Back to top

Analyst Blog

This page is temporarily not available.  Please check later as it should be available shortly. If you have any questions, please email customer support at support@zacks.com or call 800-767-3771 ext.  9339.

In order to beef up its Middle East portfolio, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) is set to unveil three properties under its contemporary lifestyle brands Sheraton, Westin and Four Points in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The properties are being developed in association with Jabal Omar Development Company. Christened Sheraton Makkah Hotel, Westin Makkah Hotel and Four Points by Sheraton Makkah Hotel, these properties are slated to open for business in 2015.

Makkah, the capital of Makkah Province, is an important tourist destination owing to its historical and religious importance. It is considered the most sacred city to followers of Islam and nearly 15 million travelers visit the city every year. These factors justify the hotelier’s decision to expand its presence in the region. Starwood currently owns two properties in the city.

The new hotels will be located near Al Haram, the world’s biggest mixed-use complex, in Makkah. We believe that these properties, boasting a total of 1,496 guestrooms, will create a strong guest base, going ahead.

Starwood has been focusing on the rapidly growing markets of the Middle East for quite some time. The global hotel chain sees more growth opportunities in the region with the growing population and its emergence as a business and leisure hub. As per the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the number of tourists traveling to the Middle East is expected to reach 136 million by 2020.

Commencing its journey in 1963, Starwood now owns approximately 50 hotels in the Middle East with as many as 10 properties exclusively in Saudi Arabia. The company is expected to make a twofold increase its Middle East portfolio with the launch of eight properties in Saudi Arabia over the next three years.

Earlier in Mar 2013, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company transferred its headquarters from Stamford, Conn. to Dubai, UAE for a month to better focus on its growing international, especially the Middle East, portfolio. This was a strategic move considering the fact that hoteliers, including Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (WYN - Analyst Report), Hyatt Hotels Corp. (H - Snapshot Report) and Marriott International Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report), have already made their presence felt in the region.

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

Learn more

Start for as little as $4.50 per trade.

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
BITAUTO HOLD BITA 33.20 +7.90%
NOAH HOLDING NOAH 13.83 +4.06%
VALEO SA SPO VLEEY 67.91 +3.95%
GENTHERM INC THRM 35.99 +3.54%
INTERNATIONA ICAGY 32.64 +3.29%