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Modern, fresh and vibrant interiors of a guest room

W Hotels Debuts in Oman

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Hotels Debuts in Oman

The “lavish playground” of W Muscat is set to shake up the coastal haven with bold design, eclectic programming and Oman’s First Siddharta Lounge By Buddha-Bar…

W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., has announced the opening of W Muscat, the brand’s newest beachfront W Escape and the second to open in the Middle East this year. Set against the backdrop of the rugged Al Hajar Mountains, which form a stark contrast to the historic capital city’s lively waterfront, W Muscat sits at the intersection of the bustling Shatti Al Qurum area.

Modern, fresh and vibrant interiors of a guest room

The hotel opens as part of Marriott International’s plans add more than 30 luxury hotels to its portfolio this year, furthering the company’s global perspective on luxury travel with its ensemble of eight distinct luxury brands.

“Muscat is a fascinating and exciting city. Its cultural DNA honors millennia of tradition while looking to what’s new and next – an ideal match for the W brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The arrival of W in Muscat marks a new chapter for both the brand and this buzzing metropolis. The hotel reinterprets Omani design and cultural traditions to create a modern, energetic and stylish Escape unlike anything the sultanate has seen before.”

“Its striking design is inspired by the diverse and vibrant natural locale – from the rugged mountain range to the vast Omani desert, the sparkling bay to the azure waters of the Arabian Sea.”

The architectural narrative of W Muscat immerses guests in the concept of exploration and the illustrious storytelling tradition of the nomadic Bedouin traveller. Its striking design is inspired by the diverse and vibrant natural locale – from the rugged mountain range to the vast Omani desert, the sparkling bay to the azure waters of the Arabian Sea. Colorful hints of Muscat’s vibrant culture are interspersed throughout the spaces to evoke the mystery and adventure of the city’s rich heritage and storied past. W Muscat is a bold remix of traditional charm, natural beauty and the disruptive W DNA.

Bold design with Arabian themed interiors in the lobby lounge

Image credit: W Hotels

Welcoming guests upon arrival is a striking, nine-ton frankincense tree sculpture designed by renowned artist Pongsatat Uaiklang that pays tribute to Omani culture. Standing at an impressive 10 meters tall, the piece is made of solid stainless steel, welded from 28 winding pieces. In traditional Omani culture, frankincense was used to bless and welcome weary travelers after their long journeys. In that same tradition, guests are then ushered into the inviting Living Room (W’s signature take on the lobby) where they can relax and unwind in an Arabic Majlis, beneath an oversized installation of the Omani Kummas, chic headgears that are unmistakable marks of the Omani attire. Whether looking for a re-energizing iced tea or a cocktail, The Living Room is the perfect venue to see and be seen.

“Asymmetrical corridors across the floors depict an artistic theme of ‘every girl has a story’ through locally commissioned holographic artworks.”

All of the 279 guestrooms and suites at W Muscat provide uninterrupted views of the glistening blue water, with their design drawing inspiration from the ocean as well as the asymmetrical lines of the nearby mountains, caves and desert. These are contrasted with art deco detailing, reminiscent of traditional Omani charm. Asymmetrical corridors across the floors depict an artistic theme of ‘every girl has a story’ through locally commissioned holographic artworks depicting a female perspective of power, love, peace and beauty. Designed for an extra spacious and edgy stay is the EWOW suite (the brand’s take on the traditional Presidential Suite) which features subtle Arabic characteristics with a distinctive W edge. The corner Majlis seating showcases a Zanzibar-inspired print, a nod to the Omani Kumma or headgear, set against an inviting coffee table in celebration of Arabic coffee or Qahwa. The ceiling features tilted white paneling, evoking the intimacy of relaxing inside a tent. A saddle-like leather chair, bold mustard yellow stool, and faux fur wall are inspired by horse or camelback travel. Stacked luggage trunks comprise the MIXBAR (the W spin on the minibar) while a trunk closet lined with exotic silk links back to the narrative of the nomad.

An 1800 sqm beachfront pool offers unparalleled views of the Gulf of Oman and forms part of the W brand’s iconic WET experience. Here, guests can swim, soak up the sun and enjoy signature beverages while listening to live DJ performances. WET is the hottest place to cool off, take a dip, make a splash, and get your glow on. W Muscat will be hosting a FUEL Weekend in October – the W brand’s signature fitness and wellness retreat – where WET will take center stage. FUEL guests can expect next level, energy-soaked celebrity workouts, killer parties and delicious beverage and food offerings all celebrating the brand’s DETOX. RETOX. REPEAT. philosophy.

Elsewhere, the Escape’s AWAY® Spa offers 10 treatment rooms, a steam room, a hammam and a couples’ treatment room. The design is inspired by the ancient ritual of stargazing where guests are enveloped under a bejeweled night sky with the intimacy of cave-like comfort.

The highly anticipated Siddharta Lounge By Buddha-Bar makes an Oman debut at W Muscat, bringing its signature flair for culinary prowess and inventive mixology to the rooftop restaurant and lounge. Overlooking the sweeping coastline of Shatti Al Qurum, the space interlocks both indoor and outdoor venues and celebrates the story of Bedouin travellers through innovative design and artistic representation. Ocean vistas are framed by an extraordinary rooftop infinity pool that invites guests to literally dive into the action and order a cocktail at the swim up bar. Siddharta Lounge By Buddha-Bar transforms from a daytime respite for lounging and relaxing amongst gorgeous views to a scene-setting hotspot when the sun goes down and the music turns up.

Trailblazing its way around the globe, with more than 50 hotels, W is defying expectations and breaking the norms of traditional luxury wherever the iconic W sign lands. With a mission to fuel guests’ lust for life, W ignites an obsessive desire to soak it in, live it up and hit repeat. The brand’s provocative design, iconic Whatever/Whenever service and buzzing Living Rooms create an experience that is often copied but never matched.

Main image credit: W Hotels

Top stories of the week: design love from Bangkok, hide and seek architecture and a new hotel chapter

800 571 Hamish Kilburn

With architecture and construction firmly in the spotlight, Hotel Designs has witnessed another jam-packed week full of interesting stories that highlights our love in design and architecture. Breaking down these headlines is editor Hamish Kilburn… 

New York, New York! Is there anywhere else on the planet quite like it? In the original metropolis where possibilities soar high above the bustling streets below, the hotel scene is staggering. It’s latest luxury neighbour is situated on 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, Times Square, and features 452 guestrooms. With four levels of public space, the hotel is, much like the area it surrounds has already done over many decades, evolving with the trends to cater to the modern man and woman.

Changing perceptions has been a theme that has stitched together this week’s headlines – and I have been fortunate enough to be the first to tell many of this week’s main features. From spending quality time in the company of interior designer Celia Chu as she prepares to complete Rosewood Bangkok, to continuing to follow Nicky Dobree on her quest to open her first hotel; it’s been a great week to be part of the industry. To top it off, we are hours away from closing the applications/nominations process for our 30 Under 30 initiative. As a young editor (26 years old), I am personally proud to support this scheme – to support young talent in our industry – with every fibre of my body.

Here are the top stories of the week:

1) EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

> Click here to read the full story

2) The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

open and airy suite with peculiar angular architecture

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. We caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

3) Six Senses joins IHG

Aerial shot of a Six Senses hotel in the ocean

Image credit: Six Senses

The milestone moment, where IHG aquired Six Senses happened on Wednesday. As part of the IHG family, Six Senses is expected to expand to 60 properties within the next 10 years. This includes incredible new Six Senses hotels and resorts from a restored 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, to villas on a private island in Cambodia, and the brand’s first hotel in North America – a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles near the High Line in Manhattan’s West Chelsea.

> Click here to read the full story

4) Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

glass structure in the woods

Image credit: treehotel

As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems.

> Click here to read the full story

5) From Concept to Completion: Restoring a 19th-century house to create Plaza 18 (part two)

Moodboard of ideas

Image credit: Nicky Dobree

In part two of our From Concept to Completion series, where we are closely following the design story of Plaza 18, Dobree’s first hotel project is beginning to take form. The building’s design is approaching the final stages before the grand reveal this Easter. Meanwhile, interior designer Nicky Dobree is able to step away from the project for five minutes – something I believe the designer is not accustomed to – in order to explain more about her relationship with the soon-to-be hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

 

W Hotels arrives on The Palm, Dubai

1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

The 350-key W Dubai – The Palm opens, complete with disruptive interiors, to design its own narrative and lead the ever-changing hospitality scene in the Middle East forward… 

“The desert just got hotter,” is how W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., announced the opening of W Dubai – The Palm, located on the Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world and one of Dubai’s most iconic attractions.

With its electrifying style, evocative design and eclectic destination restaurants, W Dubai – The Palm is the newest W Escape, the W brand’s playful spin on the traditional resort experience, is set to add a new beat to the already dynamic and pulsating city.

Guestroom overlooking Dubai

Image credit: W Hotels Worldwide

“Much like W has redefined modern luxury, Dubai is a city that is firmly in charge of writing its own narrative, fearlessly embracing the future through design, technology and global culture,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The energy and marvel of this incredible city make it the perfect destination for a W Escape – our unique take on a resort holiday – where the bold style, iconic service and signature scene of W come to play.”

“It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed.”

The dynamic design of W Dubai – The Palm celebrates the evolution of one of the most dynamic cities in the world, seamlessly juxtaposing the organic, natural curves of sand dunes and coastline with the marvel of the geometric lines of the city’s skyscrapers. It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed and the WHEELS (valet) area reminiscent of a falage, a cavernous riverbed covered by palm fronds. Leading guests into the hotel is a stunning display of Orsoni glass tiles in colors inspired by overgrown foliage which reflect the golden sun on the horizon. A head-raising, five-story atrium envelopes the Welcome Desk, a nod to desert fortresses and citadels of long ago. Golden trusses comprised of framed boxes sparkle throughout the space, representing different stages of modern construction in Dubai, a common sight of the ever-changing cityscape, and sit upon carpets that depict the island’s surrounding waters reflecting both construction and clouds. Completing the dramatic entrance is “The Soundwave” – a 6.5 ton, 30m long visual vector that represents a W sound wave. With 640 glass pieces, the towering fixture puts on a show of its own, illuminating in alternating intensities and colors to reflect the beats of the DJ in the neighboring W Lounge.

View of the pool and exterior of the building in Dubai

W Hotels Worldwide

The W Lounge (lobby) is a stage to see and be seen and celebrates the city’s well-known love of opulence with several geometric fixtures that mimic the raw, natural form of gold. An artistic interpretation of a traditional fire pit sits in the center of the W Lounge, signifying the bonfires that Bedouin tribes would gather around during their desert travels years ago. Connecting the W Lounge to the nearby VIP Lounge is a 13.5-meter sofa in muted earth tones, representing a desert mountain range – the skyscrapers of the past.

Vibrant bathrooms at W Dubai - The Palm

Image caption: Vibrant bathrooms at W Dubai – The Palm

All 350 guestrooms and suites offer uninterrupted views and dreamy amenities. Curved walls are intricately tiled to glisten like the lights and colors of the sea at various times of the day, bringing the shoreline into each room. Modern graffiti adorns the walls of every room, featuring lyrics in Arabic from an iconic song by Lebanese singer, Fairouz.

Arial perspective of a render of the W Dubai - The Palm site

Image cation: Aerial perspective of a render of the W Dubai – The Palm site

The hotel features a multiple of pools that sit in a wave-like pattern in the center of the Escape to form the W brand’s iconic WET® Deck experience, beach-facing, with views of the Dubai skyline. The W brand’s signature AWAY® Spa invites guests to ‘Stroll in and Strut out’ offering ten treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, experiential showers, a hammam and a couples’ suite. Guests are treated to a design inspired by the underwater perspective of a pearl diver, where iridescent shells reflect the sunlight that peeks through the ocean above. Lastly, guests can sweat it out at FIT (gym) which boasts state-of-the-art equipment overlooking the WET Deck, beach and skyline views, featuring abstract art inspired by the graceful forms of both jellyfish and the parachutes of adventure-seeking skydivers.

“As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist.”

W Dubai – The Palm is set to infuse even more decadence into Dubai’s booming, multicultural culinary landscape with six beverage and food destinations. Translated as “I will be right back,” Torno Sobito is the first restaurant outside of Italy by global culinary genius, Chef Massimo Bottura – whose Osteria Francescana has been feted as the “World’s Best Restaurant.” The dishes and design of Torno Subito lean in to Dubai’s reputation for all things playful. Guests dig into Massimo’s favorite bites inside converted rescue boats and pedalos (paddle boats) and can choose a flavor from the roving gelato cart. Massimo, like W, has an eye for irreverence, which is evident in the options for decadent pasta bowls ordered by size: medium and large. Guests dine in a 60’s-esque wonderland, decked with woven green chairs, life sized beachfront imagery, bold metallic accents adorning the ceilings and walls, and lighting reminiscent of dressing rooms and marquees from the golden age of Hollywood.

Torno Subito at W Dubai - The Palm

Image caption: Torno Subito at W Dubai – The Palm

“We are excited to bring the W brand to Palm Jumeirah with the highly anticipated opening of W Dubai – The Palm,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist. With game-changing style, amplified entertainment and innovative culinary offerings, this W Escape will inject a fresh vibe into the local hospitality scene and offer the most sought-after luxury getaway for locals as well as global jet-setters.”

SoBe (short for South Beach) is an adults-only playground inspired by the eclectic and vibrant spirit of Miami. This is the only rooftop bar in Dubai where guests can watch the sun sink into the Arabian Sea with 360-degree views to watch as the Dubai skyline lights up each night. Serving up eclectic live DJ performances, imaginative cocktails, and even tattoo artists, there will be nothing else like it in the city.

LIV offers guests greener, lighter, fresher and brighter options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and was designed using only upcycled materials, meaning no new materials were created to build the venue. The restaurant is sprinkled with artwork inspired by the patterns left on beaches by sand bubbler crabs, the official mascot of W Dubai – The Palm.

W Dubai – The Palm adopts a bold approach to take events from ordinary to extraordinary. Featuring more than 2,000 square meters of event space, W Dubai sets the stage for any elaborate occasion. The sprawling 1,215-square-meter Great Room boasts an extraordinary oval shape, sensually designed with rotating walls letting in (or blocking out) the dazzling Arabian sun. Custom lighting features allows W Dubai to personalize each event, lighting up the scene with a myriad of colors. The Green Room serves as a holding area for events and weddings and features light pendants reminiscent of wedding bands and carpeting adorned in henna-like patterns.

GHM prepares for grand opening of heritage resort Al Bait Sharjah, UAE

1024 506 Hamish Kilburn

The Middle Eastern hotel market continues to grow as General Hotel Management Ltd announces opening of Al Bait Sharjah…

General Hotel Management Ltd (GHM) has announced September 1, 2018 as the opening date of Al Bait Sharjah, a 53-room property that celebrates the heritage of Arabia and that will stand as GHM’s second property on the peninsula after the award-winning Chedi Muscat.

The news of the opening comes after Lodging Econometrics (LE) reported that the total Middle East pipeline has 594 projects/170,490 rooms and is up this year 23 per cent by rooms Year-Over-Year (YOY).

Developed in partnership with Shurooq (the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority), Al Bait Sharjah makes its debut with a refined level of luxury, sophistication and personalised service never experienced before in the Emirate.

As a critical building block in the region’s largest restoration project, known as ‘Heart of Sharjah’, the opening of Al Bait is a keystone in the re-establishment of Sharjah as the cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates. Paying homage to traditional Sharjah architecture, the heritage resort is rooted to the restored foundations of vintage homes that once belonged to noted Emirati families.

Image caption: Heart of Sharjah

Al Bait, meaning ‘The Home’, is carefully remodelled and designed to provide world-class hospitality services and luxurious experiences to its guests, through elements that are in harmony with culture, society, history and civilisation as well as quintessential Emirati hospitality and etiquette.

“GHM has taken the lead in pioneering luxury hospitality in the Emirate, while connecting the modern traveller to Sharjah’s rich storied past,” said Patrick Moukarzel, the resort’s general manager. “We eagerly look forward to welcoming guests to Al Bait for an experience comparable to no other.”

As GHM’s portfolio continues to expained, it remains committed to its signature Asian-inspired cutting edge design, realised in each new location according to the region’s history and traditions, with great respect for the local environment. Al Bait Sharjah, it seems, will be no exception.

 

Warwick Hotels & Resorts announce slew of new Saudi Arabian hotels

560 369 Adam Bloodworth

Warwick Hotels & Resorts will continue to expand their international portfolio, with new Saudi Arabian hotels planned.

The hotel group branched out into the Middle East in 2012. The most notable element of the new expansion will be the implementation of seven new hotels in Saudi Arabia alone: in Al Hamra Palace, Dabab Hotel, Makeen Homes, Warwick Riyadh, Salsabil by Warwick, Salsabil Residence by Warwick in Jeddah and Warwick Al Khobar on Corniche Road.

In the Middle East, Warwick have hotels in UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

“Distinct, upscale hotels”

Elsewhere, the brand have a good base in the US, Africa, the South Pacific and across Europe, with hotels in key territories including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Athens, Berlin, Bangkok and Geneva.

Warwick Hotels & Resorts describe their stays as “a collection of distinct, upscale hotels and resorts [with] central locations… An elegant and welcoming ambience makes it easy for guests to focus on work as well as play.”

“Celebrating local traditions”

“Discover our unique tales steeped in deep-rooted origins and celebrate local traditions”.

Find out more information about Warwick Hotels & Resorts by visiting the Warwick Hotels website

Jumeirah to launch new lifestyle brand in 2018

800 507 Daniel Fountain

The new year hasn’t yet arrived, but it’s already stacking up to be a consequential one for the hospitality industry, with a number of large hotel companies dedicating resources to the launch of new lifestyle brands and other initiatives.

One such example of this is Jumeirah Group, which is launching a new brand that it hopes can stand out to consumers as a lifestyle option that appeals to the “millennial minded,” the companies interim CEO Marc Dardenne has said. This new brand is slated to launch in early 2018, and when it does it will have smaller rooms but locations in key desirable areas, while also retaining a strong focus on food and beverage services. Dardenne has also said that the new brand, which has not yet been named or fully revealed, currently has three to five new projects that have already signed on to be a part of it.

Jumeirah Hotels has been around for two decades, and this recent decision to launch what will become just its second brand was inspired in part by a desire to access markets where the company already has existing properties that are under the Jumeirah name. This is far and away one of the most common motivations that large hotel companies have cited for launching additional brands, with recent examples of companies that have done this including Trump Hotels and its new Scion brand, Langham with its Langham Place brand, and Capella Hotels with Solis.

Although the lifestyle segment is becoming somewhat crowded within the global hospitality space, Jumeirah is confident that its new creation will stand out a bit from the pack, which contains many lifestyle brands that have been in this arena for 15 to 20 years old now, making them seem a bit dated to guests. Jumeirah leadership has painted its late arrival to the lifestyle segment as a great opportunity to ensure that it is able to provide some of the most modern and up to date offerings of any hotel in the space.

