Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc announced it has signed an agreement with Rashid Al Abbar to open a 192-room Aloft on Dubai’s man-made island – Palm Jumeirah. Scheduled to open in 2017, Aloft Dubai, The Palm will be the brand’s first resort in the Middle East, complete with beach access, when it opens its doors as the first mid-market hotel brand on the island. “We are delighted to work with Rashid Al Abbar to debut our tech-forward Aloft experience to the Palm Jumeirah and bring the brand’s passion for live music, vibrant design and innovation to this exciting development,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Hotels Europe, Africa and Middle East. “The UAE remains our strongest growth market in the Middle East, and this deal reinforces the demand for mid-market hotel development in the region.” Aloft’s first resort Al Abbar commented, “This is a very exciting and prestigious opportunity for us to work with Starwood who are leaders in the hospitality industry. From the moment we shortlisted the proposed brands for this venture, we were convinced that the Aloft brand was the clear leader and are happy with our decision. We are confident that Aloft Dubai, The Palm will create a new level of experience for guests by providing an international, mid-level, resort style hotel in Palm Jumeirah, at attractive rates.” Featuring an urban-influenced design, Aloft Dubai, The Palm will have 192 guest rooms, including ten suites, with plush platform beds, large walk-in showers and complimentary Bliss amenities. The resort will offer guests access to a 500m stretch of beach, complete with sun beds and a gazebo for leisurely lounging. Designed with the needs of the savvy hyper-connected traveller in mind, the hotel will feature SPG Keyless—Starwood’s industry-first keyless entry system that enables guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key.