With 80 per cent of Starwood’s pipeline coming from rapidly growing markets, President says it's not possible to lead a truly global business "from a boardroom in Connecticut"
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has begun the month-long relocation of its global headquarters from Stamford to Dubai.
Starwood President & CEO Frits van Paasschen and the company’s top executives will conduct day-to-day business from Dubai, in a move which not only highlights the city’s rising travel status globally but also reflects the wider commercial power shift eastwards. In June 2011, the leaders relocated to China.
Van Paasschen said with 80 per cent of Starwood’s pipeline coming from rapidly growing markets, it is simply not possible to lead a truly global business “from a boardroom in Connecticut”.
“Rising wealth and ever greater global connectivity are creating a once-in-a-lifetime growth opportunity for our business – by fueling new demand, changing travel patterns, and entirely new travel markets,” he said.
“Dubai epitomises this changing face of travel, and we expect this relocation will deepen our relationships with partners, associates and customers.”
During the course of the relocation, more than 200 Starwood executives and GMs from the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America will travel to Dubai as the company runs day-to-day operations almost 7,000 miles and a nine-hour time zone away from its usual base outside New York City.
Dubai proved a natural choice as the city is situated eight hours from two-thirds of the world’s population and at the crossroads of East and West.
“Globalization is accelerating new trade patterns, capital flows and wealth creation: this translates to more people from more places traveling to more destinations than ever before,” added van Paasschen. “We are on the cusp of a new Golden Age of Travel, and Dubai is at the epicentre of this sea change.”
The team will meet with associates, customers, owners and prospective developers in the UAE and also take advantage of Dubai’s location for business travel to destinations including Mumbai, Addis Ababa, Jeddah, Dushanbe and Kuwait. Starwood will provide updates through new Tumblr and Instagram accounts.
Following the W brand’s debut, Starwood introduced its St. Regis brand into the Middle East with the 2011 opening of The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort (Abu Dhabi).
St. Regis has since opened in Doha and will this year unveil a second St. Regis hotel in Abu Dhabi, located on the Corniche. Future St. Regis openings in the region include The St. Regis Cairo, The St. Regis Amman, and The St. Regis Dubai. Starwood also continues to grow its Luxury Collection brand in the UAE and will debut in the Emirate of Ajman in 2014.