No star rating or category has yet been assigned to the brand, but Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts are likely above its price range, and the new brand will not be associated with Jumeirah’s loyalty program, Sirius. Leadership does, however, hope to have a little bit of association between it and the Jumeirah brand so that savvy travelers will draw a connection between the two.

www.jumeirah.com

Minor Hotels announces AVANI to debut in Oman

539 329 Daniel Fountain

Minor Hotels has signed a management agreement with Safari International Group for a new AVANI hotel to be developed in Muscat, the Omani capital.

Scheduled to open in 2020, the 250-room AVANI Musc at Hotel will be located in Seeb to the west of the city, 15 minutes’ drive from Muscat International Airport. Seeb is a prime residential area in Muscat and a key area for future development as the city grows westwards. The AVANI hotel will be connected via a sky bridge to the upcoming Al Araimi Boulevard Mall, which is currently being developed and is scheduled to open in 2018 with over 250 retail and dining outlets, a medical centre and a 10-screen cinema complex.

With a total development cost of $50 million (£37 million) by Safari International Group, the new-build hotel will open in two phases. The first phase will comprise 160 guest rooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant, an AVANI Pantry and a rooftop lounge. Additional facilities will include a swimming pool and health club and a 1,000 square metre ballroom and eight meeting rooms. The second phase, which will commence two years after the main hotel opens, will offer a total of 90 serviced apartments including studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, plus two 175 square metre three-bedroom apartments.

AVANI Muscat OmanLaunched in 2011, AVANI Hotels & Resorts currently operates 21 properties in the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, with the brand most recently debuting in both Australia and New Zealand. AVANI is a true lifestyle brand, imaginatively blending genuine hospitality and technology with savvy design and contemporary style. The AVANI experience is designed to satisfy important guest needs.

The future launch of the brand in Oman represents a key strategic addition to Minor Hotels’ portfolio in the country, following the launch of the group’s luxury Anantara brand in Oman in late 2016 with two new openings – Anantara Jabal Al Akhdar Resort located on the Saiq Plateau in the north of the country and Al Baleed Salalah Resort by Anantara in the Dhofar region in the south.

Minor Hotels currently operates 13 properties in the Middle East across four of its brands – Anantara, AVANI, Tivoli and Oaks – and has a further strong pipeline in the region across these four brands. In 2018 AVANI will launch in North Africa with the opening of AVANI Les Berges du Lac Tunis Suites in the Tunisian capital, with further pipeline properties announced in 2017 including both Mauritius and the Maldives.

Raffles Palm Jumeirah

Nakheel, AccorHotels to debut Raffles Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah

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AccorHotels has signed a management agreement with leading Dubai-based master developer Nakheel for the expansion of AccorHotels’ globally-renowned luxury brand, Raffles Hotels & Resorts.

The agreement, recognised by Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah and Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels at a signing ceremony at the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) in Cannes (France) will lead to the opening of PALM360, a spectacular two tower development on the world famous Palm Jumeirah comprising of the Raffles The Palm Dubai Hotel and Raffles Residences PALM360.

Set to open in 2021, PALM 360 will be the first beachside resort for Raffles in Dubai and the tallest structure on Palm Jumeirah. At almost 260 meters high, PALM360 will offer unobstructed views of Palm Jumeirah, the spectacular Arabian Gulf coastline and Dubai skyline. Its centrepiece will be a 155 metre long sky pool, connecting the towers 170 metres above the ground, from where guests can also enjoy these stunning, uninterrupted views from a unique vantage point.

The hotel component will offer 125 hotel rooms and suites, whilst the 359 branded residences – including 16 branded penthouses that will each have their own private infinity pool, gym and cinema – will be available for purchase.

Raffles Palm JumeirahLocated on Palm Jumeirah’s 11km crescent Boardwalk, PALM360 is close to upcoming attractions such as The Palm Promenade, The Pointe and Nakheel Mall, with Dubai’s key business and leisure hubs within easy reach. The luxury property will offer guests a distinct resort feel with direct private beach access, a specialised private beach club along with thoughtful, personal and discreet service synonymous with the Raffles brand.

PALM360 joins 16 other hotels that form part of Nakheel’s $1.3 billion (£971 million) hospitality expansion programme that is set to deliver close to 6,000 rooms and hotel apartments across Dubai. The first two hotels, at Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta Mall, opened last year, with the rest under construction or development.

Raffles The Palm Dubai and Raffles Residences PALM360 joins 11 Raffles Hotels & Resorts around the world, including Raffles Dubai. The remarkable collection of charming luxury hotels and resorts is located in many of the world’s largest cities and holiday destinations such as Paris, Istanbul and the Seychelles. Raffles properties feature distinct amenities including the Raffles Butler Service, Raffles Spa, Raffles Long Bar and Raffles Writers Bar.

www.raffles.com

Meet the Top 5-Star Hotel Brands in the Middle East

Meet the top 5-star hotel brands in the Middle East

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Forbes Middle East recently named its list of the top 5-star hotel brands in the Middle East, a group of 20 that was determined based on the status of their hotels in the region.

At the top of the list is the Swiss hospitality company, Mövenpick, which has 47 five star hotels spread throughout 10 countries in The Middle East, adding up to a total of 12,592 rooms. Mövenpick is followed by Hilton Hotels and Resorts, which has 29 hotels and 9,631 rooms spread throughout eight countries in the Middle East. In third place was Sheraton, which has a hospitality presence in 10 of the region’s countries.

Meet the Top 5-Star Hotel Brands in the Middle EastForbes reports that to formulate its list, associated researchers screened more than 800 five star hotels from 190 total brands, gathering their information primarily from those hotels’ websites as well as from some of the other major travel websites within the industry. They also determined three benchmarks to use in the ranking: the number of countries that a brand is represented in, the total number of estimated hotels and rooms, and equal weights. This list, however, did not take into account the revenue numbers that were generated by each brand, and it did not calculate the average price of the rooms there. Neither of those financial concerns were factored into this study, meaning that sheer quantity of properties and their spread were the backbone of this ranking.

Of the top 20 brands that landed on Forbes’ list, there were 375 hotels and resorts that added up to a grand total of 116,454 rooms in 17 total countries, those countries being: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Tunisia, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Palestine, and Algeria.

The three most dominant countries were no surprise, with those being Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, which is home to the red hot tourism market of Dubai, one of — if not the most — popular markets in the entire world. Hotels and resorts in those three countries take up 66.4 percent of the list, adding up to 349 total properties and 71.9 percent of total rooms, with 83,711 rooms. These are numbers that are nothing to scoff at.

The other brands represented on the list include: InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Radisson Blu, Le Meridien, Sofitel Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, and Four Seasons, among others.

www.forbesmiddleeast.com

Duravit at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Project Spotlight: Duravit at Louvre Abu Dhabi

1000 666 Daniel Fountain

Jean Nouvel has created an architectural wonder in the desert. It includes products by Duravit, designed by Philippe Starck.

A commission that was unusual even for the French star architect and Pritzker prize winner Jean Nouvel – the creation of the first all-purpose museum in the Arab world – and the first in the twenty-first century, a building that is intended to stand as a symbol for Abu Dhabi.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi was officially opened on 11 November 2017. The spectacular building on Saadiyat Island will show 300 objects on loan from thirteen leading museums in France. However, the greatest attraction is the building itself.

Duravit at Louvre Abu DhabiBetween modernity and tradition
The architecture is modern but timeless, incorporating elements from Abu Dhabi’s architectural tradition. Jean Nouvel took inspiration from an Arab medina (old town) to create a building whose domed metal roof weighs as much as the Eiffel Tower in Paris but is supported by just four columns – a technical feat that is also an aesthetic experience.

A total of fifty-five different buildings form a museum city on the island in the Gulf, covered by a huge steel roof with a diameter of 180 metres.

Passages and corridors wind their way through this cool white labyrinth, with steps up to the flat roofs of some of the building blocks to enable visitors to see the spectacular domed roof from close up. This unique design consists of almost 8,000 stars of different sizes and angles, superimposed in seven layers.

Like a roof made of overlapping palm leaves, this structure provides shade and protection from the hot desert sun. The effect is breathtaking: “It produces a poetic, almost magical rain of light,” says architect Jean Nouvel. At night the effect is reversed when the internally lit building shines like a miniature night sky.

In the white bathrooms the works of another French architect and designer are on show: Starck 1 toilets by Philippe Starck.
Copyright: © Danica O. Kus

Nouvel, Starck and Picasso
In the white bathrooms the works of another French architect and designer are on show: toilets by Philippe Starck, designed for Duravit. Starck was also inspired by tradition in his design of the toilet. The Starck 1 toilet recalls its historical predecessor, a bucket – interpreted in a completely new way, of course.

Jean Nouvel’s building occupies a site of almost 100,000 square metres, with 8,600 square metres of exhibition space, including 6,400 for the permanent exhibition and 2,000 for temporary exhibitions. The first exhibition will feature Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Belle Ferronnière”, a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh and works by Pablo Picasso.

Images: ©Danica O. Kus

Renaissance Hotels opens doors in Dubai

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Located in the thriving Business Bay district, which was recently listed in Lonely Planet’s ‘10 of the World’s coolest neighborhoods to visit right now,’ the new Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai boasts 298 guestrooms, including 65 sprawling suites. Inspiring a sense of spontaneous discovery at every turn, the latest in the brand’s portfolio set the stage for inspiring stories that are worth retelling.

“The spectacular new Renaissance Downtown Hotel in Dubai is a highly anticipated addition to our rapidly growing portfolio in the region,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “With its artful design, vibrant and eclectic dining scene and engaging experiences, the hotel embraces the spirit of Dubai as a one-of-a-kind destination and Renaissance as a global lifestyle brand that inspires guests to discover something wonderfully new every time they travel. We are confident it will soon emerge as the newest lifestyle destination for global travelers as well as local residents.”

Raw yet Refined: Renaissance’s Dramatic Design Shows a Different Side of Dubai
Led by the renowned interior firm WA International, the hotel’s design thrives from stark contrasts created through materiality, different textures and a dynamic color palette. Inspired by the fluidity of Dubai’s iconic sand dunes, matte hues of black and gold are woven throughout the public spaces and guestrooms – seemingly in motion when seen through pebbled glass and unfinished mirrored surfaces.

Upon arrival, a metallic art installation depicting the dynamic cityscape of Dubai takes center-stage. Overhead, an impressive hand-blown glass chandelier spans the length of the lobby, enticing guests to explore further. Floor to ceiling golden chains frame unpolished concrete at check-in, while a walk through the lobby reveals natural wood finishes, exposed ironwork beams, and an unexpected warmth fueled by the open fireplace.

Inspired Accommodations Provide a License to Play
Every moment thoughtfully-designed to tell a story: installations above each corridor appear as golden waves connoting the desert as wind passes through, juxtapose the wall coverings that have a dry and cracked effect. Each of the 298 spectacular guestrooms and suites boast floor to ceiling windows, allowing natural light and creating playful shadows against hues of deep blue and pale greys. The sumptuous fabrics, sandy color leather accents and natural wood finishes complement the matte gold and metal hardware that theatrically changes throughout the day with the movement of natural light.

Guests are greeted by a close-up black and white photograph of a camel smirking; and above the bed, Pablo Picasso’s famed camel sketch is reimagined into a cheeky, 3D iron rod sculpture – both playful jests to reframe your stay.

World-Acclaimed Chefs Set the Stage for Culinary Excellence
Culinary outlets at Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai – BHAR, Grounded, BASTA!, Bleu Blanc and Morimoto Dubai – are set to become highlights of the city’s prominent and bustling food scene.

  • A contemporary dining experience offering indigenous Middle Eastern cuisine and shared dining atmosphere, BHAR, the Arabic word for spice, is designed to awaken the senses and will debut as the hotel opens its doors. Alongside the opening of BHAR, Grounded will serve as the hotel’s premiere coffee shop with unique brewing methods from a variety of international beans.
  • Launching in November, BASTA! and Bleu Blanc are two new contemporary concepts by David Myers. Bleu Blanc is a Southern French farmhouse-inspired restaurant where a large, wood-fired grill area takes centre stage, offering guests the chance of an up-close and personal chef’s table experience. BASTA! transports diners to an urban interpretation of a Roman trattoria, Florentine steakhouse and Neapolitan pizzeria, reflecting David’s personal travel memories from these regions. Both venues will showcase beverage programs designed by world-renowned mixologist Sam Ross.
  • Opening in December, Morimoto Dubai will display internationally acclaimed celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto’s contemporary Japanese cuisine, infusing traditional dishes with Western ingredients and preparation methods. The restaurant’s expansive space will include three private dining rooms and terraces with undisturbed views of the Burj Khalifa.

In December, the hotel will also open the first of its kind, all-suite spa concept from renowned Six Senses. With a design rooted heritage of balancing all of the senses, Six Senses Spa will feature six treatment suites that are each dedicated to a different sense – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and intuition – to offer the perfect balance of calm and sensory experiences in the bustling downtown area.

Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai will feature all of the brand’s unique experiences, including Evenings at Renaissance where guests can connect, socialize, and experience the locale through nightly programming. For the true social discoverer, the hotel’s Navigators will help guests experience the neighborhood’s soul by highlighting hidden gems and handpicked local discoveries.

For more information about Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, visit www.renhotels.com/dubai and for more about the brand’s upcoming events visit www.renhotels.com/events.

Showcase: EDITION launching 8 hotels in 2018

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SHANGHAI | BODRUM | TIMES SQUARE | BARCELONA | BANGKOK | ABU DHABI | WEST HOLLYWOOD

With seven new properties scheduled to launch across three continents, and many more in the pipeline, 2018 will mark a pivotal moment for EDITION.

Created through a ground-breaking partnership between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and the global hospitality powerhouse Marriott International, the EDITION brand is slated to grow exponentially from a collection of four to eleven properties by the end of 2018.

2018 is expected to see EDITION firmly positioned as the travel industry’s first truly global luxury lifestyle hotel brand. With each hotel distinctive in its own right, EDITION will continue to break new ground and take the hospitality industry into bold, uncharted areas. Its timeless design, uncompromising quality, true originality and impeccable modern service, has defined the boutique hotel category.

Following The Sanya EDITION’s launch in December 2016, EDITION’s Asian presence is scheduled to expand with two additional properties launching in Shanghai and Bangkok in 2018. In addition, the brand’s second and third European hotels are set for launch in Bodrum and Barcelona. EDITION will launch its first outpost in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, whilst EDITION’s plans to increase its US presence with two properties located in New York’s Times Square and West Hollywood.

The brand’s rapid expansion is expected to continue with the addition of nine further hotel launches planned across five continents by 2020, reaching a 20-strong property portfolio by the end of the decade and many more to come.

The Shanghai EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Shanghai EDITION, to be located at the northeast corner of Nanjing Road East and Henan Road in Puxi, West of Huangpu River and just a 5 minute walk from The Bund, is a unique combination of two separate towers featuring 147 guest rooms. The hotel’s design includes 10 levels of public space including 5 meeting studios and 2 forums, totalling to over 2,800 sq. ft. Food and beverage outlets include a signature Japanese restaurant on the 23rd floor, a Cantonese dining venue featuring 5 private dining rooms, an all-day dining venue, a lobby bar, a member’s club bar with a screening room, an indoor nightlife venue and a rooftop bar. www.editionhotels.com/shanghai

The Shanghai EDITIONThe Bodrum EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Bodrum EDITION will be located just 3 kilometers from Plamarina in Yalikavak at the western point of the Bodrum peninsula. The hotel features 99 guest rooms, suites and villas all with views of the Aegean Sea — some with private pools, balconies and gardens. The hotel’s design includes an infinity pool, garden lounge, state-of-the art spa facilities with Turkish Hammam and fitness centre, kids’ club and an exclusive beach club with jetty that houses private cabanas. Unique food and beverage outlets include a library bar, gourmet specialty grill overlooking the bay, night club, and an all-day dining venue. The hotel also has over 4,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space including meeting studios, a ballroom and boardroom. www.editionhotels.com/bodrum

The Bodrum EDITIONThe Times Square EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Times Square EDITION, to be located at 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, features 457 guest rooms with four levels of public space including a 5,000 sq. ft. performance venue, a 1,900 sq. ft. meeting studio, state-of-the-art fitness centre and a lobby lounge at check in level. The hotel also boasts distinctive food and beverage outlets including a signature restaurant leading out onto a 5,800 sq. ft. beer garden and event deck overlooking Times Square, and an all-day dining venue also featuring terraces with views of Times Square. www.editionhotels.com/times-square

The Barcelona EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
The Barcelona EDITION will be located in the Ciutat Vella District on the edge of El Born District, only 15 minutes from the beach. The hotel features 100 guest rooms, a signature restaurant, lobby bar/café., Sky bar, swimming pool and state-of-the-art fitness centre and a night club. www.editionhotels.com/barcelona

The Barcelona EDITIONThe Bangkok EDITION
LAUNCHING MID 2018
Known as Thailand’s tallest building, The Bangkok EDITION will be located along Naratiwat Road, close to North Sathorn Road junction. The hotel features 155 guest rooms and 5 levels of public space, offering over 5,500 sq. ft. of combined meeting space including a boardroom, main function room and outdoor banquet terrace. Food and beverage outlets include two signature restaurants, a lobby bar and pool bar. A pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa with 4 treatment rooms will also be available for hotel guests. www.editionhotels.com/bangkok

The Bangkok EDITIONThe Abu Dhabi EDITION
LAUNCHING LATE 2018
The Abu Dhabi EDITION will be situated in the downtown district on the waterfront of Al Bateen in the Abu Dhabi Marina. The hotel features 244 guest rooms and 57 exclusive residences. Unique food and beverage outlets include 2 signature restaurants, a gourmet market, lobby bar, tea lounge, pool bar and 3-story nightclub. A pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa with 7 treatment rooms are also available for hotel guests. The hotel also has over 107k sq. ft. of meeting and event space including several meeting studios, ballrooms and boardrooms. www.editionhotels.com/abu-dhabi

The West Hollywood EDITION
LAUNCHING LATE 2018
The West Hollywood EDITION, to be located at 9040 West Sunset Boulevard on the east corner of West Sunset Blvd. and North Doheny Drive, features 190 guest rooms, 20 luxury residences and over 5,200 sq. ft. of meeting space. Food and beverage outlets include a signature restaurant, a lobby lounge, rooftop venue and a nightclub/bar. Also available will be a rooftop pool/pool deck and a 4-treatment room spa. http://www.editionhotels.com/west-hollywood/

www.editionhotels.com

Bulgari Dubai resort

Bulgari Hotels & Resorts announces Dubai resort

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Bulgari Hotels & Resorts will open its Dubai Resort on Thursday 7th December 2017; an urban oasis on Jumeirah Bay.

