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Starwood Hotels to Manage Al Habtoor’s New Dubai Properties

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., owner of the luxury St. Regis and W brands, signed an agreement with Al Habtoor Group LLC to manage three hotels to be built by the closely-held Dubai company.

The Stamford, Connecticut-based hotelier will manage a one million square-foot (93,000 square-meter) hospitality-complex to be completed in 2017, Al Habtoor and Starwood said in a joint press release today.

The project, which will add 1,675 hotel rooms, will include the first St. Regis hotel in Dubai. It will also include a W Hotel and a new Westin, the companies said.

Al Habtoor Group plans to spend $1.33 billion of its own cash to build a the Al Habtoor Palace Complex, it said in January. The project will include 12 tennis courts, a 500,000 square-foot garden, shops, restaurants and a theater. Al Habtoor Group already operates several hotels in the United Arab Emirates and Beirut.

Starwood currently operates 15 properties in Dubai, the second-largest concentration in a single city outside of New York. By 2015, the Middle East will become the second region after North America to operate all nine of Starwood’s brands, St. Regis, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton as well as Aloft and Element, according to the statement.

Al Habtoor Group is owned by Khalaf Al Habtoor, a Dubai born billionaire, who made his fortune by buying, selling and building hotels. The 62-year-old’s fortune is estimated to be worth at least $2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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