth pace in this booming, vibrant capital of the UAE," said Roeland Vos, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe Africa and Middle East.  "With Abu Dhabi joining the roster of international openings for W over the next two years, we are honored to partner with Belbadi as we add this key destination to W's global portfolio."

W Abu Dhabi will offer W brand exclusives including W's signature Living Room experience; five glamorous WET pools and SWEAT (W's state-of-the-art fitness centre).The hotel will also feature more than 1,050 square meters of ultra-modern meeting and event space and a full-service WIRED business centre. These offerings will be complemented by the brand's signature service promise, Whatever/Whenever, providing guests whatever they want - from an adventurous desert safari to exploring the Arabian Gulf on a private yacht - whenever they want it. All rooms and suites will also feature the W Hotels signature bed with feather-top mattress, 350 thread-count cotton sheets and goose down comforter.

Starwood (NYSE:HOT) currently operates close to 50 hotels throughout the Middle East under seven of its nine brands, including more than 20 hotels in the UAE. W Abu Dhabi will be the W brand's third hotel in the Middle East, following the openings of W Doha Hotel & Residences (opened in 2009) and W Amman, scheduled to open in 2012.

"Welcome to the elegant rejuvenation of Al Bateen," said George Papagrigorakis, Board Director of Belbadi and Managing Director of Bateen Wharf Properties. "W Abu Dhabi will be a prime catalyst to enhance the delicate transformation from history to modern lifestyle.  We are confident and happy entering this long term relation with Starwood and we feel privileged in complementing the Tourism Development & Investment Company's hospitality plans for the Al Bateen Wharf area, Abu Dhabi and the UAE at large."

The Al Bateen district of Abu Dhabi is the oldest occupied area of the UAE capital, vividly reflecting the heritage and tradition of the city. Today, the area is being redeveloped by TDIC as a signature waterfront destination.

W Hotels is an innovative, contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the hotel category buster. Founded in 1998 in New York City, W Hotels currently operates 35 hotels and retreats in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. With more than 10 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to more than double its footprint by 2011. W Hotels and W Retreats have been announced for Downtown New York, London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Bali, Vieques Island, Koh Samui, and Verbier, among other international destinations.


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