This newest addition to the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts collection is the fifth in the group, following on from the most recently launched Bulgari Hotel Beijing, which opened in September 2017. It joins a growing portfolio of properties around the world, which began with the inaugural Bulgari Hotel Milan in 2004, Bulgari Resort Bali in 2006 and Bulgari Hotel London in 2012, and will be followed by Shanghai in early 2018, and then Moscow in 2020.

As with all Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, the hotel was designed by renowned Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. Both the interiors and exteriors have been created with the same detail and precision of a Bulgari jewel: pairing rare, raw materials according to colour, texture and feel, and sculpting them into objects of enduring beauty. Styled with European inspired boulevards, illuminated gardens and pools, it blends Mediterranean landscaping with the natural surroundings of the shores of the Arabian Gulf.

Embracing a maritime theme, customising the resort to echo its unique island home, luscious Italian marble has been used along with coral inspired exteriors to truly epitomise the ocean surroundings. Meanwhile, in the spirit of integral designs dating back to the 1930s, the architects hand-selected or custom-designed every element for consistency, comfort and purity, allowing the hotel’s design to maintain an uncompromisingly Italian style, while simultaneously incorporating the uniqueness of its destination, exuding timeless glamour. Each piece, from the marble bathtubs to the sculpted door handles, hail from the finest quality materials and is incorporated in a unified, seamless fashion.

The resort includes 101 hotel rooms and suites and 20 hotel villas, all exquisitely furnished with the highest quality Italian luxury furniture brands such as Maxalto, Flos, Fexform and others, in an expression of the quality of ‘Made in Italy’. All rooms and suites have expansive views over the breathtaking Dubai skyline or the Arabian Gulf, with large balconies to truly soak up the magnificent scenery.

Four Seasons Mecca

Four Seasons to open hotel in Mecca

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Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Jabal Omar Development Company (JODC), a leading developer in the Middle East, have announced plans for a new Four Seasons hotel in the Holy City of Mecca as part of the Jabal Omar integrated real estate development.

Four Seasons Hotel Mecca will be the company’s second location in Saudi Arabia, joining Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre in offering the most luxurious accommodations and personalised service in the region.

Award-winning architectural firm Foster + Partners was chosen following an international design competition for this prestigious project. Impressive in appearance and deeply thoughtful in its concept, the multi-towered building atop a retail podium cascades down toward the Grand Mosque, seamlessly integrating its public spaces into the Haram. An innovative design allows clear views of the Kaaba from every guest room and suite, each of which will feature one or more private prayer rooms. In total, there will be approximately 375 guest rooms and suites, plus approximately 90 Four Seasons Private Residences.

Additional features of the Hotel include three restaurants and lounges, a ballroom and meeting rooms, and a spa and fitness centre. The Hotel will also offer special facilities and programs for families.

The Orient Jerusalem

The Orient Jerusalem debuts on historic German Templar Society site

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Isrotel, Israel’s leading hotel chain, debuts The Orient Jerusalem, their only property located within the country’s capital city.

The property marks the latest addition to the brand’s Exclusive Collection, which is solely comprised of five star hotels (Cramim, Beresheet, Carmel Forest Spa Resort, Royal Beach Tel Aviv, and Royal Beach Eilat).

The Orient Jerusalem
Positioned in Western-Jerusalem’s storied German Colony, one of the city’s most vibrant, upscale, and sought-after neighbourhoods, The Orient Jerusalem sits at a crossroads of culture, entertainment, and leisure. The property is a mere 20 minutes from the heart of Jerusalem’s prized Old City and is just steps away from HaTachana, the city’s first-ever train station (built in 1892) which has since transformed into a lively district of designer boutiques, trendy cafes, chef-driven restaurants, and unique galleries.

The Orient Jerusalem

An amalgamation of old and new and a junction of East and West, the hotel itself comprises of 243 beautifully-appointed guestrooms and suites in its newly constructed central building, as well as a selection of accommodations inside two expertly preserved Templar Buildings from 1882 and 1883.

www.isrotel.com/orient

Kleindienst Group Launches The Floating Venice underwater resort in The World Islands, Dubai

World’s first underwater luxury resort to launch in Dubai

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Kleindienst Group has launched The Floating Venice, the world’s first underwater luxury vessel resort at Cityscape Global. Valued at £512 million, The Floating Venice will be located in The World islands, 4km offshore from Dubai and will bring an authentic Venetian experience to the Middle East.

This unique floating resort has a capacity of up to 3,000 guests daily, with accommodation, restaurants and recreation split over 4 decks, one of which is underwater. Guests will arrive by boat, seaplane or helicopter to the main Piazza San Marco where they can check-in at the underwater lobby. Gondola’s imported from Venice will transport guests to their cabins through the winding canals, or alternatively a short stroll through canal side walkways and bridges will take them to their awaiting cabins.

There will be a range of 414 bespoke cabins arranged over 4 decks, one of which is underwater giving spectacular views of the coral reefs below and passing gondola above. A plethora of elegant boutique hospitality spots and traditional artisanal shops will bring the Venetian experience to life.

Throughout the year The Floating Venice will be a celebration of culture and the arts, where traditional festivals such as Carnivale di Venezia, Binnale di Venezia and Festa del Rendentore will bring the resort alive with the flair and heritage of Venice.

The Floating Venice offers an unrivalled experience for guests where they can relax in one of 24 pools, some of which will have acrylic bases giving amazing views of the coral reefs below. Over 400,000 sq ft of corals will be planted around The Floating Venice from our own on-site coral nursery which will encourage an abundance of sea life. 12 unique floating beaches set against the stunning backdrop of the Dubai skyline are scattered throughout The Floating Venice.

A collection of 12 restaurants and bars offer a variety of entertainment, 3 of which are underwater giving spectacular vistas of the dazzling marine life. Alternatively, the world’s first floating underwater spa awaits to pamper.

DoubleTree by Hilton - Business Bay - Dubai

DoubleTree by Hilton opens latest Dubai property

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DoubleTree by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 14 market-leading brands, has announced the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay. The modern hotel features 238 spacious guest rooms and suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views of the Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai or Bay Square.

It joins two other DoubleTree by Hilton properties already open in the city and eight DoubleTree by Hilton properties open across the Middle East.

DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay is located in Bay Square, a low rise community square surrounded by shops, cafes and local businesses. The hotel is ideally located between ‘old’ and ‘new’ parts of the city, allowing guests to experience all the city has to offer.

“Dubai is a fast-growing, cosmopolitan city that offers visitors a range of activities, from shopping in the modern malls, to watching a performance at the opera, to abra rides on the creek,” said Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “As the first and only hotel in Bay Square, DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay is ideal for travellers seeking accomodation in this popular new destination. We look forward to welcoming guests with something special at every stage of their stay, starting with our signature, warm DoubleTree cookie upon arrival.”

Swiss-Belhotel announces opening of group’s first 5-star Jordan property

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Swiss-Belhotel International has announced the opening of Grand Swiss-Belresort Tala Bay Aqaba, the group’s first 5-star in Jordan following the completion of the hotel’s rebranding. Part of the massive Tala Bay development, the beautiful 336-room beachfront property is located on the Red Sea with 80 per cent of the rooms facing the marina.

Mr Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International, said: “Grand Swiss-Belresort Tala Bay Aqaba is now fully integrated into our global system following the brand conversion.

Swiss Belhotel - Grand Swiss-Belresort Tala Bay AqabaIn addition to outstanding accommodation, Grand Swiss-Belresort Tala Bay Aqaba boasts exceptional dining and leisure facilities including three specialty restaurants and a beach bar, five swimming pools, kids club, and exciting water sports and recreation activities.”

JPTD is a publicly listed company that owns, develops and operates the unique Red Sea destination of Tala Bay Aqaba.

Mr. Ziad Abu Jaber Chairman of JPTD, stated: “We are eager to capitalise on Swiss-Belhotel International”s expertise and excellence in managing world-class hotels catering to varied market segments, and delighted to see the progress at Grand Swiss-Belresort Tala Bay Aqaba.”

Poli House – experimental luxury meets Tel Aviv design

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The Poli House is a 40-room “experimental luxury” property harnessing the essence of Tel Aviv’s past, present and future and dressed with interior designs by world renowned industrial designer Karim Rashid, located in the epicentre of Tel Aviv’s cultural core.

Housed in a Bauhaus architecture-style building meticulously restored over a three-year-period by Nitza Szmuk, recipient of the prestigious Emet Prize for her extensive work on preserving and restoring buildings in Tel Aviv, was called upon to spearhead the restoration, conservation as well as execute the new design plans for this stunning architectural marvel.

The Poli House boasts warm and clean yellow, blue, green and white interiors created exclusively by world-renowned industrial designer/architect Karim Rashid. The Poli House’s homage to 1930’s Tel Aviv, tech-savvy design elements, health and style-conscious amenities and proximity to the Carmel Market and Mediterranean promenade combine for an unwavering leisure-soaked property unlike any other in the White City.

Rashid explains the rationale behind his signature motif, a fantastic melange of whimsical, futuristic interior design embodied by The Poli House as follows: “We usually only look to the past for inspiration, but the mentality of Tel Aviv is very contemporary, focusing less on the past and looking forward to the future. The Poli House embodies just that. I tried to embrace that Tel Aviv spirit, energy and love of life into the function of the hotel, turning an emotion into a tangible form through colors and graphics.

“My design for Poli House has a great duality about it. The hotel is a marriage of Bauhaus & Digital Age, form & function, crafts & fine arts, digital & organic. The simplicity of the architecture is juxtaposed with digitally-driven ornamentation and form. I imagined the Bauhaus in the 21st. Century, having a universal language that crosses borders and connects all of us. Tel Aviv is that kind of city, with every culture integrated. This pristine White City building is juxtaposed with a digipop aura, the day in which we live,” he adds.

HGI Ras Al Khaimah Entrance

Hilton Garden Inn opens in Ras Al Khaimah

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Hilton Garden Inn and RAK National Hotels have announced the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Ras Al Khaimah, marking the brand’s entry into the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates. The hotel joins five other Hilton properties operating in the Emirate and 22 across the UAE.

Located in the heart of the Al Nakheel area, just steps from two major shopping malls and minutes from the souks and historical sites of the old city, Hilton Garden Inn Ras Al Khaimah features 240 modern and comfortable guest rooms, including 10 family rooms and eight suites, with sweeping city, creek and garden views.

Hilton Garden Inn Ras Al Khaimah guests will be treated to numerous amenities and services, including complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property, a 24-hour business centre, two tennis courts and a state-of-the-art fitness centre open all day. The property also offers an outdoor pool, a separate shaded pool for children, and access to the beach facilities at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa via complimentary shuttle.

For conferences and other events, Hilton Garden Inn Ras Al Khaimah can accommodate up to 400 guests in more than 500 square meters of flexible meeting space, including a 380 square meter pillar-less ballroom that can be separated into three meeting rooms, along with two large pre-function areas and three outdoor garden venues. The hotel’s meeting space also features four small and medium sized meeting rooms.

Each guest room and suite boasts the brand’s signature bedding featuring fresh, white duvets and crisp linens; a spacious and clutter-free work desk with an ergonomic desk chair; and an in-room “hospitality center” with a mini fridge.

Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait

Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya opening mid-2017

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In anticipation of its opening later this year, the all-new Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya is now confirming arrivals as of 1 September, 2017.

Located in one of the city’s most architecturally striking buildings in the heart of its government and business areas, the Hotel will welcome international business travellers, weekend getaways and local clientele with its chic dining options and extensive event space.

Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait“It’s an exciting time as we prepare to introduce Four Seasons signature luxury and personalised service to Kuwait for the first time,” says General Manager Didier Jardin, who leads a team of 415 handpicked staff of 40 different nationalities. “Whether in town to do business or enjoy an urban getaway, Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait is set to become the focal point for both the city’s elite and our international guests.”

The glamorous new centrepiece of Kuwait City, all-new Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait is part of an impressive, modern two-tower mixed-use complex on Al Soor Street, offering a new experience in luxury just 20 minutes from the international airport. The location is convenient for business travellers, with easy access to leisure pursuits including shopping at Souk Al Mubarakiya and Kuwait’s largest luxury shopping mall, as well as important sites such as Kuwait Towers, the Sheikh Jaber Cultural Centre and the Kuwait National Museum.

Four Seasons Hotel KuwaitThe hotel features include 284 guest rooms and suites, five restaurant and lounge concepts, the city’s most elegant and well-equipped event spaces, and numerous leisure facilities, including a two-storey spa and fitness centre, and indoor and outdoor pools.

www.fourseasons.com/kuwait

Hilton Bahrain

Hilton Hotels sign agreement for Hilton Bahrain Bay Hotel & Residences

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At a meeting in Dubai attended by Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta and Mohammed Alshaya, Chairman of KFCD and Mabanee Company, the two parties confirmed an agreement to open Bahrain’s first Hilton Hotels & Resorts property. The 210 room Hilton Bahrain Bay Hotel & Residences will be located at The Avenues in Manama – a major retail and leisure destination scheduled to open later this year.

Hilton Bahrain Bay Hotel & Residences will be directly attached to The Avenues, Bahrain. Phase 1 of the development will offer a wide choice of leading retail and restaurant brands covering 40,000 sqm of GLA which is due to open in the last quarter of 2017. A second Phase will add a further 30,000sqm of GLA. The site is located on the waterfront of Bahrain Bay.

Hotel guests at Hilton Bahrain Bay Hotel & Residences will have direct access to the world class retail and entertainment offered at The Avenues, as well as the new 1.5km stretch of the Corniche, created to provide recreational and family-friendly facilities on the waterfront. The property will also benefit from direct links to both King Faisal Highway and Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Causeway, enabling ease of access to international visitors arriving at Bahrain International Airport or on the Causeway system linking Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.

Carlos Khneisser, Vice President, Development, Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, Hilton said: “We are continuing to sustain rapid growth across the GCC under a range of brands and all these hotels represent quality locations and valuable additions to our portfolio. Working in strong partnership with owners such as KFCD and Mabanee, on a continued basis allows us to expand more quickly and more strategically. We look forward to working together on identifying further opportunities, as well as progressing the projects we are already developing together.”

Construction of the 210 guest room property is already underway and once completed it will consist of 150 apartments and 60 studio suites. Guests will be able to enjoy four distinct stand-alone dining outlets, a swimming pool, spa and fitness facilities. It is expected that the hotel will be completed and to welcome its first guests in early 2020.

Hilton Bahrain Bay Hotel & Residences joins a pipeline of 120 properties for Hilton in the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey. The company boasts the largest active pipeline in the GCC of any hotel company, with over 16,000 rooms under construction.

Rotana at ATM 2017

ATM 2017: Rotana showcasing its upcoming properties

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Rotana, one of the leading hotel management companies in the region with hotels across the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, will showcase its key upcoming properties at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017, the region’s premier travel and tourism event which takes place in Dubai from 24 – 27 April.

Rotana is preparing to open 17 new properties before the end of 2018, adding more than 4,500 keys to the company’s existing room count.

Key Rotana properties that will be on display at the high-profile exhibition includes Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas – a luxurious five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi set to open in the fourth quarter of 2017 on Saadiyat Beach. Featuring 354 upscale rooms and suites in addition to 13 private beach villas, the luxury resort will be the 15th Rotana property to open in the capital of the UAE.

Rotana - ATM 2017Visitors to the Rotana stand at ATM 2017 will also receive a glimpse into the traditional charm of The Cove Rotana Resort, a spectacular property located on an idyllic water inlet on the Ras Al Khaimah beachfront. Currently undergoing large-scale refurbishment, the Extension is due to open its doors in Q2 2017.

Rotana recently made its long-awaited debut in Africa with the opening of the five-star Kin Plaza Arjaan by Rotana in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Africa is a key focus market for Rotana and the company currently has a number of projects under various stages of development across the continent including Marrakesh, Luanda, Nouakchott, Dar es Salaam and Lagos.

Rotana is also looking to strengthen its presence in Turkey by adding two more hotels in Istanbul. With the scheduled opening of the inter-connected properties under “Centro by Rotana” and “Arjaan hotel apartments by Rotana” brands in Q4 2017, the company will add a combined 305 rooms to its inventory while taking its total number of operating properties in Turkey to four hotels.

Rotana - ATM 2017Even as it pushes into new markets and keeps extending its geographical reach, Rotana continues with its aggressive expansion plans in the GCC, with a total of four new hotels set to open in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia this year alone – adding 888 keys to the company’s existing supply of 969 rooms in the Kingdom – and two hotels to open in Qatar by 2019.

In the coming two years, Rotana will open six properties in its home market of UAE, where the hospitality industry is projected to sustain its steady upward trajectory despite global challenges, with both Dubai and Abu Dhabi set to witness an increase in visitor numbers. Leisure travellers are expected to account for a 60% share of total visitor arrivals in Dubai in 2017, with business travellers making up the remaining 40%, while the comparative ratio for Abu Dhabi is projected at 60% business travellers vs. 40% leisure travellers. Rotana has been aggressively reaching out to new markets such as Poland and the Czech Republic to support the leisure segment in the UAE.

In total, Rotana will open 12 new hotels in 2017, and five more in 2018. Property opening in Q2 2017 includes Erbil Arjaan by Rotana, Kurdistan, Iraq (168 keys). Those launching in Q3 2017 include: Centro Waha, Riyadh, KSA (290 keys); Sundus Rotana, Muscat, Oman (215 keys); Pearl Rotana, Abu Dhabi, UAE (315 keys); Centro Salama, Jeddah, KSA (189 keys), and Al Bandar Rotana and Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, Dubai, UAE (280 keys). In Q4 2017, Rotana will be launching: Centro Istanbul and Arjaan Istanbul by Rotana, Istanbul, Turkey (305 keys); Centro Olaya, Riyadh, KSA (156 keys); Centro Corniche, Al Khobar, KSA (253 keys); Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Abu Dhabi, UAE (340 keys). This will be followed by five openings in 2018: Sulaymaniyah Rotana, Kurdistan, Iraq (240 keys); Rayhaan Imam Reza by Rotana, Mashhad, Iran (272 keys); Al Jaddaf Rotana in Dubai, UAE (338 keys), Sundus Arjaan by Rotana, Muscat, Oman (102 keys), and Beach Arjaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi, UAE (326 keys).

Louvre Hotels

ATM 2017: Louvre Hotels announces future growth strategy

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Louvre Hotels Group, one of the largest hospitality groups in the world, continues to shape its wider growth strategy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Louvre Hotels is looking ahead to the opening of 10 new hotels in MENA by the end of 2017, which will add 1,600 keys to its current room inventory, exceeding the 11,000 milestone. In 2016 alone, Louvre launched 12 properties in key markets including UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Tunisia and Lebanon and expects to open no less than 10 hotels per year leading up to 2020 and beyond.

