Starwood Plans to Temporarily Relocate Global Headquarters to the Middle East in 2013
DUBAI—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. announced it will temporarily relocate its senior leadership team from the company’s U.S.-based headquarters to the Middle East for a month-long managerial endeavor in 2013. During the relocation, Starwood President & CEO Frits van Paasschen and more than a dozen of the company’s top executives will be headquartered in Dubai where they will conduct day-to-day business on an eight-hour time difference with their home office in Stamford, Connecticut. READER COMMENTS
In an announcement, Paasschen describes the move as “an unconventional effort to understand, appreciate and ultimately leverage different cultural perspectives and approaches to business.” Starwood’s team will delve into the company’s operations throughout the Middle East, meeting with regional customers, partners, developers and owners, while also touring new properties throughout the region.
Building upon the success of Starwood’s 2011 headquarters relocation to China, the company has selected the UAE because of its significant footprint, pipeline and growth potential, plus the region’s popularity as a business and leisure travel destination as well as its growing importance as an outbound travel market.
“Our brands resonate well with Middle Eastern guests and the fact that our brands reflect the various lifestyle aspirations of our guests allows us to further penetrate this market,” continued van Paasschen. “This is only possible because we have long standing teams in place who have a deep understanding of the Middle East’s complex dynamics and strong relationships with some of the region’s most influential investor.
Starwood also welcomed its top 100 global executives to Dubai today for the company’s annual leadership conference. This marks the first time the leadership conference is held in the Middle East, underscoring the importance of the region as one of Starwood’s fastest-growing hotel and travel markets.