The Palazzo Versace hotel in Dubai will finally open its doors before Christmas – almost a decade after work on the project began.
Raza Jafar, the chief executive of the hotel’s developer, Enshaa, said that the property in the Culture Village district would open “within the next 90 days”.
Speaking at the Cityscape Global exhibition, Mr Jafar said: “Our entire focus is on delivering current projects to the satisfaction of our clients and to the opening of the hotel.”
He said that the building completion for the accompanying Palazzo Versace residences had begun in Dubai and units were being handed over to customers at a rate of four per week. Handovers have also begun at the neighbouring 80-storey D1 Tower, which contains 518 apartments.
Mr Jafar said that all but about 30 of these had been sold in advance of the opening, while just 20 of the 169 Palazzo Versace residences remain to be sold.
He added that some of the issues surrounding the delivery of the hotel, which had an initial completion date of 2008, were because of the lack of infrastructure at Culture Village.
“The only project being delivered over there is our project, which we delivered despite all of the shortcomings the area had over the last few years, with no infrastructure, no road access, no electricity. We generated our own electricity and did whatever a developer can to ensure a good-quality delivery.”
Despite this, Mr Jafar believes the creekside location of the project “is the best area in our view” in Dubai.
“It is 10 minutes’ drive from The Dubai Mall, 10 minutes from the airport and it’s right on the creek, where the history of trading began in this whole region.”
Mr Jafar said that once the hotel was operational, the company would begin to look at other opportunities in the hospitality sector. It does not have any more plots in Culture Village but is “open to exploring the possibility of building more in that area”.
He said: “We would be open to joint ventures and partnerships with people who have.”
He added that developers capable of delivering successful five-star hotels in Dubai could probably replicate this in other parts of the world.
“To survive and excel in the world of hospitality in Dubai clearly establishes you globally because this is one of the most difficult places to stand out. There are a large number of five star-plus developments and the standard of services are so high that to be an outstanding performer here will definitely make you a global hospitality player.”
Dubai Properties’ chief executive Abdullatif Al Mulla said that although infrastructure in Culture Village had been lacking, the company has worked hard over the past year to get the site ready.
“Today, I can tell you that the infrastructure is now almost complete. We have worked with the authorities on new entrances and exits. This should be done within a few months. Landscaping is also something we are working on.”
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