It might already be two months into the new year, but in terms of hotel milestones, it’s just about to start. Just as the UAE’s residential sector is producing a much-needed surplus of property, consumers are set to benefit as this year’s hotel industry pipeline turns out a wave of audacious new developments. From a new Viceroy, Langham and Bulgari in Dubai to an Aloft in Al Ain and the Edition and Saadiyat Rotana Resort in Abu Dhabi, Rosemary Behan takes you through what’s in store for consumers over the next exciting 10 months.
Milan, London, Bali – and by the end of this year, Dubai. In a spectacular seahorse-shaped development located off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Road, the Bulgari Hotel at Jumeirah Bay Island is a slick marine enclave spread across 1.7 million square feet. Designed by Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners, there will be 100 rooms and suites in the main hotel buildings, as well as 20 hotel villas and a “full range of luxury hotel facilities”.
Viceroy Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Due to open on March 31, Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai, at No 1 Palm Jumeirah, is a cutting-edge building designed in slick style by Yabu Pushelberg and NAO Taniyama & Associates. The second Viceroy in the UAE and the first in Dubai, this enormous 16-storey beachfront hotel promises 477 rooms and suites, eight restaurants and a 600-square-metre ballroom suspended on the 14th floor, plus 221 private residences.
The Langham, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Opening by the end of this year, this bold 321-room resort is the first Langham in the Middle East and the first resort in the Hong Kong brand’s collection. All rooms and suites will have large outdoor terraces and sea views, and 53 of the total will be one and two bedroom suites, 22 of which will have individual plunge pools. The centrepiece of its culinary offering will be Palm Court, an elegant lounge modelled after its namesake at The Langham, London, which claims to be the first hotel to serve traditional afternoon tea in 1865. There will be nine other food-and-beverage outlets, and a 4,000-square-metre recreation facility, including a Chuan Spa, fitness centre and kids’ club.
Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi
Also opening by the end of this year, one of a new batch of impressive towers between Jumeirah Etihad Towers and Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, the new five-star Grand Hyatt will have a dazzling lobby and seven restaurants, including an industrial-chic indoor/outdoor Japanese outlet, as well as 428 rooms including 36 suites and eight penthouses. There’s also a private beach, two outdoor swimming pools, a gym and spa.
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Abu Dhabi
Opening in the last quarter of this year, this five-star resort will feature 327 rooms and suites, 13 beach villas, a private stretch of beach and large conference facilities. Guests will have a choice of eight dining outlets serving a wide range of cuisine, plus access to the Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club.
Al Bandar Rotana, Dubai and Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, Dubai
Opening in the third quarter of this year, the new five-star Al Bandar Rotana in Deira will feature 190 rooms, four dining outlets, a swimming pool, Bodylines Fitness and Wellness Club, sauna, steam rooms and massage room. Situated adjacent is the Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, with 90 rooms, conference facilities, a fitness centre and a choice of four dining outlets.
InterContinental Fujairah Resort
The 190-room InterContinental Fujairah Resort is expected to open between June and September, and will be the first InterContinental resort hotel to open in the Middle East. A six-storey block running along Al Aqah Beach, the hotel will feature four swimming pools and three bars and restaurants.
The Address Downtown Dubai
Following extensive damage in a fire on New Year’s Eve 2015, this 63-storey hotel, the flagship property of The Address Hotels & Resorts group, is due to re-open this year following a major refurbishment.
Rove Trade Centre Dubai
Of the seven currently open or planned Rove hotels across the UAE, the next (and No 4 on the list) will be Rove Trade Centre, which is close to the Dubai World Trade Centre. Already open are Rove Downtown Dubai, Rove City Centre and Rove Healthcare City.
Aloft Al Ain
Due to open on March 15, the 175-room Aloft Al Ain will be the second Aloft in the UAE, after the Abu Dhabi hotel near Adnec, and is located in the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium complex, home of Al Ain Football Club, near Al Jimi Mall.
Abu Dhabi Edition
Located at Al Bateen Wharf, the long-awaited Abu Dhabi Edition, part of the luxury lifestyle brand partnership between Ian Schrager and Marriott International, is expected to open between October and December this year, with 257 rooms. “High-octane glamour” is promised.
Address Boulevard, Dubai
This brand new five-star property, in its own tower in Downtown Dubai, is the 36th-tallest man-made structure in the world, and is due to open shortly, with 196 rooms.