Majid Al Futtaim and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced they they have signed an agreement to open an Aloft hotel directly connected to City Centre Deira.

Scheduled to open in 2018, Aloft Dubai City Centre Deira will feature 304 rooms, including 29 suites, a statement said.

The hotel will also feature an outdoor rooftop VOX Cinema and a cinematic themed floor of rooms and suites and includes SPG Keyless, Starwood's industry-first keyless entry system that enables guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key.

 Simon Barlow, CEO of Hotels at Majid Al Futtaim - Properties, said: "We look forward to welcoming Aloft Dubai City Centre Deira to our world-class hotel portfolio. The hotel will offer guests an exceptional experience not only because it will combine Majid Al Futtaim's development expertise with the operational excellence of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, but because it will be directly linked to the iconic City Centre Deira and feature an outdoor VOX Cinema."

Aloft Dubai City Centre Deira will increase the number of hotels operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the UAE to 11, while Starwood currently operates 26 hotels with 17 more properties in its pipeline.

Neil George, senior vice president, Acquisitions & Developments, Africa and Middle East, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, said: "The United Arab Emirates is our strongest growth market in the Middle East with Dubai being an integral part of our expansion strategy in the region.

"Aloft hotels continue to spearhead Starwood's growth in the mid-market segment and is expected to quadruple its portfolio in the Middle East by 2020."

The construction contract at Aloft Dubai City Centre Deira has been awarded to Laing O'Rourke and work commenced at the start of June. The project is expected to be completed in Q1 2018.

Aloft made its debut in the Middle East in 2009 with Aloft Abu Dhabi and Starwood aims to operate 14 Aloft hotels by 2020 in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and the UAE.