Louvre Hotels has a collection of six brands including Première Classe, Campanile, Kyriad, Tulip Inn, Golden Tulip and Royal Tulip. In 2017, the group is confirmed to open 10 new hotels ranging from upscale five star to midscale three stars such as :

– Royal Tulip The Act, Sharjah, UAE (180 rooms): Opened in January 2017
– Golden Tulip Ruwi Muscat, Oman (118 rooms): Opening Q2, 2017
– Tulip Inn Downtown Muscat, Oman (180 rooms): Opening Q2 2017
– Golden Tulip Sousse Palace Hotel & Spa Tunisia (250 rooms): Opening Q2, 2017
– Golden Tulip Regency Monastir Hotel & Spa Tunisia (200 rooms): Opening Q2, 20170
– Golden Tulip Palmeraie Tozeur Tunisia (100 rooms): Opening Q2, 2017
– Golden Tulip Doha, Qatar (198 rooms): Opening Q3, 2017
– Tulip Inn Algier Airport, Algeria (91 rooms): Opening Q3, 2017
– Tulip Inn Modon Jeddah, KSA (123 rooms): Opening Q4,2017
– Royal Tulip Korbous Resort Tunisia (167 rooms): Opening Q4, 2017

Louvre HotelsIn keeping with the evolving needs of guests seeking affordable yet modern and fresh hospitality options, the group’s long-term expansion plans in the region will additionally see the opening of budget and midscale properties under its Campanile and Première Classe brands. Such focus on the budget friendly segment will add 40 hotels and 5,000 additional rooms to its existing portfolio by 2020 – reinforcing the group’s position as one of the largest hospitality players in the MENA region with a total room inventory of 20,000.

“Our commitment to actively expanding our footprint in the Middle East and North Africa region underscores the importance we believe the region holds in our future growth as one of the leading hospitality brands. Owing to its strategic geographic location as a trade corridor that connects the East and West, the region holds tremendous potential for increased business and leisure-related travel and tourism prospects from around the globe. Therefore, we see the region as one of our strongest growth markets that will continue to play a significant role in our expansion plans in the years to come,” said Amine E. Moukarzel, President, Louvre Hotels Group MENA.

“With the evolution of customer needs and their emphasis on value driven experiential travel, our mid market brands are a natural fit for todays traveler. We have placed experiences at the core of our global strategy and plans are already in place to introduce Campanile, our economy lifestyle brand in the region; with the first property under this modern fresh mid-market brand set to open in Kuwait by late 2019. In addition, we are looking ahead to bringing our mid-scale three to four-star brand, Kyriad, to the UAE and Oman with four properties planned across Dubai and Salalah,” Moukarzel added.

Earlier this year, Louvre Hotels Group also cemented its position in the Asian hospitality sector by becoming the leading hotel group in India with over 90 hotels under its stewardship following the group’s acquisition of a majority stake in Sarovar Hotels, the largest independent Indian hotel chain in terms of hotels and presence.

“Our continued expansion in MENA along with our strengths in Asia as the largest players in India and China enables us to build one of the strongest networks of hotels and brands across key business and leisure destinations around the world. Through our fast-expanding international footprint, we look forward to giving more choice to our growing community of loyal global consumers while further strengthening our focus on the Middle East as the central hub connecting our guests from the East and West.” he concluded.

www.louvrehotels.com/en

Marriott-Starwood merger

Marriott International reveals future of brand portfolio across Middle East and Africa

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Marriott International continues to strengthen its position across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, with projected growth across 38 countries and 150,000 rooms, operational and pipeline, by 2022. The new additions will bolster Marriott International’s existing collection of 247 hotels and 54,000 rooms in 30 countries across the region.

The completion of the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016 now positions Marriott International as the world’s leading hotel company. The company now offers the broadest portfolio of brands in the MEA region, combining Starwood’s leading lifestyle brands and international footprint with Marriott International’s strong presence in the luxury and select-service tiers, as well as the convention and resort segment. Each brand has been classified into luxury, premium or select categories, with the luxury brands forming a standalone group.

The recently created luxury brands group currently features six brands across the region, including JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W Hotels, and The Luxury Collection. A remarkable 15 new luxury brand properties with 3,500 rooms are set to open across the region between now and the end of 2018.

Further adding and strengthening to this luxury lifestyle offering, Marriott’s scheduled 2017 openings include the 200-room Bulgari Resort and Residences Dubai, 257-room Edition Abu Dhabi, 280-room W Amman Hotel in Jordan, and The St. Regis Cairo, all set to open by the fourth quarter of this year. Globally, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and JW Marriott brands are classified as ‘classic luxury’, while the other five brands fall under ‘distinctive luxury’.

Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director of Marriott International, Middle East & Africa, said: “The guests we see visiting our hotels today are looking for authenticity and personalization within their experiences. The unmatched breadth and depth of Marriott International’s brand portfolio uniquely positions us to cater to the increased demand of the rapidly-expanding cadre of affluent travellers.”

“With luxury travel continuing to grow across the region, we see a steep growth curve at the high-end and have a world-class, dedicated luxury structure in place to nurture and strengthen this coveted portfolio of eight diverse luxury brands. Our aim is to ensure that our award-winning brands continue to flourish while safe-guarding the uniqueness and prestige of our luxury brands as we carefully grow them across the Middle East and Africa.”

Traveling well beyond tried and true locations, to destinations from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, and all points in between, travellers look to Marriott International for authentic experiences whether it’s business or luxury travel. The unmatched variety and regional nature of these hotels means Marriott International can offer truly differentiated offerings – from The Nile Ritz Carlton in Cairo to Marriott Hotel Al Forsan Abu Dhabi which openedin March, 2017.

Marriott has carefully defined each of its brands and their distinct offerings under luxury, premium and select to offer different experiences to guests. Premium brands including Marriott Hotels and Sheraton anchor the portfolio and provide a broad array of choices across the Middle East and Africa for business and leisure travel while evolving lifestyle brands such as Westin, Autograph Collection and Renaissance occupy the distinctive premium brand category.

New, fun, accessible experiences at Courtyard Hotels, Four Points, Protea, AC Hotels, and Aloft Hotels add to the select portfolio, ensuring Marriott International guests have whatever they want, wherever they are in the world.

“When we think about any of our brands, we start with the consumer and look at what they value,” added Kyriakidis. “With Marriott Hotels, this consumer is really looking for experiences that keep the mind balanced, sharp and inspired. And for Aloft Hotels, it’s really about urban-inspired spaces and vibrant social scenes for the next-generation traveller.”

Marriott International continues to strengthen its position across the Middle East and Africa region, with a remarkable 29 new properties set to open in 2017 with a total of 6815 rooms. The openings will see the hotel operator expand its Middle East footprint by 15 properties across the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, including the Bulgari, Renaissance, The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Hotels, Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton brands.

The company has also announced further growth to its African pipeline with the opening of 14 new properties under the Courtyard by Marriott, JW by Marriott, Protea Hotels by Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Four Points by Sheraton, and Element brands.

At present, Marriott International is building bridges among its three loyalty programmes; Marriott Rewards, SPG and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards combined now counts for 100 Million members. On the day the acquisition closed, members were immediately able to link their accounts to have their status matched and transfer an unlimited amount of points among the programs, resulting in all members now having more access to more diversity in more destinations.

Mondrian Doha

sbe opening first Middle East hotel with Mondrian Doha

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A leading privately-held lifestyle hospitality company, sbe, will open its first hotel in the Middle East with the launch of Mondrian Doha, Qatar this spring. This soft opening will set the stage for Mondrian Doha’s grand opening celebration, which follows in late September 2017 and promises to be an outstanding showcase of the property.

The lavish 270-room hotel has been designed in collaboration with world-renowned Dutch designer, Marcel Wanders, along with South West Architecture – the architectural company of record for Mondrian Doha, responsible for the design of the building. The hotel will be Marcel Wanders’ first hotel for the region. Guests can choose from five distinctive room categories including penthouse suites, studio suites, one and two bedroom suites and a range of standard guestrooms – all of which share the universal design details of Swarovski crystal chandeliers and sumptuous bespoke furniture in hues to mirror the desert.

Mondrian Doha

Sam Nazarian, founder & CEO, sbe commented: “We are delighted to open our first hotel in the middle east in Doha, Qatar which is one of the most dynamic cities in the region. We’re additionally set to open two more hotel properties in Dubai in 2017 and 2018 and a number of restaurants. I know that Mondrian Doha will be an incredible destination for international and local travelers alike. It will be also a fantastic destination for the locals to experience all our culinary venues.”

Mondrian Doha

The hotel will incorporate bespoke Marcel Wanders design features with influences from the beauty of local patterns, ornate Arabic writing and historic souks. Standout, memorable elements include giant columns with golden eggs, a ‘tree of life’ comprised of flowers, falcon video art, giant shisha, patterned carpets, ornate stained glass and intricate mosaic tiling.

Mondrian Doha Atrium

Marcel Wanders commented: “Stories connect us to our history, our culture and to each other. Stepping into Mondrian Doha begins the first chapter of a wonderful story that unfolds around every turn. Conceptually, we have married local culture with a modern design aesthetic. While many themes are collectively layered throughout the hotel, each individual space tells its own tale. Guests may therefore have many different experiences and weave for themselves a collection of stories to share.”

Mondrian Doha

The essence of One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales and stories, has also influenced the design of the space, which is detailed-orientated and complex, with a number of facets, levels and layers. Structurally, the building of Mondrian Doha is shaped like a falcon, with many references to the national bird of Qatar also found inside; from paintings and portraits to falcon headpieces and ornaments. The location of the hotel next to Lagoona Mall in the West Bay area also acts as a gateway to the new Lusail City development, one of the world’s most visionary single developments and a true representation of Modern Qatar.

Mondrian Doha

Mondrian Doha is a culinary emporium; with eight restaurants and bars – some of which are entirely new to Qatar – offering un-paralleled experiences in Doha. Middle Eastern cuisine is at the heart of Mondrian Doha’s food and beverage offering along with internationally renowned chefs. This includes Wolfgang Puck, master chef and restaurateur, bringing his concept CUT by Wolfgang Puck to Qatar for the first time.

Additional hotel facilities will include an entertainment floor complete with nightclub, rooftop pool and skybar, an exclusive spa and a grand ballroom.

www.mondriandoha.com

Deutsche Hospitality signs agreement for an IntercityHotel in Nizwa, Oman

Deutsche Hospitality signs agreement for an IntercityHotel in Nizwa, Oman

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Frankfurt am Main — Deutsche Hospitality is robustly pursuing its course of expansion and has signed a further agreement for a hotel in Oman. A 120-room three-star InterCityHotel is scheduled to open in Nizwa by 2019.

The hotel, which will offer event spaces, a spa complete with gym area, a swimming pool, a restaurant and a bar, will be operated via a management agreement. The contractual partner will be the Nizwa Integrated Real Estate Company (“NIREC”), Sultanate of Oman.

Nizwa is located about 180 kilometres from the Omani capital of Muscat. Set in an oasis, the city is considered to be a cultural hub and is the historic trading centre of the Sultanate. Featuring lush vegetation and an old fortress, Nizwa attracts tourists from all over the world throughout the year as well as being a popular weekend destination for the indigenous population. The hotel construction will form part of a major development project undertaken by the government to bring about further enhancement to the city’s infrastructure.

This is the second contract to be concluded by Deutsche Hospitality in the Sultanate of Oman within a short period of time. An InterCityHotel is currently under development in the capital city of Muscat, and the plan is that this will open for business in 2020.

Together with the InterCityHotel Salalah, which launched in July 2016, this brings Deutsche Hospitality’s total representation in Oman to three hotels. The group has been represented in Dubai in the form of the Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay since 2015, and a second InterCityHotel will open in the Emirate in 2018. A Steigenberger Airport Hotel is also under construction in Doha (Qatar). All of this will increase Deutsche Hospitality’s overall presence in the Middle East to six hotels over the coming years.

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai opening end of March

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Opening on 31st March 2017, Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai will bring a touch of the playful Viceroy LA vibe to the region and will mark the brand’s second property in the UAE.

Designed by the innovative Yabu Pushelberg and NAO Taniyama and Associates, the 477-room beachfront resort is located at the base of the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah, overlooking the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai Marina Skyline.

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai’s pioneering design and trailblazing architecture was inspired by ancient Roman amphitheatres with its glass-clad structure, creating a real sense of space and light, allowing views of the pool and sea to filter through. A striking, one-of-a-kind, 15 metre-by-15 metre glass cube will take centre stage in the lobby. A show stopping 60-metre statement swimming pool will run through the heart of the hotel, flanked with palm trees, shaded sunbeds and a sleek bar, complete with sunken bar seating and tables.

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai opening March 31st 2017

The glamourous interiors have been designed to capture the heat, energy and vibe of this fun-loving city with a calming colour palette of teal and bronze mixed with touches of light and dark wood, brushed bronze and marble creating balance and refinement. All 477 of the elegant guestrooms give a subtle nod to the art deco era, boasting their own balconies, spacious Greek and Italian marbled bathrooms and rain showers stocked with Natura Bissé and Roil amenities as well as interactive 42” LCD televisions, refreshment centres with cocktail making facilities and coffee machines. The standout four bedroom villas feature their own private plunge pools and Jacuzzis as well as exclusive access to the hotel’s very own yacht.

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai opening March 31st 2017

A luxurious 1,675sqm spa will provide a cutting-edge wellness experience, blending the latest aesthetic medical-based treatments from LA with a programme of holistic locally-inspired massages and hammam treatments. The spa will comprise 14 standalone treatment rooms, including four open air cabanas, hammam, spa pool, relaxation lounge, spa café and fully-equipped TechnoGym fitness centre with personal training upon request and complimentary daily classes including bootcamp, beach buddy workouts and yoga A carefully curated selection of premium spa brands will be offered including body and face treatments from Natura Bisse, QMS and Guinot and cleansing hammam rituals with local brand Terres D’Afrique.

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai opening March 31st 2017

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai will provide a spectacular backdrop to any event or special celebration, boasting a 600sqm Vista Ballroom suspended on the 14th floor with panoramic views across the Arabian Gulf, accommodating up to 350 guests. There will also be three fully-equipped meeting rooms, with a combined capacity of 245sqm with views towards the Burj Khalifa.

Commenting on the forthcoming opening, General Manager, Mikael Svensson said, “I am extremely proud to be involved in such a landmark launch which will inject a new and refreshing LA vibe into the Dubai hotel scene.”

“We have exceptional stat-of-the-art facilities but it is our dedicated, fun-loving and passionate team that is the core essence of Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai. We actually ripped up the rule book in terms of pre-opening staff training and engaged a theatrical company to run a number of workshops, resulting in the creation this outstanding team and we cannot wait welcome our first guests on March 31st.”

viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

Hilton Dead Sea Resort

Hilton expands resort portfolio Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa

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Hilton has announced the official opening of Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa. The opening marks the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in Jordan.

Strategically located at the lowest point on Earth on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea, the 285-room contemporary hotel is an exclusive resort of choice for the discerning international and local traveller.

Andreas Lackner, regional head, full service brand management, Hilton said, “The Dead Sea is one of the most unique places in the world and has evolved into a major hub of both religious and health and wellness tourism in the region. As the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in the country of Jordan, this project marks an exciting addition to the Hilton portfolio as we continue to deliver distinct hospitality experiences to travelers from around the globe.”

The hotel’s innovative facility provides exclusive direct beach access through two elevators that lead to a floating pool surrounded by a sun deck. The stylish guest rooms offer breathtaking views over the Dead Sea and feature terraces and contemporary amenities including Wi-Fi, a 24-hour fitness centre and an infinity pool. The executive rooms and suites have access to the only Executive lounge in the area.

Click here for more information. . .

Mori Sushi Dubai - Viero

Project Spotlight: Viero at Mori Sushi, Dubai

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Viero is proud of its status as a truly global brand. A recently completed Marmorin Hydro project has seen our luxury surface finishes arrive in Dubai.

The first Mori Sushi restaurant in the UAE’s city is styled superbly with the movement and textures offered by the product.

Accompanied by some excellent other interior touches based on the ancient philosophical idea of feng shui, this is a project the company is extremely proud of.

Customers can visit to enjoy the traditional Japanese dishes surrounded by the ambience created with a touch of Viero.

Mori Sushi Dubai - Viero

Mori Sushi Dubai - Viero

Mori Sushi Dubai - Viero

www.viero.co.uk
enquiries@viero.co.uk
0870 609 2827

EMEA - Hilton's solid numbers in the region

Hilton surpasses 100,000 open hotel rooms in EMEA

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At this year’s International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, Hilton has announced that it has passed the milestone of 100,000 rooms trading across its Europe, Middle East & Africa portfolio.

The news comes in a period of unprecedented global growth for the company. In EMEA specifically, this has seen net unit growth of more than 20,000 rooms in the past three years, a trend which is set to continue with close to 40,000 rooms currently under construction and expected to open by the end of 2020.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Hilton said: “Reaching 100,000 trading rooms is a significant milestone for us as a company, particularly given the quality and breadth of Hilton’s portfolio in the region. Our development journey in EMEA continues to set the pace for the industry – with over 60% of our pipeline rooms already under construction.”

Brand Highlights:
– A burgeoning pipeline is set to double the number of Hampton by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn hotels over the next three years
– This year has also seen Hilton’s upscale DoubleTree by Hilton brand open its 100th property in the region, (DoubleTree by Hilton Madrid Prado)
– The city of Reykjavik, Iceland became home to the world’s first Canopy by Hilton in 2016
– Curio – a Collection by Hilton has already accumulated 16 trading and pipeline properties in EMEA.

Fitzgibbon added: “In the last decade we have introduced five new brands to the market which have allowed us to kick-start growth in a variety of segments, with our mid-market and economy brands now trading or under development in more than 200 locations. We have also successfully launched our collection brand, Curio, as well as continuing to build our core Hilton brand and luxury offering. Owners of our hotels were rewarded with the highest occupancy rates recorded in our history across the globe last year, 2017 is set to be another milestone year for Hilton in EMEA.”

Hilton’s EMEA growth in numbers:
– 5,477 new rooms opened in 2016 helped reach the 100,000 landmark
– 23,384 rooms added in the past three years alone
– 11,000+ rooms expected to open in 2017 and 40,000+ by the end of 2020
– 64,000+ total rooms in Hilton’s EMEA pipeline
– Approximately 50% of Hilton’s pipeline located in Middle East & Africa

hiltonworldwide.com

Address Boulevard

Emaar unveils Address Boulevard in Downtown Dubai

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Address Hotels + Resorts, the premium luxury hotel brand of Emaar Hospitality Group, has unveiled its new city lifestyle resort, Address Boulevard.

Chris Newman, Chief Operating Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “Address Boulevard is another statement of our ambition to set new industry standards. It is uniquely positioned as a city lifestyle resort – which integrates all the romantic charm of a resort with the convenience, amenities and appeal of a city hotel.”

Address Boulevard has 196 spacious rooms including 116 Deluxe Rooms, 44 Deluxe Club Rooms, 28 One-Bedroom Suites, seven Two-Bedroom Suites and a luxurious Presidential Suite – all offering spectacular views of Burj Khalifa. There are also 532 serviced apartments including duplexes and two penthouses; short-term guests at the residences have guaranteed access to the hotel’s facilities.

