18 September 2018


Anthony Touma, Shaun Warner, Big Hass & Mark Shakedown to Mentor Finalists in Project: Aloft Star UAE 2018 Artist Discovery Competition

Aloft Hotels, Marriott International’s brand for music lovers and music makers, and Universal Music Group & Brands (UMGB) MENA, the brand strategy division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced the 2018 edition of Aloft Hotels’ artist discovery competition, Project: Aloft Star UAE.

Launching on September 18, 2018 with a star-studded event, that includes performances by last year’s winner Stephon LaMar, finalist Danny Aridi and rising Arabic artist Mahdi Baccouch at Aloft Palm Jumeirah, musicians can enter for a chance to win a unique prize that includes:

This year’s Project: Aloft Star UAE 2018 mentors, Anthony Touma, Shaun Warner, Big Hass and Mark Shakedown will help guide the four finalists on their journey during an interactive and exclusive mentoring session at Aloft Me’asiam, preparing them for their final performance.

“I’m delighted to be part of Project: Aloft Star UAE,” said Shaun Warner. “I think it’s important to share the insights I’ve gathered from my career and help those who are just starting their journey. Programs like these are vital to the overall health of the industry and Aloft Hotels is playing a key role in supporting, nurturing and developing the artistic community.”

The Project: Aloft Star UAE 2018 contest is part of Marriott International’s first-of-its-kind global partnership with UMG, which has evolved to include a focus on developing emerging talent.

“Our partnership with Aloft Hotels reflects our mutual commitment to support the diverse and enticing music scene in the MENA region.” commented Patrick Boulos, CEO, Universal Music MENA. “The competition will offer the unique chance for emerging local talent to showcase their music to a wider audience and to industry experts. We look forward to developing creative opportunities for the new artists discovered through our expanded collaboration with Marriott International.”

Sandra Schulze-Potgieter, Vice President, Premium and Select Brands, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International, commented, “We are excited to launch this year’s edition of Project: Aloft Star UAE with UMG.  The chance to work with one of UMG’s prestigious labels is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we are glad we can offer this platform to emerging talent here in the Middle East.”

“Aloft Hotels has always been the brand for music makers and music lovers and we continue to amplify our music programming across our hotels in the region,” she added.

While the Finale is open to everyone to join, the best way to experience it will be as a member of one of Marriott’s award-winning loyalty programs– Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.  Members of these programs can now bid on the SPG Moments platform to  gain special access to the Project: Aloft Star finale on November 6, 2018 at the Aloft City Centre Deira.  This music enthusiast will enjoy intimate performances from all four finalists and UMG artists Anthony Touma and Carl & The Reda Mafia, along with an artist meet and greet.  As a part of the special Moment, the lucky guest will spend the night in one of the hotels one-of-a-kind Cinema themed suites and enjoy a sundowner on the hotels W XYZ® Terrace ahead of the event.

The Moment also includes behind-the-scenes access to a music video shoot featuring this year’s Project: Aloft Star UAE winner and a chance to possibly even feature in the video[1]).  And to top it off, the winner will gain a one year subscription to Anghami Plus and enjoy unlimited music on the region’s leading music streaming application.

Aloft Hotels has been an incubator for emerging musical talent for a decade. All Aloft Hotels around the world host regular live music evenings in their W XYZ® bars with local up-and-coming talent as part of the brand’s Live At Aloft Hotels music program. Guests and residents of the UAE can enjoy the brand’s music programming across five hotels – Aloft City Centre Deira, Aloft Palm Jumeirah, Aloft Me’asiam, Aloft Al Ain and Aloft Abu Dhabi.

Project: Aloft Star UAE 2018 Contest Details

To enter the competition, or to find out more about Project: Aloft Star UAE, please visit

Entry Period: Contest opens on September 18 and ends on October 6 2018.

No purchase required. Contest is open to talent 21 years of age or above.

For contest rules visit

For more information on the Moment or to bid for it, visit

UMG and Marriott International Partnership

UMG&B and Marriott International’s partnership, initiated in 2015, has grown globally to encompass Marriott’s expanded portfolio. The partnership has been brought to life through concerts showcasing UMG’s premiere talent at Marriott properties across the globe, most recently at an emerging female-led artist showcase at Aloft Austin Downtown during the 2018 South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals.


About Aloft Hotels

With over 150 hotels now open in over 20 countries and territories around the world, Aloft Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. Aloft is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®. Members can now link accounts with Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information, please visit and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,700 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.


About Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Marriott International’s award-winning loyalty programs – Marriott Rewards, SPG, and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards – unite 29 unique and iconic global brands and over 6,700 distinctive properties in 130 countries and territories around the world, providing members with endless inspiration to travel the world. The programs, operating under one set of unparalleled benefits, enable more 110 million members to earn points toward free hotel stays, and achieve Elite status faster than ever, seamlessly and easily book or redeem points for stays throughout the portfolio. To enhance their travels, member may also indulge in 120,000 experiences offered on When booking direct on, or any of Marriott’s mobile apps, members can take advantage of exclusive Member Rates, free and enhanced Wi-Fi, mobile check-in and checkout, Mobile Requests and, wherever available, Mobile Key. To enroll for free or for more information about the programs, visit or Travelers can also connect with Marriott Rewards on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and learn more about #spglife on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at:

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