Inside the Dh2 billion Dubai hotel set to be the tallest in the world

Ciel, due to open next year, will stand at 365 metres and is set to claim record from another Dubai hotel

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A Dh2 billion ($544 million) Dubai hotel primed to become the tallest in the world is set to open next year.

The Ciel hotel in Dubai Marina will stand at 365m when completed, with 1,000 rooms on 82 floors.

Construction on the property is due to be completed early next year, with it due to open for business before the end of 2024.

The National was invited on a tour to see how the project was taking shape and why people should be excited about the addition to Dubai's collection of hotels.

“This is an iconic design that will be a piece of art when it’s completed,” said Rob Burns, chief executive of The First Group, the developers behind the project.

“The target date for us to open is Q4 next year and we are about 70 per cent there with construction.

“I’m confident we will have finished the construction of the building by Q1, 2024.”

Once completed, the Ciel will take the title of the world’s tallest hotel.

Dubai to retain hotel height record

However, Dubai is no stranger to such records. The current record holder is the Gevora hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, which stands at 356m.

It became the world’s tallest hotel when it opened in 2018, taking the accolade from Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis hotel, which is 355m tall.

Ciel is designed by the architectural firm NORR and is being built by China Railway Construction Corporation.

One of the key features of the property is a 300m interior atrium, which will hold vertically stacked landscaped terraces, providing occupants with shared communal and interactive space.

The project is estimated to cost about Dh2 billion.

The First Group is also in negotiations with leading hotel operators regarding the property, which will retain the title of Ciel when it opens, he added.

How to stand out in crowded market

Hardly a week seems to go by without a new hotel opening in Dubai, leading to the obvious question — is there a need for another five-star property in an already packed sector?

‘When we started planning this project, we knew this was no longer just the land of Lamborghinis and Ferraris,” said Mr Burns.

“Dubai is a place for all the masses to enjoy now and we believe that the market is only going to continue to grow.”

One of the main challenges for organisers of the project was having to cope during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While no sector was unaffected, Mr Burns said the challenges were particularly difficult for those working on Ciel.

‘Nobody in the world could have predicted the pandemic was coming and it was certainly a challenge for us with more than 1,000 people working on the site,” he said.

“Necessity is the mother of invention and we just had to figure it out and not miss targets or deadlines.

“Preventing the spread of the virus across those working on the site was difficult though but our team did an incredible job.”

Mr Burns expects to see an influx of visitors from China, which has opened up again after Covid-19 lockdowns were introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“It’s going to be a key market for everyone,” he said.

“There’s a lot of pent-up travel demand there and I think their presence here will have an immensely positive impact on all sectors, not just tourism and hospitality.”

Updated: March 21, 2023, 3:37 PM