With its inspiring art-deco architecture, design and décor, Address Boulevard is inspired by classic European finesse. Appealing to leisure and business travellers, the hotel is perfect for overseas visitors with easy proximity to retail and leisure attractions including The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination. It is also in close to Dubai Opera, the multi-format performing arts venue. Business guests have the convenience of being located near Dubai International Financial Centre and Dubai International Convention Centre.

Address Boulevard

A distinguishing feature is the incredible art installations that define the hotel’s interiors by 48 artists. The signature dining space, The Restaurant at Address, simulates the experience of a luxurious European apartment of a well-travelled family in the 1920s, providing classic dishes in sublime surroundings. From a multi-function room that seats 80 to intimate meeting rooms and a state-of-the-art Boardroom, Address Boulevard offers diverse choices that meet the requirements of event planners.

Through its three hotel brands – Address Hotels + Resorts, Vida Hotels and Resorts and Rove Hotels – Emaar Hospitality Group today operates ten hotels and three serviced residences in Dubai. For more details: addresshotels.com

Central Hotels - Dubai 2017

Central Hotels reveals 3 new hotels in Dubai for 2017

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Growing its footprint rapidly, Central Hotels, has announced aggressive expansion plans with three new hotels lined up for opening in Dubai in 2017.

Unveiling the group’s upcoming projects in The Palm and Business Bay, Mr Ahmad Ali Al Abdulla Alansaari, Chairman of Central Hotels, stated: “2017 is a very exciting year for us with three exceptional properties opening in quick succession. This massive expansion will double our existing inventory of rooms from 524 to 1,220 keys and reflects our commitment to serve the needs of our guests with great value in iconic locations such as The Palm and Business Bay.”

Central Hotels - Dubai 2017

Giving details about the new projects opening in 2017, Mr Ammar Kanaan, General Manager of Central Hotels, said: “Bay Central located at The Burj Khalifa district features 284 keys and is expected to welcome its first guests in the third quarter of 2017 followed by two other hotels of 208 and 204 keys each in The Palm. All three properties are in the 4-star category and progressing well towards completion.”

Mr Alansaari, said: “In addition to the existing development, our aim is to add another five hotels to our outstanding portfolio of properties by 2018 creating greater choice and opportunities for our guests, associates and stakeholders. We are in the midst of advanced negotiations for three fabulous projects in KSA as well as two hotels in the UAE. These accomplishments are designed to position Central Hotels for continued success in the years ahead.”

Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain

The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain – The Pearl of Arabia

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For travellers looking to encounter the authentic delights of Bahrain, whilst remaining enveloped within ultimate comfort; is The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. Close to the city and with 600 metres of a private sandy beach, the resort is a secluded slice of paradise located on Bahrain island’s north coast and just three kilometres from Manama city centre.

With scenic views of the Arabian Gulf or the city of Manama, the resort hosts 23 three-bedroom seafront villas reserved for those seeking the finest experience possible, as well as 31 suites and 42 Club Level rooms. The capacious, exclusive private villas are complete with its own opulent bath, personal outdoor pool, access to a personal beach and 24-hour butler service.

Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain
Guests also staying in a private villa or Club Level rooms will have access to a dedicated Concierge, on hand to meet any needs, as well as enjoy the comfort, convenience and intimacy of a hotel within a hotel at the beautifully, appointed Club Lounge. A stunning property complete with glamorous gastronomy throughout, there is choice of nine restaurants, lounges and bars.

Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain

Ensuring their wellness offerings are at the highest of standard, the Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain features an extensive selection Arabic rituals inspired from regional culture and local traditions, using a variety of natural oils such as Argon oil, Muscat oil rose and amber.

For active seekers, guests can take advantage of the gym, tennis academy or jump on board an excursion to the best fishing site in the seas of Bahrain. There is also an 18-hole Royal Golf Club, just 25-minutes from the hotel, designed by golfing legend Colin Montgomerie.

ritzcarlton.com

Nakheel, Minor Hotels - AVANI Ibn Battuta Dubai

Minor Hotels, Nakheel join for new-build AVANI in Dubai

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Minor Hotels, currently with a portfolio of 156 hotels and resorts in 24 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean, has signed a management agreement with UAE master developer Nakheel for a new AVANI hotel in Dubai.

The 372-key AVANI Ibn Battuta Dubai Hotel will be developed by Nakheel and will be located adjacent to the recently-opened Ibn Battuta Metro Link, which is directly connected to Ibn Battuta Mall. The new-build 18-storey hotel will feature a pool, a spa, a gym, an all-day dining restaurant, a coffee shop and car parking.

Nakheel, Minor Hotels - AVANI Ibn Battuta Dubai

Launched by Minor Hotels in 2011, AVANI Hotels & Resorts is an upscale, contemporary brand appealing to millennial minded travellers who appreciate quality and value. AVANI currently has 17 properties in operation in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Seychelles, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and the UAE and MH has plans to grow the brand across its global footprint.

Minor Hotels currently operates 14 properties in the Middle East across four of its brands – Anantara, AVANI, Oaks and PER AQUUM and has a further strong pipeline in the region with new properties under development in the United Arab Emirates (in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah), Bahrain, Morocco and Tunisia.

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya opens in Saudi Arabia

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Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya, the first Hyatt Regency hotel to open in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Developed by Mohammed A. Al-Swailem Co. for Commercial Investment, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya is the third Hyatt-branded hotel to open in the KSA, joining Park Hyatt Jeddah Marina, Club and Spa and Hyatt Regency Makkah Jabal Omar.

Guestrooms and Suites
Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya offers 261 spacious guestrooms, including 40 suites, spread across 28 floors. All guestrooms and suites feature panoramic views of the vibrant city of Riyadh, and incorporate subtle local touches and design elements, including patterned leather panels that are embroidered with a contemporary interpretation of a middle eastern mashrabiya motif.

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya

Located on the 26th floor with spectacular views, the hotel’s Regency Club offers guests exclusive services, including complimentary internet access, use of the lounge meeting room, breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening beverages with hors d’oeuvres.

Meetings and Events
Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya offers more than 10,700 square feet (1,000 square meters) of extensive conference and banquet facilities, including the Al Loulou’a Ballroom, which can be divided up into three separate rooms and seat up to 500 people theatre-style. With nine flexible event venues, the hotel is the perfect venue for a variety of events such as weddings, social banquets, exhibitions, meetings, and conferences.

Wellness and Relaxation
Guests are invited to recharge in the hotel’s Sokoun Spa, which offers four treatment rooms and a variety of wellness services, including relaxation massages and therapeutic body treatments. A traditional Moroccan Hammam invites guests to unwind from the day’s stress with a cleansing steam. The hotel also features fitness facilities, an indoor swimming pool, a multi-purpose sports court, and a Camp Hyatt kid’s club.

Centara - Nakheel

Nakheel and Centara sign joint venture for UAE resort

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UAE developer Nakheel and leading Thai hotel group Centara Hotels and Resorts has signed a joined venture agreement to create a 550-room, beachfront resort with waterpark at Deira Islands in Dubai.

Under the agreement, cemented in Bangkok, the two companies will deliver an upscale resort on a prime stretch of beach on Deira Islands – Nakheel’s new, 15.3 sq-km, tourism, leisure, retail and entertainment hub that will contribute significantly to the Government of Dubai’s tourism vision.

Nakheel’s joint venture with Centara is the latest development in the company’s aggressive expansion into Dubai’s hospitality sector and its second international joint venture for Deira Islands. The first, an 800-room, AED900 million (£203 million) all-inclusive resort and waterpark with Spain’s RIU Hotels & Resorts, was confirmed in February last year.

As the first Centara establishment in the UAE, the new resort will cover an area of 295,900 sq-ft. Features include a waterpark, dining facilities, business centre, kids’ club, spa and fitness centre. The resort is anticipated to have soft opening in 2019 and grand opening in 2020.

Centara Hotels & Resorts is part of Central Group, one of Thailand’s most prominent family-owned conglomerate holding companies that is involved in merchandising, real estate, retailing, hospitality and restaurants. Centara’ s portfolio currently includes around 14,000 room keys across 65 hotels and resorts under six distinctive brands in Asia, Indian Ocean, and the Middle East.

Nakheel currently has over 5,300 rooms across 16 hotels, resorts and serviced apartments in operation or under development, with the first two – at Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta Mall – delivered in 2016.

Deira Islands, where Nakheel has already invested more than AED3 billion (£677 million) in infrastructure work, coastal works and design services for a range of new projects, will add 40km, including 21km of beach, to Dubai’s coastline. Nakheel recently completed an AED150 million (£33.8 million) access bridge to the islands, and has just released a tender for the construction of six marinas. The development is expected to have around 250,000, create more than 80,000 new jobs, and offer hundreds of new hotels, serviced apartments and mixed-use buildings, and extensive retail and leisure attractions. Nakheel itself is building 16 residential towers, five hotels, two serviced apartment complexes, Deira Mall, Deira Islands Night Souk and several marinas at the islands.

AlRayyan Hotel Doha Deluxe King Room

Sneak Peek: AlRayyan Hotel Doha, Curio Collection

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Curio – A Collection by Hilton announced recently the opening of AlRayyan Hotel Doha, Curio Collection by Hilton, the brand’s first property in the Middle East to join the global portfolio of more than 30 distinctive hotels.

Curio – A Collection by Hilton hotels and resorts cater to travellers seeking local discovery and authentic experiences and AlRayyan Hotel Doha joins two other Hilton properties in the city.

AlRayyan Hotel Doha
The AlRayyan Hotel Doha, Curio Collection by Hilton offers a choice of 201 elegant guest rooms and suites featuring timeless decor along with floor-to-ceiling windows, oversized bathrooms and walk-in rain showers. The stylish and spacious Presidential Suite boasts two bedrooms, large living and dining areas, walk-in closet and a full-sized hammam in the marble bathroom.

AlRayyan Hotel Doha
The hotel also caters to small meetings and alluring, large-scale weddings and events alike, with five state-of-the-art meetings rooms and a 300 square-metre ballroom with private entrance.

Curio1

“For travellers desiring elegance and style during their hotel stay, AlRayyan Hotel Doha, Curio Collection by Hilton offers the perfect blend between authentic experiences, sophisticated accommodations and renowned Middle Eastern hospitality,” said Luca Crocco, general manager. “We look forward to welcoming residents, travellers and all guests seeking to discover something distinct at our one-of-a-kind property in Doha.”

For more information, click here…

Al Baleed Resort

Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara opens in Oman

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Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara has opened its doors in the Sultanate of Oman bringing the luxury hospitality brand Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas to the stunning coastal location of Salalah in the southern province of Dhofar on the Arabian Sea.

Striking and authentic architecture is surrounded by lush tropical gardens, with walkways framed by 750 coconut palms and eye-catching water features to create an air of tranquillity and serenity.

The resort comprises 136 guest rooms and villas offering views of the ocean, lagoon or picturesque gardens. The 40 premier and deluxe rooms offer luxurious handcrafted furnishings and rich textures, whilst the eight one-bedroom villas and 88 one-and-two-bedroom pool villas entice with personalised villa host services and separate living areas. The pool villas invite with private temperature-controlled swimming pools, the first of their kind in Salalah.

Al Baleed Resort

Rooted in Thai philosophy with influences from Arabia, the world-acclaimed Anantara Spa takes guests on a holistic journey, offering the only hammam in Salalah alongside rejuvenating treatments using indigenous ingredients such as pomegranate, coconut and frankincense. The resort also offers wellness programmes that are customised for each individual’s lifestyle with options including weight management, revitalisation, relaxation and de-stressing, detox, general wellbeing and rejuvenation that run over three, five or seven days.

Al Baleed Resort

Guests also benefit from a state-of-the-art fitness centre, water sports centre, tennis court, beach volleyball court and stunning infinity pool. A separate kids and teens club offers fun-filled activities, whilst the Safar Boardroom and Al Hosn Ballroom host business meetings, conferences and intimate weddings for up to 120 guests. During their stay, guests can enjoy an array of authentic experiences, from hiking up rocky cliffs to catching fish for dinner, saluting the sunset during a yoga session or simply slipping out of their beachfront villa into the ocean.

Al Baleed Resort

Situated in the heart of the 6,000 year-old frankincense trail, there is plenty for those with a passion for culture and history to discover such as visiting ancient ruins and heritage sites or sauntering around a souk. Meanwhile an array of thrilling experiences allow guests to explore the fort-dotted mountains, rugged wadis and pristine beaches, with active travellers well served by diving, trekking, kite surfing and fishing.

Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara was developed by Musstir, the hospitality and property development company of MB Group in Oman, and its 50% local joint venture partner, Omran, the Sultanate’s master developer for tourism destinations and urban communities.

Anantara Jeddah - Saudi Arabia

Minor Hotels to open Saudi property – Anantara Jeddah

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Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of 155 hotels and resorts in 23 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean, has announced the debut of its luxury Anantara brand in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Scheduled to open in 2019, Anantara Jeddah Resort will be located on the waterfront in Obhur in the city’s upmarket northern district and will offer 226 guest rooms and 102 two to five bedroom villas. The property is owned by SAB Group and was previously a luxury residential compound which will undergo a renovation and transformation led by cutting edge international design architects.

Facilities will include a selection of dining options with both indoor and outdoor seating, fitness and swimming pool areas, a kid’s and teen’s club and a library. For business guests, there is a 500 square metre meeting room which is divisible by two, plus two further meeting rooms. The resort has two receptions and lobbies, one dedicated for VIP arrivals.

Spa and wellness will be a major focus of the resort, which will offer a female and male Anantara Spa and an impressive wellness centre. An extensive selection of wellness journeys will be available, as part of Anantara’s ‘Balance’ programme. These will include detox, de-stress, weight management, anti-aging and rejuvenation, along with therapies such as Ayurveda, hammam and reflexology. Guests will be able to enjoy wellness cuisine and healthy cooking classes, with activities including yoga, pilates and Tai Chi. In addition, the resort will offer a regular programme of wellness-focused educational workshops and special events.

The Obhur area is undergoing a significant transformation anchored by the development of the one kilometre high Kingdom Tower which will open in 2020 and will become Jeddah’s new city centre. The Anantara Jeddah will offer stunning views of the nearby Kingdom Tower.

Jeddah is one of the preferred destinations among domestic leisure tourists and religious pilgrims as it is the gateway to the holy cities. The area’s transport and airport infrastructure is currently being enhanced, including a new high speed rail access scheduled to open in 2018 which will connect Jeddah to the airport, Makkah and Medina.

Anantara Salalah Resort

Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara opens

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Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara opens its doors in the Sultanate of Oman bringing the luxury hospitality brand Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas to the stunning coastal location of Salalah in the southern province of Dhofar on the Arabian Sea.

Situated between a long, scenic beach and a freshwater lagoon, bordering the historic Al Baleed UNESCO archaeological site, the resort introduces a new level of luxury and refinement to the region, allowing discerning guests to discover the unique charms of southern Oman.

Guarded by the Dhofar mountains and edged by the shimmering blue waters of the Arabian Sea, the resort has been designed with the simple grandeur of the region’s iconic coastal fortresses in mind. Striking and authentic architecture is surrounded by lush tropical gardens, with walkways framed by 750 coconut palms and eye-catching water features to create an air of tranquillity and serenity.

The resort comprises 136 guest rooms and villas offering views of the ocean, lagoon or picturesque gardens. The 40 premier and deluxe rooms offer luxurious handcrafted furnishings and rich textures, whilst the eight one-bedroom villas and 88 one- and two-bedroom pool villas entice with personalised villa host services and separate living areas. The pool villas invite with private temperature-controlled swimming pools, the first of their kind in Salalah.

Zenith Holiday Homes

Bespoke Residences partners with Zenith across Dubai

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Bespoke Hotels Middle East and Africa is pleased to announce it has reached agreement to operate 74 residential units across Dubai, from the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, to Dubai International Financial Centre and Sports City, in partnership with Zenith Holiday Homes.

The residential units, which will be operated under the ‘Bespoke Residences’ banner, will fall within Zenith’s expanding portfolio of rental apartments and villas across the region where they have been established since 2009.

Zenith Holiday Homes

The unique model of Bespoke Residences, which combines the benefits of a franchise model with the managerial and operational expertise of a flagship boutique hotel group, is designed to affiliate property owners alongside the international presence of Bespoke Hotels, and in turn elevate the standards of service within the holiday homes sector. One of the first such solutions to arrive on the market, it has been devised to support the needs of owners of leisure real estate by providing the quality of service and professionalism associated with the leading players in the hospitality industry.

Zenith Holiday Homes

“Bespoke Residences was created with the aim of maintaining individual units to the home owner’s benefit, through both employing the operational expertise of Bespoke Hotels, as well as our robust sales and marketing channels”, commented Nick Turner, Managing Director of Bespoke Hotels International. “We are therefore delighted to have agreed this deal with Zenith Holiday Homes, who boast one of the most impressive portfolios in the region.”

“We have been extremely impressed with the expertise and professionalism displayed by Bespoke Hotels”, added Anton Elizarov, CEO of Zenith Holiday Homes. “We believe they are ideally positioned to enhance both the profile and performance of our rapidly-expanding selection of properties, and to establish a key position within the local market.”

Ritz-Carlton, RAK

Ritz-Carlton signs agreement for RAK properties

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The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has signed a management agreement with RAK National Hotels, an owner of hotels and resorts in Ras Al Khaimah, a subsidiary of RAK Hospitality Holding, and Al Hamra Real Estate Development, marking its entry into the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

The brand will manage The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach and The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, growing the brand’s footprint in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to five by 2017.

The management agreement, which goes into effect on December 15th, will see the beach property close for comprehensive renovations, whilst the desert property will remain open and operate as a partner hotel – Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah, a Ritz-Carlton Partner Hotel. Both properties following the renovations are scheduled to be re-launched in 2017 under The Ritz-Carlton stewardship.

The renovations include total refurbishment of the Al Hamra beach property a 32 all-villa luxury resort, and upgrading the Al Wadi property, a 101 all-villa desert escape. The two new additions to The Ritz-Carlton portfolio are enclaves of bespoke Arabian-style villas that stretch along a private shore of white sand and the vast undulating expanse of the desert respectively.

DUKES Dubai

DUKES Dubai – a quintessentially British hotel in UAE

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Luxury hotel group, DUKES COLLECTION, is thrilled to announce the much anticipated opening of DUKES DUBAI in December 2016, situated at the beginning of the famous Palm Jumeirah, a highly-coveted location for this five-star hotel.

DUKES DUBAI will encompass a quintessentially British feel inspired by its famous London counterpart, DUKES LONDON. The hotel is delighted to be working with a range of the best of British suppliers, bringing these to the UAE for the first time.

