Starwood ME in UK marketing drive

Starwood Hotels & Resorts in the Middle East is launching a new marketing initiative in the UK to promote its expanding portfolio of hotels in the Gulf region. The Big PR Agency has been appointed to execute a focused PR programme to increase the UK profile of Starwood’s properties within the Middle East.
The campaign will focus on promoting the global hotel operator’s 48 hotels across the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen. The region operates four of Starwood’s eight hotel brands including Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and Le Méridien. The PR programme will include both the business and the leisure properties throughout the portfolio and highlight the diverse range of offering across the Middle East. 
Starwood’s acquisition of the Le Méridian brand in November 2005 has increased the Starwood portfolio in the Middle East by 100%, offering customers increased choice and flexibility when visiting the region.
The marketing drive will highlight the business, conference, meetings and incentive facilities, as well as promoting leisure opportunities, festivals and interesting events in the region, such as Ramadan and the F1 Grand Prix. There will also be a targeted push surrounding the opening of the Sheraton Aleppo Hotels & Towers in Syria in August 2006.
Maha Saad, Area Director of PR, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Africa and the Middle East comments: “Tourism to the Middle East is booming; all figures for 2005 not only show substantial growth in the region but indicate that this growth is unlikely to slow down. Starwood Hotels & Resorts are a major player in this region and we want to make sure that the increasing number of visitors are fully briefed on the range of facilities offered by Starwood Hotels & Resorts in this area.”
The Big PR Agency will be working closely with Starwood’s UK press office team, based at The Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, who handle public relations for Starwood’s portfolio of over 850 hotels globally, across eight hotel brands including St Regis, Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton and the recently announced aloft brand.