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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 30/04/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide has signed two deals to re-enter the Iraq hospitality market after 20 years.

The leading hotel and leisure company signed first deal with Ranj Co & Helar Co to debut the Four Points brand by Sheraton in Erbil by 2015. It also signed an agreement with BCD to manage a new-build Sheraton hotel in Erbil, which is scheduled to open in 2015.

"We are delighted to partner with BCD as we re-introduce Starwood to Iraq with Sheraton, our most iconic brand," said Roeland Vos, president of Starwood Hotels and Resorts for Europe, Africa and Middle East.

Erbil is the capital of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region and is emerging as the country's commercial hub. The city is served by Erbil International Airport with a growing number of international airlines connecting through Erbil.

"The opening of the new Sheraton Erbil Hotel further underlines Starwood's commitment to growth and expansion in the region," Vos said.

Starwood currently operates close to 50 hotels in the Middle East, which includes 16 Sheraton hotels. The company is set to open more than 30 hotels in the region over the next few years.

In addition to the Sheraton Erbil Hotel, this will include five Sheraton hotels including one in Saudi Arabia, two properties in Pakistan as well as the Sheraton Dubai Shaikh Zayed Road Hotel and Sheraton Sharjah Hotel & Resort in the UAE. It has 23 properties in the UAE including 15 in Dubai and six in Abu Dhabi.

"We believe that our partnership with Starwood will set new hospitality milestones in Iraq and that Sheraton's strong reputation will assist in further supporting Erbil as the country's commercial hub," BCD partner Saad Aldoski said.

The new Sheraton Erbil Hotel will comprise 221 guest rooms and 39 suites. The hotel will also feature extensive dining, conference and leisure facilities as well as signature Sheraton amenities.

"We are excited to work with Starwood to build our first hotel here in Iraq. Four Points by Sheraton has a strong reputation globally and this hotel will be a great addition to the city of Erbil," Faxir Maraan of Ranj Co & Helar Co said.

The new Four Points by Sheraton Erbil Hotel will comprise 250 guest rooms and offer extensive dining, conference and leisure facilities. The hotel will also feature all the brand's signature elements.

"The opening of the Four Points by Sheraton Erbil Hotel further underlines Starwood's commitment to grow in Iraq and we are confident that this new hotel will deliver the brands promise of modern style and timeless comfort at a great value," Vos concluded.

The Four Points by Sheraton brand has six properties in the region and four upcoming hotel openings, including Four Points by Sheraton Medina, Four Points by Sheraton Mall of Arabia, Four Points by Sheraton Dhahran and Four Points by Sheraton Sharjah.


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