In Brief


Emirates Park hotel for Business Bay
THE Emirates Group’s hospitality division, Emirates Hotels & Resorts, will manage the five-star Emirates Park Towers Hotel & Spa (right).

With 77-storied twin towers, it will be a commanding focal point of Dubai’s upcoming Business Bay. Set to be one of the world’s five tallest hotel buildings, the 395m complex represents an investment of Dh1.8 billion ($490 million). The property will offer panoramic views from more than 900 guest rooms and 300 serviced apartments. It is scheduled for completion in 2010.
Emirates Hotels & Resorts will invest a total of Dh2.4 billion in new projects over the next four years, adding 1,700 hotel rooms and apartments to Dubai; directly employing more than 2,500 staff, with an emphasis on UAE nationals.

Millennium launches new UAE hotels
MILLENNIUM Hotels and Resorts will open two new properties in the UAE as part of a regional expansion plan that entails developing 35 new hotels over the next five years. Abu Dhabi will see the opening of the 100-room Kingsgate Abu Dhabi, a three-star hotel located in the Tourist Club Area between Al Salam Street and the Abu Dhabi Mall and Millennium Executive Apartments, comprising 200 serviced apartments. Both will open in late 2007.

Trump to pioneer condo-apartment
UAE property developer Nakheel has revealed further details of the Trump International Hotel & Tower, the centerpiece of The Palm Jumeirah. The recently redesigned hotel  (right) is a 48-storey mixed-use property comprising a 300-room condo hotel and 360 freehold residential apartments. It will pioneer the condo-apartment hotel concept in the region. The design also features a number of boutique offices, available for purchase or rental. The Trump Organisation will have sales, marketing and management responsibility for the property, with Nakheel responsible for development. Construction will begin late 2006, with sales launching in 2007. Completion is likely in 2009.

Two Dubai properties for Anantara
MINOR International is to operate two properties in Dubai. The first, scheduled to open in December 2007, will be the five-star luxury Anantara Resort Palm Jumeirah, an integral part of the Dh2.1 billion ($571 million) Tiara Residence project launched by Zabeel Investments. It will host 243 hotel rooms and 132 fully furnished and serviced apartments within a single 15-storey building and an 800sqm Anantara Spa. The second will be the 45-storey Anantara Jumeirah Lake Dubai, due to open in the first quarter of 2008 behind Dubai Marina. It will comprise 473 rooms, suites and service apartments.

Coral announces Dubai, Oman hotels
CORAL International Hotels, Resorts & Spas continues to expand its portfolio with Coral Boutique Villas, a unique complex of 30 luxurious 5-star Villas in Dubai’s Al Barsha area. Located in the heart of New Dubai with the Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai in the neighbourhood, Coral Boutique Villas are expected to be operational by July, 2006 and will mainly cater to the high-brow, hi-tech clientele. The announcement comes on the heels of a management contract for the Coral Boutique Hotel in Muscat, the group’s first foray into Oman. Featuring 24 standard rooms and eight luxurious suites, this hotel is centrally located in an exclusive diplomatic enclave and is a short stroll away from the beach. The property will be officially inaugurated in June.

Aviation Club reveals hotel plans
DUBAI’S Aviation Club has revealed plans of a new five-star hotel.
According to general manager Gerard Kearney, a 240 rooms and suites hotel is under development to be ready to open by early 2008.
The new property will have 10 floors and 240 room unites with a minimum size of 54sqm. Six meeting rooms, two restaurants and a function room for 500 pax are also planned. The hotel will have front and rear access taking full advantage of its proximity to the airport.

Refad acquires new Dubai property
REFAD Hotels and Resorts has acquired its first deluxe hotel property in downtown Dubai. The new property will be managed under Refad’s luxury five-star hotel brand, the Monarch. The group has five international properties already in operation, and six more under construction. It aims to acquire six new properties a year over the next five years. Located on Sheikh Zayed Road, the Monarch Hotel and Convention Centre in Dubai will be made up of 240 rooms and suites, seven haute cuisine restaurants, and a ballroom able to accommodate 600 people.

Mövenpick plans three Saudi hotels
MÖVENPICK Hotels & Resorts has announced three new hotel projects in Saudi Arabia to be located in Riyadh, Bureidah (right) and Yanbu, taking the company’s portfolio within the country to nine properties by 2008. The Mövenpick Hotel Riyadh is situated in the business district of the capital and will comprise 300 rooms and suites. The five-star Mövenpick Hotel Bureidah is located in the city's central business district and boasts 156 rooms and three Royal Suites, while the Yanbu property contains 144 rooms and suites besides 12 duplex villas and 22 bungalows.
Sharia rules to back three brands
KM Properties, a division of the UAE-based Al Rostamani Enterprise, is developing a new Sharia-compliant hotel chain expected to comprise 30 properties over an eight-year development period. Fifty per cent of its total room stock in the four-star category, with the rest in the five-star (30 per cent) and deluxe (20 per cent) properties. The three groups will each be distinct in product proposition and brand. The first hotel and serviced apartment project will open in Dubai in 2008, following an 18-month, $290m investment. Its 700 rooms and suites will be built to a top-end, four-star specification. The development is being funded by a $2.3 billion, Sharia-compliant, real estate development corpus. Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey, Malaysia, and India are earmarked as prime entry markets over the first 12 months.

Raffles to open 2007
THE 18-storey Raffles Dubai hotel taking shape in Wafi City Dubai is set to raise the emirate’s luxury hospitality stakes when it opens in summer 2007, according to the property’s newly appointed general manager, Hagop A Doghramadjian. The hotel will host an impressive, botanical sky garden, designed by Singapore’s acclaimed horticulturist botanist Dr Tan Wee Kiat, the man behind the country’s Botanic Gardens, and a RafflesAmrita Spa.
Doghramadjian said the hotel is already seeing intense interest both from the leisure and business travel segments. The property will have 246 staterooms and suites – including six presidential suites, all with Middle Eastern décor complemented by Far Eastern architectural touches and reflecting the harmony of Feng Shui’s four elements. The hotel will also serve Dubai’s rapidly developing MICE market, with seven intelligently-designed meeting rooms for up to 250 delegates, and a ballroom for 500 guests.

Extension tower for Grosvenor House
LESS than 12 months after the opening of the Grosvenor House in Dubai, the hotel has announced the development of a second tower for the property. The extension, to be called Grosvenor House – The Residence, will have 288 furnished suites and five waterside villas looking out over Dubai Marina, and is scheduled to open by the end of 2008. It will be linked to the hotel by a glass bridge and will host two new concept restaurants, a health club, hammam pools and children’s play area.

$27.23m Ramada hotel in Jumeirah
THE Al Mulla Group of hotels will invest Dh100 million ($27.23 million) in building a new, 252-room four-star Ramada property in Dubai’s Jumeirah area, to be ready next year. The Ramada Jumeirah will be managed by Mohammad Obaid Al Mulla group’s subsidiary Abjar International Hotels under franchise from Ramada International and US-based Cendant Hotel group. Construction has already begun.

Al Dar to build 32 hotels in Abu Dhabi
ALDAR Properties has announced advanced plans for 32 new hotels in Abu Dhabi within the next three to seven years, increasing the annual room offering in the city by over 2.2 million. The planned range extends from small boutique hotels through business hotels to major international resorts – everything to cater for the rapidly increasing number of visitors to Abu Dhabi. Al Dar has already announced its first waterfront resort, Al Gurm (above), on the western edge of Abu Dhabi Island, to be operated and managed by the Banyan Tree Group. The resort will have 161 keys and a full supporting restaurant and spa service. Construction has already begun.