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RELATED: DUKES LONDON to undergo multi-million pound refurbishment
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Of the exciting new venture, Managing Director of DUKES COLLECTION Debrah Dhugga said: “DUKES DUBAI will be a true British gem in Dubai, offering both corporate travellers and holidaymakers an oasis of luxury and old-English charm, and espousing everything that makes us proud to be British.”

DUKES Dubai

Spread over 15 floors, DUKES DUBAI will consist of 506 gorgeous rooms in total. This includes 279 bedrooms, of which 64 will be luxury suites, and 20 will make up part of the women-only Duchess floor, plus 227 fully furnished hotel apartments. The hotel will also boast an outdoor infinity pool with dramatic views over the ocean and the hotel’s private beach as well as an atmospheric indoor pool and cocktail bar on the 15th floor.

DUKES Dubai

DUKES DUBAI will open two first-class dining options to suit every guest’s palette: The Great British Restaurant (GBR) and Khyber, both headed up by award winning Executive Head Chef, Martin Cahill, and serving up delectable cuisines from around the world.

DUKES Dubai

Fans of DUKES LONDON will recognise the famous DUKES Bar, replicated in the Dubai hotel, and of course serving up the renowned DUKES Martinis by one of the hotel’s own expert bar managers. DUKES’ much-loved afternoon tea will also be making the move to Dubai, with a dedicated Tea Lounge available to guests to enjoy a delicious and indulgent treat. Those looking for a refined evening will find peace and privacy in the Gentleman’s Cigar Lounge, where guests can indulge in this truly British tradition.

A quintessentially British gem in the heart of Dubai, DUKES DUBAI will bring traditional values and old-fashioned glamour to Palm Jumeriah, standing out from other hotels across Dubai.

Brintons Mazij collection

Product Spotlight: Brintons launches Middle Eastern-inspired Mazij collection

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World-renowned carpet manufacturer Brintons launched the Mazij collection at the Dubai Hotel Show last month (17 -19 September 2016).

Meaning a mix or melange of things, the arabic word Mazij conjures up the beauty and romance of the Middle East’s impressive and rich heritage of art and architecture and the many intricate patterns, motifs and colours that are associated with it.

The design team at Brintons has sought inspiration in this impressively rich culture, and in the natural beauty of the region’s landscape, to create a wide-ranging and exciting collection of carpet designs that complement the flourishing contemporary architecture of modern hotel and leisure projects in the region’s cities and luxury coastal destinations.

The Mazij collection is composed of five ranges and a collection of Axminster or hand tufted rugs.

EDIFICE
The Middle East is capturing the design world’s attention today because of its ever-booming infrastructure. It has become a travel destination for design enthusiasts all around the world. This section of the collection focuses on the design trends influenced by modern architecture and includes the works of well-known design houses all-round the globe.

Brintons Mazij collection

MARRAKECH
When one thinks of Marrakech, images of patterned ceramic tiles, colourful pots, rugs and lamps and busy spice souks come to mind. This was the inspiration for this segment of the collection; Brintons has blended the authenticity of the patterns from this region with a modern approach by designing with sophisticated shapes.

Brintons Mazij collection

TERRAIN
The Middle East is not just rich in its history and culture but it also has wonderful geographic beauty. Its mountains, deserts and rivers make it geographically distinct and has influenced the development and maintenance of cultural traditions through much of the history of the region. Inspired by the beauty of this land, the range very subtly interprets nature into carpet patterns.

Brintons Mazij collection

PETRA
Petra, also called the Rose City due to the colour of the stone out of which it is carved. Brintons has developed designs that reflect these natural effects in carpets. The idea was to capture the natural effect of the sandstone, its colours and multi layered textural details.

Brintons Mazij collection

PRAYER ROOMS
Mosque or prayer room carpets are special and unique as they have very distinctive features. They are used not only to enhance the aesthetics of the mosque’s interior but also to provide the marking on the floor to guide worshipers. The interiors of the mosques today are inspiration for this segment. This ranges from traditional to contemporary, from simple to intricate patterns.

Brintons Mazij collection

For more information on Brintons and its range of products and services for the commercial sector, visit www.brintons.net or call 01562 635665. To speak to someone regarding Brintons Carpets in the Middle East & Africa, please contact Brintons MEA office (in Dubai): Tel: +971 (0) 44210011

Nakheel partnering with Hilton for new Dubai hotel

Nakheel to partner with Hilton for new hotel at Dubai’s Jumeirah Village

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Dubai master developer Nakheel today signed a Letter of Intent with Hilton Worldwide to manage a new, 256-room hotel at Jumeirah Village Triangle.

Under the proposed agreement, the 18-storey hotel will be managed under the DoubleTree by Hiltonbrand, known for its warm, friendly service that provides upscale comfort for business and leisure travellers.

Announced three weeks ago as a major new feature of Nakheel’s upcoming Al Khail Avenue retail, dining and leisure hub, DoubleTree by Hilton will be directly linked to the mall’s 350 shops, restaurants and entertainment outlets.

The hotel will have 256 rooms (including four suites), an all-day restaurant, coffee shop, lounge, outdoor terrace, pool deck, gymnasium and car park, as well as a leisure club with preferential membership rates for residents of the Jumeirah Village Triangle community.

Nakheel awarded the AED1.5 billion contract to build the mall and hotel complex earlier this month. Construction will begin in October this year, with completion in 2019.

Nakheel’s growing hospitality portfolio includes nearly 5,200 rooms across 14 hotels and serviced apartment complexes at various locations in Dubai, while its retail project portfolio – the biggest in the Middle East – has more than 16 million square feet of lease space in operation or under development.

Hilton branded hotels for Kuwait

Hilton to introduce two new brands to Kuwait

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Hilton and Al-Rai Real Estate have announced plans today which will see the luxury Conrad Hotels & Resorts and midscale Hilton Garden Inn open their doors to guests in early 2019.

The development forms part of an ambitious expansion project which will see almost $1 billion devoted towards solidifying the position of The Avenues Mall in Kuwait City as one of the world’s top retail destinations.

Conrad Kuwait
This 158-guestroom luxury property will form part of the extension of the Mall’s popular ‘Prestige’ district, which opened in 2012. The district forms Kuwait’s largest luxury shopping destination, home to 47 luxury retail units under a 23 metre dome. The hotel will feature a ballroom, multiple dining options, and an outdoor pool and spa. The hotel’s design concept will complement the Prestige district’s use of copper and rare ‘Portoro’ stone, imported from the mountains of Italy.

Kuwait Conrad Avenues Mall

Hilton Garden Inn Kuwait
Adjoining two of the new districts being created under the fourth phase expansion, Hilton Garden Inn Kuwait will become the brand’s largest hotel in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region. Boasting 430 guestrooms in an imposing tower structure at the Northern end of the Mall, the main entrance of the property will be located in ‘The Forum’ which will provide a central meeting point within the mall. The property will also border the new ‘Electra’ district set to create a vibrant international atmosphere inspired by the bright lights and high technology of cities such as Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Kuwait Garden Inn Avenues Mall

Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide, said: “The Avenues is a truly world-class destination and a fitting home to two of our world-class brands. Both have celebrated landmark openings in the Middle East this year, with Conrad becoming our first luxury brand to welcome guests to Makkah, while Hilton Garden Inn has debuted at another of the region’s flagship retail spaces, Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates. We look forward to adding Kuwait to both portfolios.”

Rezidor to open three hotels in UAE

Rezidor signs three new hotels in UAE

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Rezidor announces the signing of three new properties in the UAE: the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront and the Park Inn by Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah Marjan Island will already welcome the first guests in Q2 of 2017. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Canal View will open its doors in Q1 of 2018.

“The UAE is a key strategic market for us. Dubai, the world’s fourth most visited city in 2015 with 14.2 million overnight visitors has been on an unprecedented growth journey for the last decade. The emirate’s ambition is to hit 20 million visitors by 2020 and position the country as both a world-class business and leisure destination. We want to contribute to the on-going journey and support this fast-growing sector together with our experienced regional partners”, said Wolfgang Neumann, President & CEO of Rezidor.

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront is located in the largest and most impressive waterfront development in the world within Business Bay known as Dubai Water Canal, the new business district of Dubai. The property will comprise 432 rooms including designer suites. It will offer several dining experiences, including one all-day dining restaurant and bar with stunning views of the Burj Khalifa – currently the tallest skyscraper in the world – a Makar Scottish bar and the brand’s signature FireLake Grill House and Cocktail Bar. Guests will also appreciate the pool and the spa. The property will also address local and international business guests with meeting and conferencing facilities on a surface of over 1,000sqm.

Rezidor to open three hotels in UAE

Also located on the Dubai Water Canal in the city’s new hub of Business Bay, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Canal View has an ideal central location. It comprises 188 stylish rooms and 16 suites, a meeting and conference area on a surface of 131 sqm, a business center and a 341sqm banquet hall. Guest will also enjoy one of Radisson Blu’s signature Food & Drink concepts in its four restaurants, one coffee shop, a selection of shops, a gymnasium on a total surface of 181sqm, and exceptional views of the Burj Khalifa.

In the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, Rezidor is adding its first the Park Inn by Radisson Resort on Ras Al Khaimah Marjan Island. Meaning “headland of the small huts”, Ras Al Khaimah is a growing destination for leisure and business travel. On Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah’s first man-made archipelago, guests will enjoy impressive views of the Arabian Gulf. The beach resort, comprising of two buildings, will offer 408 rooms including 24 superior rooms, family rooms and suites, one all dining restaurant, 2 restaurants, one lobby café and one lobby bar. Extensive meeting and event spaces are planned, such as other facilities including a swimming pool and a spa.

Rosemont Hotel - Artificial Rainforest

Dubai’s Rosemont Hotel to feature artificial rainforest

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Dubai is known for its outlandish and ambitious projects.

And now, the upcoming Rosemont Hotel & Residences will feature the Middle East’s first rainforest. Designed by ZAS Architects, the hotel will house 450 rooms and 280 suites, offering amenities only Dubai could offer including a man-made beach, aquarium, infinity pool and trampoline park.

Rosemont Hotel - Artificial Rainforest

“When you’re being dropped off at the hotel, you’ll have 4D animations on the ceilings which change theme every week or every night,” ZAS Dubai managing partner DJ Armin told the Huffington Post. “Then you go into the lobbies, and you’ll be greeted by a robotic host.”

As if a fake rainforest wasn’t enough, guests will be seen to by robotic hosts. “Of course, there will be a human host as well,” Armin added, but the march of hospitality technology appears not to be abating.

Rosemont Hotel - Artificial Rainforest

The hotel’s rainforest will be open air and will be open to hotel guests as well as outside visitors. “You’ll have dense trees, canopies, some sun coming through, and during the summertime we will use the recycled condensation from the towers to have the mist coming down from the trees to cool down the air,” Armin said.

The Rosemont is already under construction and scheduled to be finished by the end of 2018.

Images by Plompmozes

Warwick Hotels adds The Mist Hotel to its collection

Warwick Hotels welcomes The Mist Hotel & Spa, Lebanon to collection

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Warwick Hotels and Resorts is proud to announce a new addition to its collection, The Mist Hotel & Spa By Warwick, located in Ehden, Lebanon.

The luxurious 71-room hotel, situated in the northern mountains of the country, around an hour-and-a-half away from the capital Beirut, opened its doors last month. It boasts spectacular views of Ehden valley & the Mediterranean Sea horizon and benefits from Ehden’s famous location on the Mar Sarkis mountain.

This new property in Lebanon is not the first WHR property in the region. Since 2012, the brand has been implanted in this country and three other hotels of the Collection are located in Lebanon: the Warwick Palm Beach Hotel and the Warwick Stone 55 in Beirut, and the Warwick Pangea Beach Resort & Spa in Jiyeh.

Warwick Hotels adds The Mist Hotel to its collection

At a higher scale, this new opening increases the presence of WHR in the MENA region and completes the business and leisure offer in this area of the globe. WHR is also present in the UAE with the Warwick Dubai, in Qatar with the Warwick Doha and in Iraq with the Babylon Warwick Hotel in Baghdad.

This new opening confirms the ambition of WHR to keep on increasing its presence in the region with new management contracts. Also two more Warwick Hotels are opening soon in Riyadh and Al Khobar in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

W Hotel Dubai

Silverfox Studios’ work on show at W Hotel Dubai

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W Hotels Worldwide, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, opened W Hotel Dubai – Al Habtoor City on Sheikh Zayed Road in the UAE.

Singapore-based firm Silverfox Studios were responsible for the design of the property. The hotel stands at 33 storeys high. Guests checking into the hotel are sent up 30 floors to the W Lounge, W Hotels’ reinterpretation of the traditional hotel lobby. Here, there are various lounge and entertainment areas set within a multi-tiered floor space.

W Hotel Dubai – Al Habtoor City has 365 rooms and 76 suites, all with a contemporary design. Inspired by the hotel’s location, adjacent to Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, the interiors have linear patterns. Future forward technology and custom furnishings double as abstract art to complement the color palette in the guestrooms.

For dining, the property has Namu, Level Seven, W Lounge and the poolside venue WET Deck. There are six meeting rooms, with the largest meeting space measuring 7,804 square feet (725 square metres). Other amenities at the property include the WET indoor pool and FIT fitness centre.

Paramount Hotel - one project in the pipeline for UAE hotel industry

UAE hotel industry to open 54,000 new rooms

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A new report has revealed that there are 183 hotel projects and 54,000 hotel rooms in the UAE hotel industry pipeline.

The hotel construction report by TopHotelProjects, exclusively written for Hotel Show Dubai 2016, says the majority of the new hotels are expected to open before 2020 and the busiest years are forecast to be 2017 (56 project openings) and 2018 (58 project openings).

Hotels opening in this time include the Paramount Hotel Dubai (2017); Hard Rock Hotel Abu Dhabi (2017); Citymax Hotel Ras Al Khaimah (2017); and Marriott Dubai Jumeirah (2018).

Dubai and Abu Dhabi continue to lead in hotel construction across the UAE with a combined 155 hotel projects and 47,619 rooms in the pipeline. Other emirates with hotel construction underway include: Sharjah with six projects (959 rooms) and Ras Al-Khaimah with five projects (1,847 rooms).

Thomas van Vliet, CEO of Paramount Hotels & Resorts, said: “Paramount Hotel Dubai, expected to open by the end of 2017, will be the first ever Paramount Hotels & Resorts property as well as the operator’s UAE flagship hotel.

“The hotel, part of a mixed use complex also housing 1,197 serviced residences, offers a luxurious experience with a Californian edge and Hollywood vibe, housing 823 guest rooms and suites, some of which are themed after Paramount Pictures movies. We have three more projects underway in Dubai, with a total of 1,383 keys,” he added.

IntercityHotel, Salalah, Oman

First IntercityHotel outside Europe opens in Salalah, Oman

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Steigenberger is continuing its programme of expansion in the Middle East, as the first IntercityHotel outside Europe has now opened in Salalah, located 1,000 kilometres to the South-West of the capital Muscat in Oman. This is the first international mid-market hotel in the city.

The new hotel extends over eight stories and offers 70 rooms as well as a restaurant and a modern gym. One particular highlight is the roof-top swimming pool with fabulous views.

As usual, the IntercityHotel Salalah was built in a central location at the heart of the business district and within the immediate vicinity of various ministries. The airport is also only four kilometres away. Salalah is particularly popular because of its all-year round mild climate and its impressive natural environment.

IntercityHotel - Salalah, Oman
Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG, commented: “Following our Steigenberger début in Dubai in November last year, we are now bringing our IntercityHotel brand to the Middle East for the first time. This represents a further important milestone for us.”

The project was implemented in conjunction with the owner Al Sedra Real Estate LLC of Oman, a subsidiary of the Golden Group of Companies, which is a multi-national operating in more than ten countries.

Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton to open hotels in Dubai, New York and Las Vegas

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Paris Hilton, the heiress and reality TV star, plans to launch her own brand of luxury hotels, opening properties in Dubai, New York and Las Vegas, according to Forbes.

Hilton is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. The new brand is expected to be eponymous.

Speaking to the LA Times, Hilton said: “I’m getting into real estate, following [in] my family’s footsteps, but my own thing, without the Hilton name.”

The properties are not her first hospitality project. The celebrity heiress has already collaborated with Century Properties in the Philippines on the launch of the Paris Beach Club at Azure Urban Resort Residence. The second Paris Beach Club is currently under construction in Parañaque, north of Manila.

Dubai hotel projects

Guest Blog: Bayut.com on Dubai’s most anticipated hotel projects

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The reputation of oil as a sure-shot revenue generating product is currently on the wane as global economies try to shake off the impact of global recession of 2008. But the United Arab Emirates, which initially built its fortunes on oil, has known better.

The nation understood the value as well as limitations of natural resources and took on the challenge of diversifying its sources of revenue. It has been on a roller coaster ride for the last two decades, putting strong emphasis on developing its real estate, financial services, logistics and especially its hospitality sectors, the result being that UAE has become one of the fastest growing and resilient economies in the world.

It is the definitive tourism capital of the region and constant innovation in the sector means it could be the global tourism hub in the coming years. The abundant entertainment options that cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi have on offer attract millions of visitors each year, casting a positive shadow on their hospitality and real estate sectors.

Dubai mega-tower

The growing economy and developments in the all sectors mean Dubai and Abu Dhabi are never short on influx of expats, leading to a strong rental market in both cities. According to UAE realty portal Bayut.com, apartment rents in Dubai rose by a marginal 0.5% in February, following a 3% hike in January 2016.

Potential
As resilient as the country’s realty sector may be, the sector at the core of investors’ attention is none other than the hospitality sector. With theme parks lined up one after the other and Expo 2020 promising great turnout, the need for hotels is rising. Fortunately, the real estate developers in Dubai are not blind to the fact and have doubled their efforts in developing world-class hotels and recreational spots to act as a hinge for the emirate’s tourism sector. The hotel projects that the emirate is currently developing can most likely anchor Dubai’s hospitality and tourism industry to put it on the path of becoming the emirate’s number one revenue generating sector. In 2016, Dubai is ready to inaugurate some of the most luxurious hotels, which are also some of the most eagerly awaited.

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah
The Viceroy Palm Jumeirah, as the name indicates, is located in the emirate’s man-made palm shaped island, famously known as Palm Jumeirah. Slated to be opened in September 2016, the luxurious hotel offers 477 deluxe rooms and suites, coupled with 40 hotel apartments. In addition, it would also have 222 signature Viceroy Residences for those wanting to immerse themselves in the luxuries of high-end living.
Viceroy Palm Jumeirah
Time Royal Hotel
Time Royal Hotel provides the perfect setting for visitors who are interested in spending quality time in a brand new hotel in Dubai. Being developed in Dubai Healthcare City and awaiting inauguration in December 2016, the hotel will feature 277 rooms, three restaurants, a self-indulgent spa, an outdoor Jacuzzi and an indoor kids club. Moreover, the hotel is expected to become a medical tourism destination by offering 22 specially equipped suites to fulfil the needs of travelers belonging to the field of medicine. It goes without saying that hotels in Dubai are world-renowned for offering exceptional hospitality services to visitors and these two hotel projects don’t seem like ones to backtrack on their promise of providing opulent lifestyle choices to guests.

