Emirates is embarking on yet another
large-scale capital investment, only this time it’s not an order for more
aircraft. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates,
disclosed during a news conference here today at the Arabian Travel Market
that General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai
and UAE Minister of Defence, has approved plans for the construction by the
airline of a new 5-star, Dhs 800 million (US $218 million) luxury hotel in
Dubai. In announcing the launch of the new 70-storey, 350 metres high building on
Sheikh Zayed Road, which will be among the world’s five tallest hotels, and
also one of the largest in the U.A.E., Sheikh Ahmed thanked the Crown Prince
for his support of Emirates’ initiative and stressed the significance of the
new landmark building as another contribution of the airline towards
realising Sheikh Mohammed’s vision of turning Dubai into one of the world’s
top business and tourist centres.
Contemporary and futuristic in its design, the Emirates hotel will break new
architectural ground with cantilever* rooms and over 50 sky terraces. When
completed in 2008, it is certain to stand apart with its distinctive
elevation in a stepped form, encased in a glass and aluminium exterior.
The hotel will offer 560 deluxe rooms, 112 suites and one Presidential
suite, each giving guests an unparalleled, panoramic view of Dubai,
including some of its most prestigious projects, such as the Burj Dubai,
Business Bay and the Dubai Financial Centre.
Commenting on the new initiative, Sheikh Ahmed said: “Last year Dubai hosted
5.4 million visitors - an increase of almost nine per cent over the year
before, and the number is expected to treble by the end of this decade.
Dubai’s infrastructure must be prepared for this huge expansion in tourist
arrivals, and the Emirates new hotel is our contribution to the city’s
efforts to meet the forecast demand for more hotel rooms.
He added: “Dubai today is not only the leading hub of the Middle East
region, it is also fast becoming a truly international business and leisure
centre. It has been voted as the world’s best conference venue, and the
670-plus rooms of the new Emirates hotel will help to support Dubai’s
stature as a major financial center. We also are committed to using it to
enhance the Emirates reputation for outstanding customer service.”
With a huge, 25,000 square feet Health Club, guests will have ample
opportunity to get in shape at the ultra-modern, state-of-the-art gymnasium
or unwind at the relaxing spa. Entertainment facilities and common areas
also will include a shopping boulevard, 15 food and beverage outlets and a
roof top bar on the 69th floor of the building.
Emirates is not new to the hospitality industry. It owns, manages and
operates the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa; a conservation-based resort set in
a 225 square kilometre nature reserve. Winner of National Geographic’s World
Legacy Award 2004, and judged ‘The Best Resort in Africa/Middle East 2002’
by Condé Nast, Al Maha offers 40 ultra luxurious suites in the heart of the
Emirates also owns the 218-room Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, situated
on a superb stretch of the private Al Aqah Beach, in the picturesque emirate
of Fujairah. The resort is particularly popular as a family holiday