Azizi Developments to spend $16bn on developing new hotels and resorts in Dubai

Company plans to add 20,000 new keys to the emirate's hotel stock in the next five years

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - August 9, 2018: Stock. Flags for development company Azizi. Thursday, August 9th, 2018 in Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Azizi Developments plans to spend up to Dh60 billion ($16.33 billion) on developing a portfolio of 50 luxury hotels and resorts, including a seven-star hotel, in Dubai as the emirate’s tourism sector rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic.

The company will add close to 20,000 new keys to Dubai’s hotel stock in the next five years with the new developments, it said on Friday.

Construction will begin before the end of this year and will be managed by Azizi's newly established hospitality division led by Michael Zager.

“With the UAE’s Tourism Strategy 2031 aiming to leverage public-private partnerships and seeking to attract over Dh100 billion in new investment in the tourism sector, we have decided to make a major investment in the hospitality sector," said Mirwais Azizi, founder and chairman of Azizi Developments.

"With the investment ... over the course of the next five years, we aim to become a major part of Dubai's promising future as a global hub for tourism.”

The tourism sector, an important pillar of the emirate's economy, has rebounded strongly from the coronavirus-induced slowdown.

Dubai aims to exceed the pre-pandemic annual number of international visitors this year after it recorded a 17 per cent increase in tourist numbers in the first quarter, the emirate's tourism chief said this week.

The emirate hosted 4.67 million overnight visitors in the three months to the end of March, compared to 3.97 million tourists during the same period last year, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism said. The figure climbed close to 4.75 million visitors during the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic.

Last year, the UAE also launched a new national tourism strategy with an aim to attract 40 million hotel guests and Dh100 billion in tourism investment by 2031.

The new strategy should push the tourism sector's contribution to gross domestic product to Dh450 billion by 2031, increasing each year by Dh27 billion, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said at the time of unveiling the strategy.

“Tourism is an important part of diversifying our national economy and an important tributary to consolidating our global competitiveness,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Azizi currently has approximately 100 ongoing projects that are to be delivered by the end of the year, and an additional 5,000 projects in planning, worth several billion US dollars, that are projected to be delivered between now and 2028.

Last year, the company acquired a large tract of land in Dubai South to build a mixed-use development worth about Dh12 billion to expand its portfolio of assets amid a rapid recovery in the UAE’s property market.

The company bought the plot, which measures 139 hectares (15 million square feet), from Dubai South, an aviation and logistics urban master developer in the emirate.

Azizi will showcase its upcoming hospitality projects to its stakeholders across the globe in the coming months, it said.

Updated: May 05, 2023, 11:04 AM