UAE master developer Nakheel and leading Thai hotel group Centara Hotels & Resorts have signed a joined venture agreement to create a 550-room beachfront resort with waterpark at Deira Islands in Dubai.
Under the agreement, cemented in Bangkok by Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah and Centara chairman Suthikiati Chirathivat, the two companies will deliver an upscale resort on a prime stretch of beach on Deira Islands.
The islands are Nakheel’s new, 15.3 sq km, tourism, leisure, retail and entertainment designed to contribute significantly to the government of Dubai’s tourism vision.
Nakheel’s joint venture with Centara is the latest development in the company’s aggressive expansion into Dubai’s hospitality sector and its second international joint venture for Deira Islands.
The first, an 800-room, AED900 million all-inclusive resort and waterpark with Spain’s RIU Hotels & Resorts, was confirmed in February last year.
As the first Centara establishment in the UAE, the new resort will cover an area of 295,900 sq ft.
Features include a waterpark, dining facilities, business centre, kids’ club, spa and fitness centre.
The resort is anticipated to have soft opening in 2019 and grand opening in 2020.
Centara Hotels & Resorts is part of Central Group, one of Thailand’s most prominent family-owned conglomerate holding companies that is involved in merchandising, real estate, retailing, hospitality and restaurants.
Centara’ s portfolio currently includes around 14,000 room keys across 65 hotels and resorts under six distinctive brands in Asia, Indian Ocean, and the Middle East.
Lootah said: “Our joint venture with Centara cements our commitment to partnering with successful, reputable international hotel brands to bring new tourism concepts to Dubai in line with the government of Dubai’s tourism vision.
“This signing is a key milestone in hospitality expansion – and the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership between Nakheel and one of Thailand’s biggest, most popular hotel operators.
“We look forward to seeing this exciting project come to fruition by delivering a new and unique offering at Deira Islands.”
Nakheel currently has over 5,300 rooms across 16 hotels, resorts and serviced apartments in operation or under development, with the first two – at Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta Mall – delivered in 2016.
Deira Islands, where Nakheel has already invested more than AED3 billion in infrastructure work, coastal works and design services for a range of new projects, will add 40 kilometres, including 21 kilometres of beach, to Dubai’s coastline.
Nakheel recently completed an AED150 million access bridge to the islands, and has just released a tender for the construction of six marinas. The development is expected to have around 250,000, create more than 80,000 new jobs, and offer hundreds of new hotels, serviced apartments and mixed-use buildings, and extensive retail and leisure attractions.
Nakheel itself is building 16 residential towers, five hotels, two serviced apartment complexes, Deira Mall, Deira Islands Night Souk and several marinas at the islands.