Element Hotel Brand to Make EMEA Debut with New Property in Abu Dhabi

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has joined forces with Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Co. to open Element Abu Dhabi, which will be the first property in the Europe/Middle East/Africa region to operate under Starwood’s new green-centric Element brand. The 270-room extended-stay hotel will be located in the sprawling $2.3 billion Capital Centre commercial and residential micro-city development. In addition to upscale guestrooms, Element Abu Dhabi (pictured) will feature a restaurant and fitness center as part of the property’s group of offerings designed to accommodate business and leisure travelers. Starwood’s partner, ABNEC, points to Abu Dhabi’s strong economic growth and various new real estate developments as the impetus behind the growing demand for extended-stay hotel accommodations, particularly among the executive set. Capital of the U.A.E., Abu Dhabi is the second most populous of the emirates and presently has the second largest hotel pipeline in the region, according to a report by hotel real estate research firm Lodging Econometrics. As of the close of the first quarter, 73 projects totaling about 21,800 rooms were on tap, 25 percent of which are currently under construction. Other U.S. hospitality companies are in the midst of orchestrating the entrĂ©e of their brands into the Abu Dhabi lodging market, including Parsippany, N.J.-based Wyndham Hotels, which will open the 250-room Ramada Abu Dhabi in early 2010. Additionally, Starwood’s Westin flag will make its inaugural appearance in the emirate with the planned opening of the 148-room Westin Hotel & Spa Abu Dhabi next year. Established in 2006, the Element brand recently took on the role of eco-trailblazer in the hospitality industry when Starwood announced in April that Element hotels, all of which will be ground-up developments, will be incorporate standards necessary for the attainment of LEED certification. The first property to carry the flag, Element Lexington, just recently opened its doors in suburban Boston. The Abu Dhabi project is the first Element hotel to be announced for a location beyond the borders of North America. Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., Starwood is a leading hotel and leisure concern that owns, operates and franchises hotels, resorts and residences under several internationally known brands. Its portfolio encompasses 900 properties in over 100 countries. or