Dubai has become one of the world’s largest base for five-star hotels and more such units are due to come on stream in the near future, the New York Times said.
Despite competition from other cities, hotel occupancy levels in Dubai, the region’s business and commercial hub, remained above 80 in the first quarter of 2014, the US newspaper said in a long report on Dubai.
“Dubai has one of the highest concentrations of five-star hotels of any major city in the world and one of the highest occupancy rates for hotel rooms,” said Chiheb Ben-Mahmoud, executive vice president and head of hotels and hospitality, Middle East and Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle. “Dubai is seen as trendy and dynamic, which is why designer hotels are now in line.”
According to the report, designer hotels are aiming to take a piece of the growing pie with luxury products, spa offerings and a keen attention to detail.
A Roberto Cavalli-branded hotel is in the pipeline, while the Palazzo Versace hotel is scheduled to open in the spring of 2015, it said.
The Armani hotel in the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, opened in 2010 through a collaboration between Giorgio Armani and Emaar Properties.
“Like other hotels in the five-star segment, designer hotels have identified Dubai as an important market as the city strengthens its role as a business and leisure hub,” Ben-Mahmoud said. “But these fashion-branded hotels will only work as solid propositions, not a gimmick.”
The paper said that several five-star hotels have opened in many of Dubai’s tourist hubs this year. “A drive along the Palm Jumeirah reveals newly paved paths leading to the luxurious entrances of the Waldorf-Astoria, Sofitel Dubai the Palm, Anantara Dubai the Palm and billboards for a coming W Hotel.”
The report, citing figures by the consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle, said international operators control about 68 percent of the 93,000 hotel rooms available in the city and a majority are in the five-star category.
By 2016, more than 28,000 rooms will be added, mainly at the highest price point, where room rates are around $1,200 a night or as much as $10,000 for a suite, it said.