The company already has 10 properties in the country, and has 50hotels and resorts in the Middle East. Starwood officials said in astatement that the company will continue to expand in the region,and expects to double its portfolio in the broader Europe, Africaand the Middle East to about 500 properties in the next five years."The signings of these three new properties in the Middle Eastunderscores Starwood's commitment to expanding its footprint inthis fast-growing market," said Roeland Vos, president of thecompany's Europe, Africa and Middle East division, in a statement.A Starwood spokeswoman did not return requests for comment.

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Fawaz Alhokair, chairman of the self-named company, said in thestatement that existing facilities do not meet the demand in hiscountry. "Continued economic and business growth will drive evenmore travel into this region, and this will maintain demand andprofitability for the hotel business," he said in thestatement.

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The planned properties include the Four Points by Sheraton Mallof Arabia, which will open in early 2010 here, near the Mall ofArabia. The hotel will have 300 rooms, two restaurants, swimmingpool and 3,000-square-feet of meeting space.

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The other Four Points by Sheraton Dhahran will go up in thatcity and open in 2011, at the intersection of Prince Faisal BinFahd and King Saud roads, near the Mall of Dhahran. This hotel willhave 236 rooms, a pool, fitness center and more than 3,700 squarefeet of meeting space.

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Finally, the Aloft Riyadh will open in 2009 in that city, at theintersection of Olaya Street and Mecca Road. The property will have225 rooms, a fitness center, a splash pool, a game area andhigh-tech-equipped rooms.

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