Kempinski’s Unique Landing at Mall of the Emirates

Kempinski Hotels & Resorts has been awarded the management contract for a truly unique hotel at Majid Al Futaim Investments’ ‘Mall of the Emirates’ on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is a very significant development for the company as this is Kempinski’s first hotel in Dubai. It is scheduled to open in September 2005, at the same time as the Mall of the Emirates itself.

The five-star Kempinski Resort Mall of the Emirates will feature over 400 deluxe rooms, including 24 prestigious duplex ski chalets offering unprecedented views over the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort, featuring one of the world’s longest indoor ski slopes and a play area where children can experience winter with real snow. This unmatched ‘Alpine’ experience is set to make the hotel one of the most sought after in the region and a tourist destination in itself.

The 48,000 metre squared hotel will take pride of place at the forefront of the Mall with views over the Arabian Gulf. In addition to being linked to one of the largest and most exciting retail developments in the Arab world, the hotel will offer guests a complete leisure experience with a state-of-the-art health club including Ayurveda wellness centre, swimming pool and tennis courts. Guests will be able to go skiing or simply soak up the ‘winter’ atmosphere in one of the fully licensed fine dining restaurants, all of which overlook the ski slope.

It’s clearly an attractive leisure destination but Kempinski are keen to emphasise that for the business traveller and corporate guest the hotel will provide fully-fledged conference facilities, including 12 inter-connecting meeting rooms with state of the art audio-visual digital facilities, while private meeting rooms will also be available on the Executive Floor.

The scale of the project is enormous as the Mall of the Emirates will include over 2.4 million sq. ft. of shopping, leisure and entertainment space, the largest single-level Carrefour hypermarket in the Middle East, two major department stores, a 14-screen multi-plex cinema with VIP facilities and numerous food and beverage outlets. Amazingly, when it opens in September 2005 it will be the third biggest mall outside North America.

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“We are delighted to be the hotel group of choice managing this prestigious resort at the Mall of the Emirates,” commented Ulrich Eckhardt, Vice President Middle East of Kempinski Hotels & Resorts.  “This Mall will become a central attraction in Dubai, offering international tourists and local visitors a unique blend of shopping, entertainment and sporting facilities.  This vision fits very well with Kempinski’s philosophy.”

Peter Walichnowski is the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Investments, the company behind the Mall of Emirates project. Peter led the development of Bluewater in London - Europe’s largest and most successful shopping centre - prior to joining Majid Al Futtaim. “We are delighted to be able to announce that we are beginning construction on one of the most ambitious retail and leisure projects anywhere in the world,’ he commented recently.

‘Majid Al Futtaim turned the shopping and entertainment landscape in the UAE on its head in the 90s with the opening of Deira City Centre and Mall of the Emirates places Dubai on a truly global stage,’ he added. ‘The project will include several ‘firsts’ for the Middle East including the world’s biggest indoor ski resort using real snow - the first time many people in this region will have ever seen snow.’

‘Mall of the Emirates is of such a grand scale, and offering such a unique total experience, that Middle East and international residents will now choose Dubai instead of traditional destinations, such as Europe and America, for their special shopping and leisure needs,’ added Walichnowski. ‘It will be an experience like no other.’

The development combines dramatic contemporary design with traditional Arabic architecture with every section having a distinctive style and a unique atmosphere.

‘The interior will be a myriad of arcades, which culminate in a spectacular galleria at the heart of the development, marked with a spectacular domed skylight 12 storeys in height, allowing light to flood into the Galleria,’ he added.

‘Lighting will be used to dramatic effect, accentuating the architecture and complementing the mood of each themed area,’ he added. ‘It will be infinitely intriguing, with a diverse mix of contrasting atmospheres from bustling street cafes to tranquil areas of quiet contemplation. It will be like nothing else in the world.’

Kempinski appear to have landed a truly unique entry onto the Dubai landscape and will no doubt be overjoyed to have added such a thoroughly modern concept to their “oldest collection of luxury hotels in the world”.
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