Time Royal Hotel Dubai
Apart from these two main developments, other hotel projects are currently undergoing construction work. Nakheel Properties recently struck a deal with Thailand’s renowned Minor Hotel Group to manage its new hotel at the Ibn Battuta Mall. The mall, which is undergoing expansion will see the opening of Avani Hotels and Resorts-branded 373-room property along with a 372-room Premier Inn hotel. Though, the former is expected to open in 2018, the latter is expected to open this year.

Nakheel Properties has also signed a deal with a Spanish hospitality company RIU Hotels to also open another hotel in Dubai, while announcing plans to launch 10 new hotels across the emirate to make the most of a growing tourist base that can ensure a healthy revenue stream for the emirate.

With new buildings springing up around Dubai on a frequent basis, it seems that the tourism and hospitality sector will carry the emirate’s real estate sector forward and usher in a lucrative era for Dubai’s realty sector that can very well prove to be pennies from heaven…

With thanks to www.bayut.com

Deira Dubai property to become AVANI hotel

Minor Hotels announces AVANI take-over of Dubai property

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Minor Hotels has announced that from 1st July 2016 it will be taking over the operation of the 216-room Mövenpick Hotel Deira in Dubai. The property will operate under the group’s AVANI Hotels & Resorts brand as the AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel.

This represents a milestone for Minor Hotels as the first AVANI hotel in the Middle East. The change comes after the hotel’s parent company, Bin Sulayem Investments, signed a management agreement with Minor Hotels.

Located in one of the most diverse and culturally rich parts of the city, this upscale hotel offers 216 guest rooms and two unique dining concepts, meeting rooms, an outdoor pool and a fully equipped gym.

Robert Kunkler, Chief Operating Officer of Minor Hotels, said “This key acquisition to our portfolio allows Minor Hotels to take a strategic foothold in the Middle East for our fast expanding AVANI Hotels & Resorts brand in what is a vitally important market. We are thrilled to continue our excellent relationship with Bin Sulayem Investments. AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel will have the freedom to establish and maintain its individuality and distinct character while benefitting from being part of the Minor Hotels portfolio.”

AVANI Hotels & Resorts was launched in 2011 to complement Minor Hotels’ five star Anantara brand. AVANI offers relaxed comfort and contemporary style in city and resort destinations to guests who value the details that matter. The brand currently has 13 properties in operation in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Seychelles, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zambia, with a pipeline of further openings in Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East. MH has plans to grow the brand across its global footprint.

Waldorf Astoria DIFC

Waldorf Astoria to open in Dubai’s financial district

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Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts will open a property in the Middle East’s leading gateway for capital and investment, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Waldorf Astoria DIFC is expected to begin welcoming guests in autumn 2017, and will offer travellers timeless luxury and exceptional experiences in this bustling area of Dubai. The hotel will join a prestigious portfolio of 25 Waldorf Astoria properties operating in diverse global destinations such as Amsterdam, Beijing and New York.

“Sound fundamentals underpin our luxury story in the Middle East, where we have seen exceptional growth in locations tailored for both leisure and business travellers,” said Carlos Khneisser, Vice President of Development, Middle East and North Africa for Hilton Worldwide. “I have long admired the role DIFC plays in the world of international investment, benefitting from its east meets west location and world-class trading framework. As an iconic luxury brand originating from New York, another centre of global finance, I am delighted that we will welcome Waldorf Astoria to this international hub.”

Forming part of a mixed-use residential, retail and office-space development, Waldorf Astoria DIFC will feature 247 guest rooms, as well as a range of upscale dining options, spa and wellness facilities. Significant events space will include a grand ballroom and a further four meeting rooms, designed for social occasions and corporate events.

Dubai enjoys a prestigious reputation as a destination of choice for business and leisure travellers – with its array of upscale tourist attractions, attractive climate as well as being a hub for business and commerce in the region. The upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 will shine a year-long spotlight on the Emirate as more than 25 million visitors are expected to attend.

Across the Middle East, Hilton Worldwide is rapidly expanding its portfolio of mid-market, upscale and luxury properties within its distinct portfolio of brands. In 2015, notable milestones included the opening of three Hilton Garden Inn hotels in Dubai; the signing of an agreement for the the first Hampton by Hilton in the Middle East; as well as confirmation of the first Curio, a Collection by Hilton for Dubai with The Rosemont Hotel & Residences.

Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre will be located on Al Saada Street, opposite DIFC and approximately 10 kilometres from Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Conrad Makkah

Conrad opens hotel in the heart of Makkah

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Conrad Hotels & Resorts today celebrates the opening of its first hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – the 438-room Conrad Makkah, set in the heart of the Holy City and overlooking the Sacred Mosque, Al Masjid Al Haram, and the Holy Kaabah.

John T.A. Vanderslice, global head, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, said: “Conrad creates inspired experiences for our guests in some of the world’s most sought-after destinations. We are delighted to open our first luxury hotel in the Holy City and begin welcoming pilgrims and guests.”

Rudi Jagersbacher, Area president, Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide, said: “The arrival of Conrad Hotels & Resorts to Makkah marks the addition of our second brand into the city and our 11th hotel into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With another 28 Hilton Worldwide properties in development, we are extremely proud to offer incredible variety and choice for travellers to the region.”

The hotel also features stunning interior décor inspired by both modern and traditional Islamic design and complemented by contemporary art works.

Conrad Makkah offers an on-site Masjid for up to 1,000 guests with audio connection to Al Haram. The hotel also has 12 elevators that go directly to Al Haram, providing quick direct access during peak prayer times. For intimate meetings, the hotel offers two meeting spaces for up to 100 guests as well as a business centre and Executive Lounge.

The hotel’s full time Concierge will assist guests in planning a variety of local activities through the Conrad 1/3/5 programme, a curated collection of inspired experiences in art, shopping, adventure, and gastronomy, where guests can discover local culture from an insider’s perspective.

Guests booking a stay at the hotel can also utilise the popular Conrad Concierge mobile app, which gives global luxury travellers the ability to customise details of their hotel stay before, during, and after each visit via a smartphone or tablet. Whether it’s pre-selecting bath amenities or checking-in while in-transit from the airport, guests can access a variety of features by using the app.

Dusit Hotels to bring hotel apartment project to Dubai

Dusit to break ground on new Dubai project

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Dusit Hotels and Resorts has announced the signing of a technical design agreement with ACES Property Development to bring a new hotel apartment project under the DusitPrincess brand to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The agreement was formalised at a signing ceremony recently held at the Dusit Thani Bangkok presided over by executives from both companies, including Dusit’s Group Chief Executive Officer Ms Suphajee Suthumpun and Founding Director of ACES, Mr Kashif Shahzad.

The DusitPrincess ACES Dubai will be located in the Jumeirah Village Circle, in close proximity to the new Al Makhtoum International Airport, the Palm Jumeirah, and other exciting shopping and entertainment venues. Full details will be released at the project’s ground-breaking ceremony to be held soon.

www.dusit.com

InterContinental David, Tel Aviv

InterContinental David Hotel, Tel Aviv gets Ara Design renovation

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The InterContinental David Hotel in Israel has completed its $4 million-plus (£2.7 million) renovation in conjunction with Ara Design International – the focus being on the hotel’s 135 club guestrooms, 15 suites and public areas.

For the suites, improvements included new smart alarm systems, docking stations, and MoroccanOil and Sabon bath products.

InterContinental David, Tel Aviv
In the club rooms, the Ara Design International incorporated a residential-style design. Each club room is approximately 355 square feet with views of the Mediterranean Sea. The rooms have a working desk and a lounge area, 37-inch flat screen television and a white leather double door closet. There is also a separate bath and shower.

InterContinental David, Tel Aviv
The Royal Suites were fashioned into 947-square-feet apartments with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the beachfront promenade and the Mediterranean Sea. The suites have a living area or intimate dining area. Other elements include a king-size bed, bespoke furnishings, wardrobe space, jet walk-in rain shower and soaking tub.

InterContinental David, Tel Aviv

The 1,356 square feet Tel Aviv Suite has views of the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Tel Aviv/Jaffa. The living and entertaining area is a stylised interpretation of the Tel Avivian urban retreat, featuring bespoke furnishings and accessories, a collection of curated books and art, and a kitchenette with a separate service entrance.

The master bedroom has a bed facing floor-to-ceiling windows. A marble en-suite bathroom has a dry sauna, Jacuzzi tub and a jet walk-in rain shower. Inspired by its location overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the InterContinental David Tel Aviv has 555 guestrooms (39 of which are suites), including the brand new Tel Aviv Suite and two Royal Suites.

www.ihg.com/intercontinental
www.aradesign.co.uk

Burj Al Arab Terrace

Burj Al Arab Terrace project officially opens

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Last month marked the unveiling and official launch of the highly anticipated Burj Al Arab Terrace. Located at Dubai’s most iconic hotel, the terrace is a remarkable, one-of-a-kind restaurant, pool, beach and cabana space, offering hotel guests and Burj Al Arab members the finest Arabian hospitality.

Burj Al Arab Terrace is a world-first in marine and off-site construction, having been developed by marine construction experts ADMARES at a shipyard site in Finland. It was then transported by ship to Dubai in eight pieces, ensuring minimal distruption to guests, as well as the seabed and marine life.

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RELATED: VIDEO – Jumeirah’s Burj Al Arab adding innovative ‘North Deck’ project
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Now in place, the private 10,000-metre-squared outdoor luxury leisure facility seamlessly stretches 100m out into the sea and is home to Scape Restaurant & Bar, two stunning pools, dedicated butler-serviced cabanas, and a beach area with luxury day and sunbeds. As such, Burj Al Arab Terrace is not only pushing the boundaries of construction, but also of design, architecture and hospitality.

Anthony McHale, General Manager, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, commented: “As the world’s most luxurious hotel, Burj Al Arab continuously evolves and re-invents our guest experience through state-of-the-art facilities. Burj Al Arab Terrace is the ultimate destination for indulgence, socialising and relaxing and is another initiative in our endeavour to delight our guests.”

Burj Al Arab Terrace

Commenting further on the design and scale, he said: “Burj Al Arab Terrace is our most ambitious project since the hotel was created; it’s a global first in hotel construction with a breakthough combination of creative marine design, ingenious engineering and guest-friendly planning. In January, we announced its arrival on a ship from Finland and, since then, our construction and design teams have brought our vision to life and the result is simply spectacular.”

Stefan Leser, Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group, added: “The Burj Al Arab Terrace is a new Dubai landmark and a symbol of innovation and engineering excellence. A masterpiece in design and architecture, it reinforces Dubai as an outstanding destination and leader in global hospitality. We are immensely proud to offer such a distinctive experience, which will considerably enhance the enjoyment of our Burj Al Arab guests.”

The Design
The architectural form of the terrace has been designed to reflect the shape of Burj Al Arab, creating a fusion of sophisticated, contemporary structures and tranquil stretches of water. Linked by a central walkway, flanked on either side by crystalline beaches and private cabanas, it gives an effect of a stylised tropical forest canopy, with contrasting areas of dappled light and shade.

Burj Al Arab Terrace

A palette of earth tones and clean, sharp whites, highlight the contrasting colours of nature, while the highest quality glass has been used extensively and creatively, from the panels throughout the interior spaces, to the specially commissioned handmade light installations in Scape Restaurant & Bar.

The design also incorporates a 612m2 freshwater pool and an 828m2 saltwater infinity pool, which melts into the horizon to create the mirage of a continuous ebb of water. 10 million mosaic tiles in shades of azure and gold line the pools, while 1,000 tonnes of white sand creates the dazzling beach. Set within the pools are four Jacuzzis and a swim-up bar.

www.jumeirah.com
Photos: Burj Al Arab website, Jumeirah

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Bahrain

Hilton signs agreement for DoubleTree Suites in Bahrain

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Hilton Worldwide has announced the signing of a DoubleTree Suites on Bahrain’s Dilmunia Island.

Featuring 237 serviced apartments, the property will offer a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom apartments. Guests will be able to choose from three dining outlets including an all-day dining restaurant, a lobby café and a pool café. Leisure facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, health club and salon. For business guests, the hotel will offer four meeting rooms, a boardroom and a business centre.

Carlos Khneisser, vice president of development, Middle East & North Africa, said: “With more than 70% of our Middle East pipeline currently under construction, Hilton’s presence is growing rapidly across the region. The project at Dilmunia Island will be an outstanding addition to the Hilton portfolio in the Middle East, and further enhance Bahrain as a hugely popular destination for travellers to the region.”

Wellbeing and vitality are a focus at Dilmunia Island, which includes residential and shopping areas, and a health district. The mixed-use development is one of several large scale projects being built in line with Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, a plan which aims to diversify the country’s economy.

Hilton now features three properties across its Bahraini development pipeline, in its Hilton Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton portfolio. There are more than 67 properties currently under development in the Middle East, which will more than double the existing portfolio size over the next few years.

C-Hotel in Manama, Bahrain

Bahrain’s first floating hotel – C-Hotel – officially opens

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Bahrain’s first floating hotel was officially opened at the weekend (May 15th) in the capital city Manama’s Coral Bay.

The $5 million, five-star C-Hotel is built on the base of an old houseboat and contains 14 rooms, two of which are large suites. While the hotel floats while anchored, an automatic gliding bridge connects the hotel to Coral Bay’s facilities.

The boutique hotel is part of the Hotel des Charmes group, which specialises in luxury boutique hotels around the world, and features predominantly Italian design.

The C-Hotel is the brainchild of Seven Leisure Group owner Akram Miknas who told the local Gulf Daily News that he got the idea when he bought a houseboat for personal use.

“I bought the boat from a prominent family in Bahrain and decided to convert it into a luxury hotel on a docked boat. It took us three years to make the changes, including designs approved by a marine architect, Italian interior décor, furniture, and other facilities in the rooms,” he said.

The C-hotel had a soft launch in December and has since averaged 80 per cent occupancy.

Dusit Thani - dusitD2 Dubai

Dusit International bringing dusitD2 hotel to UAE

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Thai hotel group Dusit International is continuing its strong Middle Eastern expansion with its first dusitD2 hotel in the United Arab Emirates.

The new dusitD2 Kenz Dubai by Dusit will be located in the TECOM district of Dubai, facing the main thoroughfare Sheikh Zayed Road, and is scheduled to open in July 2016.

The property is described as an “upscale hotel that caters to business and leisure travellers”, and will feature 237 rooms and suites, all with free Wi-Fi access, digital media hubs with universal power outlets, and LED TV screens. Hotel facilities will include Thai and Mediterranean restaurants, a rooftop pool, spa, fitness centre, three meeting rooms and a boardroom.

The DusitD2 Kenz Dubai, as it will be known, becomes the company’s fifth property in UAE, following the Dusit Thani Dubai, Dusit Residence Dubai Marina, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi and Pearl Coast Apartments in Dubai.

The company also plans to bring its dusitD2 brand to Abu Dhabi in the near future.

Desert Palm PER AQUUM introduces Dubai’s newest luxury villa experience

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The recently unveiled Desert Palm PER AQUUM‘s Villa LAYALI is ready to welcome guests.

The three-bedroom 845-sqm villa hides amongst tall palm trees in a location of the hotel’s original royal villa. The property’s original award-winning designer Isabelle Miaja brings her artistry to the new Villa LAYALI, evoking the Arabian avant-garde aesthetic that has set Desert Palm PER AQUUM apart since its opening in 2008.

Just 15 minutes from the spires of Downtown Dubai, Desert Palm PER AQUUM is one of the UAE’s better-kept secrets. The verdant resort hotel feels a world away from the urban energy and bustle. Set in a 160-acre polo estate, nature prevails and sophisticated design attracts the discerning.

Villa LAYALI takes the hotel’s intimate experience to an even more refined level. Guests arrive via a private entrance, strolling a Jordanian stone pathway adorned by water features and manicured hedges. Entering through high gates to the villa gardens and beyond to the inner luxuries, you are greeted by fountains, waterfalls and a 60-sqm swimming pool adorned in cool blue mosaic tiles.PER AQUUM Dubai

Across the courtyard, the glass-enclosed Great Room entreats with its solid oak floor, private palm enclave, elevated terrace and impressive views of the championship polo field. The long oval marble table of the dining area sets a chic tableau, perfect for dinners created by a private chef. The adjacent kitchen comes extravagantly equipped, from its own wine fridge to a breakfast bar complete with leather bucket seats.

Other fittings include a timber and brass writing desk, the globe candle lanterns of the courtyard and high-tech enhancements throughout. Ceiling-mounted BOSE speakers can be found in every corner of the villa, and personal remotes control mood lighting and sound to tailor the experience.

Natural light illuminates all three bedrooms, which overlook gardens of bougainvillea. Plush beds, fine linens and a menu of pillows beckon the deepest sleeps. Bedrooms connect to spa-like bathrooms with freestanding Bagnotec stone bathtubs, separate indoor and outdoor rain showers, twin stone basins and fog-free mirrors. REN and Eminence organic amenities add seductive aromas and soothing elixirs, while the bath salt menu offers an array of choices for sumptuous evening soaks. Tile patterns and bathroom textures add artistic touches, from minimalist Arabian patterns to bold, modern radial geometrics to classic marble.

During Dubai’s October to April polo season, the equestrian action takes place just metres from the villa. Its guests enjoy a VIP viewing platform from the Great Room’s balcony.

Louvre Hotels to open properties in Middle East and Africa

Louvre Hotels Group opening 40 economy hotels in MENA region

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Louvre Hotels Group has strengthened its position in the Middle East and North Africa by announcing the opening of 40 economy hotels over the next five years.

A seasoned player in the Middle East region with 60 hotels and over 8,000 rooms, Louvre Hotels Group brings its experience into play to meet the market dynamic. With the support of its shareholder Jin Jiang International, the hotel group continues its development strategy on the low-end and mid-range segments by privileging its Première Classe and Campanile brands, operating a network of over 650 hotels worldwide. The Group’s next step is to open 40 new hotels in the region within the next 5 years.

Since it was launched in 1989, Première Classe has renewed the super-budget hotel sector by adopting a veritable strategy combining low-cost and comfort. The brand delivers the promise of a unique experience: essential comfort, all-you-can-eat breakfast and modern and functional rooms with WiFi access. Today, Première Classe counts 264 hotels in 6 countries.

Campanile, the historic French brand founded in 1976, counts 375 hotels in 8 European countries and is the fourth largest restaurant network in France. To create the right design match for its brand image, authentic and welcoming, the brand called on French designer Patrick Jouin, while Michelin-starred chef Philippe Renard worked on its restaurant menu. 2016 will be an important year in Campanile’s globalisation strategy; in addition to moving into the Middle East, it will open its first hotel in Shanghai, China in the summer this year.

