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Starwood to Open 50 Properties Across Middle East, Africa

March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., the owner of the luxury St. Regis and W brands, said it will open 50 hotels in the Middle East and Africa in the next five years to expand in growing economies.

The properties will add 14,000 rooms to its portfolio in those areas, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said today in a statement. It currently has 82 hotels in the region, with about 22,000 rooms.

“Starwood continues to see demand for growth of all of our brands across the Middle East and Africa despite economic and political uncertainty in some parts of this incredibly diverse region,” Frits van Paasschen, chief executive officer of Starwood, said in the statement. “Rapid economic growth, rising personal incomes, a growing middle class and ever greater global connectivity are driving new travel patterns and demand for travel, and this region is at the center of these trends and a key focus of our growth strategy.”

Starwood said it is focused on markets including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, Senegal, South Africa and Nigeria. The company also said it sees growth opportunities in Iraq, Pakistan, Angola, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and East Africa.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Louis in Chicago at blouis1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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