Dubai emerges as new fashion classic
Already regarded as the playground for architectural world,
Even as news broke last month that top designer Roberto Cavalli is to open a Dh60 million superclub at the Fairmont Hotel Dubai, the designer himself told media that he is looking ahead to the possible launch of a Cavalli Hotel.
In doing so, he will be joining a host of other fashion designers who have already collaborated on hotel projects in
Along with 160 guest rooms and suites, the hotel will include 145 luxury furnished apartments, two restaurants, a nightclub and a spa. Guests staying at the property will truly be able to live the designer life: the rooms are being furnished with a specially designed line of Armani Casa products, and with grey floors of Italian marble and navy silk furnishings, the rooms will reflect the designer’s signature understatement. While the hotel was initially expected to open in early 2009, a shortage of building materials in the UAE is likely to see this date pushed back.
Also under construction in
And this summer, designer Karl Lagerfeld inked a deal with Dubai Infinity Holdings to design a hotel (tentatively called Hotel Moda) and 80 residential villas as a part of the Isla Moda development. Billed the world’s first fashion island, Isla Moda is to be sited on The World archipelago and will feature design studios, retail spaces and restaurants. No design details of the reported $50 million project are available yet.
All are part of a trend that has seen designers branch out into the experience business. And hotel companies have rushed to take advantage of this trend, signing deals with top fashion houses to offer a new level of product in an increasingly differentiated market.
Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts was one of the first movers, for instance, tying up with luxury jewellers and fashion goods manufacturer Bulgari to launch the first Bulgari hotel in
The Rezidor hospitality group partnered with Missoni to launch Missoni hotels in
Other designers jumping onto the bandwagon include Christian Lacroix and Azzedine Alaïa, both of whom have designed boutique spaces in
Like Gordon McKinnon, executive vice president of brands at Rezidor Hotel Group, told Forbes magazine, it’s easier to bring in investors and guests when they are already familiar with the brand. “It takes you to market so much quicker. Because they know what the Missoni label looks like, it’s easier to envision what the hotel will look like.” And to estimate profit margins.
By Clark Kelly