Back to top

Analyst Blog

Leading global hotel chain Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) has recently declared that it is on the verge of launching 50 new hotels with 14,000 guest rooms in the rapidly-growing emerging market of Middle East and Africa (MEA) by 2018. Apart from this, Starwood is also undertaking a brand conversion strategy to further strengthen its footprint in the region.

Starwood currently owns and operates 82 hotels mostly under the Le Méridien and Sheraton brands across the region. These openings will reflect a 60% additional increase in the company’s existing MEA coverage. The company aims to own more than 100 properties in the region, launching 20 new hotels by 2015.

However, to tap the growing potential, many other hoteliers including Marriott International Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report) and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (WYN - Analyst Report) are also making their presence felt in the MEA region.

Coming to the brand, as per the expansion plan, Starwood will unveil 12 hotels in UAE with 6 new properties exclusively in Dubai by 2017. Moreover, Starwood is all set to open 6 properties in Saudi Arabia by 2015. Apart from this, Starwood is also trying new growth opportunities in Iraq, Nigeria, and Algeria.

In a concerted endeavor to strengthen its full-service, luxury brand portfolio, Starwood is slated to introduce two St. Regis branded hotels in Abu Dhabi, and Cairo in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Starwood has also declared that it will unveil 6 W branded properties in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Amman over the next four years. In addition, the company’s mid-market brand, Aloft is also growing in the region.

Earlier in March, Starwood transferred its headquarters from Stamford, CT to Dubai, UAE for one month in order to focus more on Starwood’s growing international portfolio and explore new development opportunities in the Middle East countries.

Starwood currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another hotel stock worth a look is Choice Hotels International Inc. (CHH - Snapshot Report), which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

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 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
SUPER MICRO… SMCI 26.58 +8.53%
CENTURY ALU… CENX 27.06 +8.33%
BANCO DO BR… BDORY 16.68 +7.41%
CANADIAN SO… CSIQ 37.95 +7.08%
WILLDAN GRO… WLDN 11.37 +5.77%