Nakheel outlines ambitious vision for The Palm Jumeirah

Nakheel expects to add thousands of hotel and hotel apartment rooms by 2020 on the Palm as it gears up to open the Pointe at Palm Jumeirah next year.

With the rise in the number of hotels, Nakheel is also looking to improve the entertainment and dining options on the island. Antonie Robertson / The National
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Nakheel aims to add more than 11,000 hotel and hotel apartment rooms to The Palm Jumeirah by the end of the decade.

It expects the total number of hotel and hotel apartment rooms to reach 15,000 by 2020, said Omar Khoory, the director of retail at Nakheel.

The Palm currently has about 3,500 hotel rooms across eight resorts.

Six more are under construction, including a W Hotel and a The Langham Hotel. A Dukes London and a Byblos are also planned. “We expect to have 32 hotels on The Palm, and everything is being done with an eye on 2020, but it depends on the individual developers,” said Mr Khoory.

With the rise in the number of hotels, Nakheel is also looking to improve the entertainment and dining options on the island.

The 1.2-kilometre Pointe walkway will be The Palm’s second tourist destination after the Atlantis hotel, which it will overlook. The Pointe is expected to open in the first quarter of next year.

The dining and entertainment destination, which will stage fountain shows, is expected to attract between 40,000 and 50,000 visitors a day, with almost 60 per cent of them tourists, Mr Khoory said. The Pointe is already two-thirds leased with 96 outlets signed up, including Reem Al Bawadi, Leopold’s of London and Olive Garden, besides jewellery and fashion stores.

When complete, it will have 148 outlets and parking spaces for 1,500 cars. The construction of the Dh800 million promenade is about 30 per cent complete.

The retail units, with an average size of 10,000 square feet, will be handed over starting in September.

Nakheel’s hospitality division is also looking to open its own restaurant at the complex.

“The Dubai market is very well provided in terms of large super regional and regional malls, and this has led developers to switch attention to two separate niche markets over the past couple of years – namely food and beverage centres [such as The Pointe] aimed at the tourist sector and convenience centres targeting the growing population in new master planned communities,” said Craig Plumb, the regional head of research at the consultancy JLL.

Public transport links and boat shuttles from the resorts to The Pointe will connect the area to the rest of The Palm.

Nakheel also gave an update on its other major retail project on The Palm, saying that it expects the Nakheel Mall to draw 70,000 people a day when it opens in 2017.

Nakheel also said that it expects the Golden Mile retail development, which it took over the ownership of in November, to open in August. It will have a Spinneys supermarket as its anchor.

“Whatever contracts [the tenants] had with the previous owner, we will be honouring,” Mr Khoory said.

Across Dubai, retail rents are expected to stabilise at current levels over the next couple of years due to the increased supply and a slowdown in tourism growth, according to JLL.

“While base rents are likely to remain relatively stable, the main opportunity for developers to achieve higher revenues will be through turnover related rental increases,” Mr Plumb said.

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