“By developing Première Classe and Campanile on the Middle East and North African markets where our 4- and 5-star brands are already established, we are meeting a real local need for economy hotels by offering clients uncompromising service quality,” explains Pierre-Frédéric Roulot, President and CEO of Louvre Hotels Group.

The first Première Classe hotel will open its doors in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2018, while the first Campanile hotel locations will be announced in the coming months. These new opportunities dovetail into the Group’s international development strategy, while meeting needs identified by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

According to the UNWTO, the number of international tourists in the Middle East grew by 3% in 2015 to reach a total of 54 million, consolidating a recovery begun in 2014.

Renaissance Hotel Dubai

Marriott reveals details of UAE’s first Renaissance Hotel

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The first Renaissance Hotel in the United Arab Emirates is set to open at the end of the year, according to a statement released by Marriott International. The Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai will be a 298-room luxury property. The firm has also announced it plans to open four additional hotels in the country throughout 2016.

Amongst the 2016 openings is Abu Dhabi’s first Marriott Hotel, the 315-room five-star Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi as well as the 64-suite Marriott Executive Apartments Downtown Abu Dhabi.

Further strengthening Marriott International’s luxury lifestyle offering, scheduled 2016 openings also include the 86-room La Ville Hotel City Walk Dubai, Autograph Collection, the 68-suite La Ville Apartments City Walk, Dubai and the 500-room Lapita Hotel, Autograph Collection, all set to open by the fourth quarter of this year.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Arabian Travel Market 2016 (ATM), Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa of Marriott International, said: “The Renaissance Hotel Downtown Dubai will be a truly unique offer within the UAE hospitality sector as it is a highly appealing lifestyle option for both business and leisure travellers. The debut, alongside the opening of our flagship Marriott Hotels brand and two other Autograph Collection properties make for a very attractive luxury lifestyle proposition in the UAE.”

The 5 property openings planned for this year will be amongst nine Marriott International properties, representing over 2000 rooms, scheduled to open in the UAE by 2018. Among the much-anticipated Marriott International openings will be the region’s first EDITION and Bulgari Hotels – both set to open in 2017.

At present, Marriott International operates nearly 150 properties across the Middle East and Africa region, representing 9 brands in 19 countries. By 2020 the hotel company will add a further 93 properties and approximately 19,000 rooms within the region for a total of 240 properties and 40,000 rooms.

Starwood Middle East 100 hotels by 2020

Starwood targets 100 hotels in Middle East by 2020

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From the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced that it is on track to grow its portfolio in the Middle East to 100 hotels by 2020.

This follows five new deal signings that will add over 1,200 rooms in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Starwood will also open five hotels in 2016 across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“The Middle East continues to be one of Starwood’s fastest growing markets and we are immensely committed to the trust that owners have in our world-class brands,” said Michael Wale, President of Starwood, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “Our long-established presence in the region, and the value we deliver, has set us ahead to further expand our footprint and strengthen our guest loyalty.”

“We continue to strengthen Starwood’s leadership position in the Middle East through an aggressive growth strategy that will increase our footprint by 75% in the next five years,” says Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Our flexible development approach, differentiated brands, loyal customer base and proven ability to drive asset value has made Starwood the ideal partner for developers in the region.”

Starwood’s newest hotel signings in the region include a Luxury Collection Hotel and Le Méridien in Lusail, Qatar; Four Points by Sheraton Jeddah Tahlia, Saudi Arabia; Four Points by Sheraton Unaizah, Saudi Arabia and Four Points by Sheraton Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

InterCityHotel

First InterCityHotel outside Europe to open in July 2016

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Steigenberger is continuing its programme of expansion in the Middle East – the first InterCityHotel outside Europe is scheduled to open in July 2016 in Salalah, the second largest metropolitan area in Oman located 1,000 kilometres to the South-West of the capital Muscat.

This will be the first international mid-market hotel in the city.

The new hotel will extend over eight storeys and will offer 70 rooms as well as a restaurant and gym, and a roof-top swimming pool with fabulous views.
As usual, the InterCityHotel Salalah is being developed in a central location at the heart of the business district and within the immediate vicinity of various ministries. The airport is also only four kilometres away. Salalah is particularly popular because of its all-year round mild climate and its impressive natural environment.

Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG, commented: “Following our Steigenberger début in Dubai in November last year, we are now bringing our InterCityHotel brand to the Middle East for the first time. This represents a further important milestone for us.”

The Steigenberger Hotel Dubai Business Bay has been receiving guests since November 2015 and has recently won the accolade of being named a “leading new hotel” in the 2016 Hospitality Awards.

The InterCityHotel Dubai Culture Village and the Steigenberger Hotel Doha Airport Road in Qatar are scheduled for completion in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Conrad Doha

Hilton announces development of Conrad Doha

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In an agreement with Assets Real Estate Development Company, Hilton has announced the development of the Conrad Doha as part of its luxury branch’s ongoing expansion. Hilton is one of many chains to begin expansion in the Middle Eastern country; already operating two properties in Qatar and seven others in the pipeline.

Located in the heart of Doha’s financial district, the hotel provides easy access to the city’s downtown and the new Hamad International Airport.

The 325-guestroom property will include 30 suites and approximately 10,700 square feet of event space, including the Grand Ballroom. A spa, fitness center, and outdoor pool will also make their debut along with seven onsite restaurants and bars.

“Momentum for growth in Qatar’s hospitality offering continues at a strong rate, owing to the significant focus being put on the country’s future as a truly international destination, in line with Qatar’s 2030 Vision,” says Carlos Khneisser, Hilton’s vice president of development for the Middle East and North Africa. We are delighted to have confirmed our latest Conrad hotel for the region, which joins a selection of prestigious properties in outstanding destinations worldwide.”

The Conrad Doha is slated to open in early 2019. Conrad Hotels & Resorts’ has a presence in numerous major cities around the world, including Dubai, Hong Kong, London, and New York. Eight new Conrad hotels will open in 2016 (including Conrad Makkah, slated to open this summer) and a further 23 hotels under development.

Dubai mega-tower

Hotel slated to be included in new Dubai mega-tower

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A Spanish-Swiss architectural firm has come out on top to design a new mega-tower in Dubai – which will surpass the world’s current tallest building Burj Khalifa in height – after the emirate’s ruler chose its design from a field of international suitors.

Architect Santiago Calatrava will join forces with Emaar – the firm behind the Burj Khalifa – to create what they say will become ‘an icon of a nation’ in a similar vein to the Eiffel Tower.

Speaking at the weekend, Calatrava said: “There’s no doubt that the Eiffel Tower has inspired over 100 years, it represents a city, a whole nation. It is still today a monument. I feel so proud to be part of a team that aims to obtain a similar achievement.”

While the building in Dubai Creek will serve more as an architectural achievement than a working building, there will be floors dedicated to a hotel, restaurant, meeting space, an interior garden and an observation deck.

Both this new Dubai mega-tower and the Burj Khalifa will be surpassed by the 3,280 ft-high Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which is also slated for completion in 2020.

Rendering courtesy of emaar.com

US Embassy hotel project (Photo: qataridiar.com)

US embassy in Mayfair, London to become 5-star hotel

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According to sources, the building housing the US embassy in London is set to be redeveloped into a five-star hotel as part of a £1 billion renovation project.

With American diplomats moving to new premises in Nine Elms, the Grade II-listed building in Mayfair will be converted into a 137-bedroom, Qatari-owned hotel. As part of the redevelopment project there will also be six shops as well as five restaurants.

The plans for the whole project are set to be submitted to Westminster Council in May by building owners Qatari Diar who have touted British architect Sir David Chipperfield as the person they want to design the project.

The developers wish to keep the iconic square, stone frames on the building as well as the aluminum eagle which sits atop the building.

Diplomats will be moving to the new site in 2017, when work can commence on the hotel project.

Photo: Artist’s impression – qataridiar.com

Westin Doha Hotel & Spa

Westin makes debut in Qatar with Doha Hotel & Spa

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts has opened The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, in partnership with Ghanem Al Thani Holdings, in the heart of Qatar’s rapidly growing capital.

The opening marks Westin’s debut in the country, reinforcing the brand’s growth in the region, with hotels opening in the UAE, Jordan, Oman and Saudi Arabia within the next three years, which will double its presence in the Middle East.

The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa features 365 thoughtfully-designed guestrooms and suites, including five expansive pool villas and an impressive presidential suite.

Westin Doha Hotel & Spa

Photos: starwoodhotels.com

The nine-story hotel’s crisp limestone and glass façade floods the space with natural light, while a custom art installation anchors the atrium-like foyer to create a modern sense of arrival.

Featured throughout the hotel, meandering paths and lush botanicals reinforce Westin’s biophilic design principles, which suggest a connection to nature enhances wellbeing.

Minor Hotel Group - Jebel Dhanna project

Minor Hotel Group continues expansion in the UAE

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Minor Hotel Groups has announced it will be adding to its 145-property portfolio with the addition of two new hotels in the UAE; Anantara Jebel Dhanna and AVANI Jebel Dhanna in Abu Dhbai. Development is set to begin shortly and both are scheduled to open in 2018. Aecom has been appointed as the lead architecture and interior design consultant for the project.

Jebel Dhanna is located along the coastal area of the Al Gharbia region in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, close to the ferry departure point for Sir Bani Yas Island. Anantara Jebel Dhanna Villas will have a total of 60 keys across three villa types: 20 One-Bedroom Villas, 38 Two-Bedroom Villas and two impressive Three-Bedroom Villas. The new Anantara will offer two restaurants and a pool bar, a gym, a swimming pool and an Anantara Spa.

The neighbouring AVANI Jebel Dhanna Hotel will have 230 keys across two different room types: 170 Deluxe Rooms and 60 Superior Rooms including a kitchenette. Facilities at the AVANI will include multiple dining options, a gym and a swimming pool. Shared facilities will include flexible meeting and banqueting space, a kid’s club and outdoor recreation areas.

Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotel Group, commented, “Minor Hotel Group is already well established in Abu Dhabi through our existing Anantara portfolio in the city, desert and on Sir Bani Yas Island and we are excited to today announce the first AVANI in Abu Dhabi, to be developed alongside what will be our sixth Anantara. We are looking forward to partnering with Dhabi Contracting in this exciting new project.”

Rotana Bahrain

Rotana expands its Bahrain portfolio with the opening of Downtown Rotana, Manama

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Downtown Rotana, Manama, BahrainDowntown Rotana, Manama has officially opened its doors and is welcoming guests to its slick-city property in the heart of the Bahraini capital. Set against the iconic backdrop of the Manama ‘souq’ and the city’s central business and financial district skyline, the new 26-storey property is the third new property opening in Bahrain for Rotana, the leading hotel management company in the MENA, South Asia and Eastern European regions.

Boasting striking design elements and panoramic city views, the hotel is a perfect blend of contemporary minimalism and understated elegance; designed to complement the quality and sophistication of Bahrain’s hospitality scene.

The new hotel sits in downtown Manama, and is walking distance from the historical Bab Al Bahrain and traditional local market; key corporate hubs such as the Bahrain Financial Harbour and the World Trade Centre; and a short drive from the country’s largest retail and entertainment outlets.

With flourishing development being made in its growth strategy, Rotana is set to continue its ambitious expansion plans across the globe. Mr. Omer Kaddouri, President and CEO of Rotana spoke regarding future prospects: “This year we will roll out 10 new properties across different markets including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, DR Congo, Jordan and Iraq. With the opening of Downtown Rotana, our company’s inventory in the Kingdom [of Bahrain] has increased to more than 680 rooms.”

The resort offers 249 rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, high-speed internet connection, and 48inch flat screen TVs, in addition to Club Rotana Executive Rooms and Lounge. Downtown Rotana is also home to seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms and a spacious and elegantly-designed ballroom. The new hotel also offers four new dining concepts, including the award-winning ‘Teatro Downtown’ and ‘Flavours on 2’; a relaxed setting serving international flavours.

Leisure facilities include a rooftop swimming pool, a Bodylines Fitness and Wellness Club with professional instructors and a fully-equipped gym, as well as a sauna, steam-room, Jacuzzi and treatment rooms.

Hilton Garden Inn Muscat, Oman

Hilton signs agreement to open Garden Inn in Muscat, Oman

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Oman’s continued hotel construction boom got an additional boost this week after it was announced that Hilton have signed an agreement with local investors to open a Garden Inn hotel in Muscat. It would be Hilton’s first in the Omani capital and the second in the country.

Carlos Khneisser, vice president of development, Middle East and North Africa for Hilton Worldwide, said: “With a well-established tourism industry and historic reputation as a trading hub, Muscat is continuing to develop its infrastucture in response to steady increases in business and leisure arrivals. Oman welcomes almost 3.5 million visitors each year and with Muscat’s expanding airport capacity, as well as the expected opening of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre this year, we look forward to supporting this growth and developing Hilton’s presence here.”

Hilton Garden Inn Muscat will feature 232 guest rooms and occupy a prime position in the centre of the city. Visitors will be in close proximity to Muscat International Airport (16 kilometres) as well as sites of interest including the renowned Royal Opera House and Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

Hilton Garden Inn Dubai

An example of a Hilton Garden Inn in neighbouring UAE (Dubai)

Expected to open in early 2019, guests will also have access to a 24-hour business center, complimentary Wi-Fi and benefit from more than 147-square-metres of meeting space. Food and beverage options at the hotel will include the signature 24-hour Pavilion Pantry.

John Greenleaf, global head, Hilton Garden Inn, said: “As we continue to expand our presence in the Middle East, travellers to Oman will soon be able to experience the very best in mid-market accomodation as we expand Hilton Garden Inn to the country. We have recently established the brand in the UAE and grown its presence in Saudi Arabia. With 16 hotels either trading or under development in the Middle East, our global footprint of 650 Hilton Garden Inn properties will continue to expand to include a growing list of exciting destinations.”

Hilton Worldwide has operated in Oman since 1999, when it opened the upscale Hilton Salalah Resort, located in the south of the country. Hilton Garden Inn has grown rapidly in the Middle East over the last 12 months, with properties now open at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates; Al Mina and Al Muraqabat – as well as in Riyadh and Tabuk in Saudi Arabia.

Oman Anantara

Anantara to open second resort in Oman by mid-2016

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Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas has announced the opening of a second luxury resort in Oman by the middle of this year – the Al Jabal Al Akhdar, which will join the Al Baleed Resort Salalah.

Set in the Saiq Plateau on Oman’s fabled Green Mountain, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar is perched some 2,000-metres above sea level on the curving rim of a great canyon, making it the highest five star resort in the Middle East and one of the highest in the world.

Designed to reflect traditional Omani and Middle Eastern architecture, the resort blends seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, offering panoramic canyon views. A scenic two-hour drive from Muscat International Airport and a four and a half hour drive from Dubai, passing date plantations, valleys or ‘wadis’ and historical forts, the resort will offer an exhilarating escape for adrenalin-junkies as well as culture and history enthusiasts, with the ancient city of Nizwa only a 30-minute drive from the hotel.

The 82 Premier and Deluxe rooms, overlooking either the spectacular canyon or tranquil gardens, will each feature private balconies or terraces, whilst the 33 one, two or three bedroom villas complete with private swimming pools, separate living spaces and personal butler services, offer the epitome of luxury.

Both resorts will boast a world-acclaimed Anantara Spa, which will harness the essence of Arabia with ancient hammam rituals as well as treatment rooms offering signature spa treatments using indigenous ingredients and traditions. In addition, the resorts will each feature extensive meeting and banqueting facilities to host weddings, events, conferences and team building activities.

Melia International - Iran

Melia International announces surprise move into Iranian market

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Meliá Hotels International has made the surprising announcement that it is to enter into the Iranian market with the Gran Melia Ghoo Hotel.

Developed by Iranian businessmen and investor, Ahad Azim Zadeh, the hotel will be situated in the largest mixed residential, commercial and hotel complex to be developed in Iran – currently being built in Salman Shahr, a popular holiday destination on the Caspian Sea.

Referred to as the “Ghoo Middle East Diamond”, this new development is set to be a year-round business and holiday destination, featuring two residential towers, a sports centre, parking and a retail mall – all within an area of 180,000 square metres. The Gran Meliá Ghoo Hotel itself will occupy a 130-metre high tower, with 319 deluxe rooms of different types, including a Presidential Suite measuring more than 500-square-metres

“We have always been pioneers in the development of new markets in the travel and tourism industry, so it is a fantastic challenge for us to be involved in a project which is so important for the future of the industry in this country, in a historic moment for the international relations within the area,” says Gabriel Escarrer, Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels International. “We firmly believe in Iran’s tourism potential and I am also very proud to have earned the trust of our partners in the management of this hotel, a further demonstration that we are a significant international player for the most prestigious hotel projects anywhere in the world,” he added.

Aloft Dubai Palm Jumeirah

Starwood announces Aloft hotel for Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah

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Starwood has announced its plans to open a 192-room Aloft hotel on Dubai’s iconic man-made island – the 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.

Featuring an urban-influenced design, Aloft Dubai, The Palm will have 192 guest rooms, including 10 suites, with plush platform beds, large walk-in showers and complimentary Bliss amenities.

The Palm Jumeirah is the world’s largest man-made island and one of the most ambitious developments in the world, and the Aloft resort will be located on the right side of the Palm’s crescent. Dynamic lifestyle programming being part of the brand’s DNA, the hotel will set a buzzing social scene within The Palm, offering guests and locals live, free access to the hottest emerging musicians.

“Aloft hotels continues to gain momentum around the world and is expected to quadruple its portfolio in the Middle East by 2019,” says Neil George, Senior Vice President Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Africa & Middle East.

“The signing of Aloft Dubai, The Palm marks a milestone for the brand as its first resort-style property in the Middle East in one of the world’s most iconic destinations, The Palm Jumeirah.”

Anantara Salalah Resort

Anantara Salalah-Al Baleed Resort set to open in Oman this summer

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Dhofar’s newest luxury hotel, Anantara Salalah – Al Baleed Resort, developed by a joint venture between Omran Hotels & Resorts & Musstir, is set to open this summer – just in time for the upcoming season known locally as ‘Khareef’, which brings cooler temperatures and lush greenery.

Welcoming guests with traditional Omani style, the resort, located between a natural lagoon and the beach, will be managed by Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas. Carefully designed to reflect Dhofar’s rich heritage, the resort’s striking Dhofari design featuring intricate artistic details is inspired by the region’s iconic coastal fortresses and is surrounded by towering palms, magnificent trees, tropical gardens and lush water features.

READ A FULL REVIEW OF ANANTARA’S EASTERN MANGROVES RESORT AND SPA IN ABU DHABI

With 136 guest rooms and studios as well as one, two and three bedroom pool villas — the first of their kind in Salalah and Oman – the resort is conveniently located just 10 km from the city centre and 15 km from the airport.

In line with Anantara’s ongoing commitment to the local community in each of its destinations, the resort team’s goal is to provide long-term employment and development opportunities for residents of Dhofar.

For more information, click here. The resort’s website will be launching soon and further information can be obtained from www.omran.om and www.musstir.com.