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Al Sharq Investment Selects Starwood to Operate the W Dubai-The Palm;
400 room Hotel Designed by Gensler 
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.- December 15, 2006 - In its continued demand to select only the best in world class destinations around the globe, W® Hotels Worldwide announced today plans for a new hotel on The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. Scheduled to open in late 2009, W® Dubai-The Palm is W’s second hotel in Dubai and the third hotel in the Middle East following W Dubai-Festival City and W Doha. 

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® (NYSE: HOT), the parent company of W Hotels Worldwide – the fastest growing luxury hotel brand in the world – has entered into an agreement with Al Sharq Investment, a wholly owned company of Mr. Ali bin Suleiman Al Shehri, who selected W to manage the iconic hotel project. W Dubai-The Palm will be an exciting addition to the brand’s growing international footprint in the world’s most exciting cities and emerging destinations, including hotels in Barcelona, Istanbul, Athens, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Koh Samui, Santiago, Dubai and Doha. These properties will follow the highly successful openings of W Retreat & Spa–Maldives, W Montreal, and W Mexico City, all award winning destinations. 

Designed by Gensler, W Dubai-The Palm is located on the Crescent section of The Palm Jumeirah, off the Jumeirah coastline. Commonly referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world,” The Palm Jumeirah encompasses twelve square miles of land – in the shape of a palm tree – culled from seven million tons of rock and sand. Taking full advantage of the unique surrounding landscape, the hotel will offer 400 rooms with beach frontage and stunning views of The Palm, the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai skyline. As with the W brand’s existing hotels, W Dubai-The Palm will feature the W signature design elements, creating a destination within a destination. 

"The Palm Jumeirah and its exclusive offshore city is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken," said Ross Klein, President of W Hotels Worldwide. "W Dubai-The Palm will offer our guests a truly distinct experience in one of the most vibrant and unique destinations in the world.” 

"This project cements Starwood’s leadership as the premier operator in the Middle East,” said Roeland Vos, President of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “W Dubai-The Palm is another significant step in W’s global expansion and an important step for Starwood in offering our guests ever more unique experiences.” 

“We are committed to delivering high-end, innovative developments and we believe that partnering with the W brand will provide a unique guest experience that will exceed even the most discerning traveler’s expectations,” said Steve Tight, CEO Al Sharq Investment. 

W Dubai-The Palm will have approximately 400 rooms, including suites and the signature W Living Room experience, multiple restaurant outlets and a destination bar and spa and access to all of The Palm amenities including world class shopping on The Golden Mile and luxury boat marinas. Guests will indulge in the W signature beds with feather-top mattresses, 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and goose down comforters. Guests will also enjoy W’s Whatever/Whenever® service commitment, the hotel’s 24-hour concierge that can provide whatever guests want (from a pair of running shoes to private jet service), whenever they want it. 

About Al Sharq 
Established by Chairman Ali Al Shehri in response to the Middle East market’s appetite for quality driven and innovative real estate developments, Al Sharq offers an expanding portfolio of signature projects in Dubai. Based on cutting-edge design by the world’s leading architects and world-class operations for its leisure properties, Al Sharq is positioned as a leader in the luxury sector of Dubai real estate. The announcement of the W Dubai-The Palm, in addition to Al Sharq’s freehold residences on the Palm Jumeirah, follows the announcements of their development projects in Dubailand, Sheikh Zayed Road and Business Bay bringing, Al Sharq’s total planned investment in its current slate of real estate developments to over US$2 billion. 

About W Hotels Worldwide 
Since its debut in 1998, W Hotels has been a favorite of guests and developers alike and today is a global lifestyle brand with 21 properties in the most vibrant cities around the world. Inspiring and indulging its guests with thoughtful, refreshing and stylish experiences, signature restaurants, bars and destination spas, W has become the fastest-growing luxury hotel brand in the world. Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design, comfort and cultural influences from fashion to music to art and everything in between. W Dubai-The Palm will be the Brand’s second property in Dubai, following the opening of W Dubai-Festival City. Recent openings include W Retreat & Spa–Maldives, W Dallas-Victory Hotel & Residences, and W Seoul–Walkerhill. W has announced plans for new hotels in Austin, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Hollywood, South Beach, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Hoboken. Internationally, W has announced plans for hotels in Barcelona, Istanbul, Athens, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Santiago, Doha and Koh Samui. For more information, visit www.whotels.com. 

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts 
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien and the recently announced ALOFTSM and ELEMENTSM brands. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com. 

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. 

Contact:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Leila Siman, 914-640-2635
leila.siman@starwoodhotels.com

W Hotels Worldwide
Jenni Benzaquen, 212-380-4011
Director of PR
jenni.benzaquen@whotels.com

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Also See: J&A Jaidah Signs Starwood to Manage the 292 room W Doha Hotel & Residences in Qatar / June 2006
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