High and dry: world's tallest hotel opens in Dubai

With no alcohol licence, the hotel is targeted at families and has a dedicated team to ensure no daredevils attempt to climb the tower

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 12 FEBRUARY 2018. The newly opened Gevora Hotel, the world’s tallest hotel, located on Sheikh Zayed Road. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Nawal Al Ramahi. Section: National.
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The world’s tallest hotel opened on Monday targeting families and travellers seeking to avoid Dubai’s energetic nightlife.

Gevora Hotel, a 356-metre tower capped with a golden spear, is the emirate’s latest world record, usurping the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, situated less than four kilometres away, by just 6m.

With no alcohol licence, general manager Jairaj Gorsia said the “home-grown Emirati hotel” would appeal to families looking for a quiet and relaxing stay in Downtown Dubai.

“Whoever is not looking for a bar or a night club. Our guests are looking for a good bed, a good cup of coffee and convenience. The hotel is located in the centre of Dubai and we offer high quality service,” he said.

In contrast to many of its neighbouring five star hotels, Mr Gorsia said the 75-storey hotel is also a more economical option for tourists with an average room costing between Dh650 and Dh700 per night.

“We are going into the market at a rate slightly lower than the average around this area. The room rates that we will offer is considered very competitive,” he said.

The hotel will begin to receive guests within the next few days. They can expect the average room to be roughly 55 square metres in size - almost 30 per cent larger than the average room in Dubai, said Mr Gorsia.

The tower took four years to build and was originally planned as a residential building but was converted into a hotel instead.

Mr Gorsia said developers faced a unique challenge during construction at the beginning of last year after a particularly strong storm swept through the country.

Unusually strong winds toppled a crane on Sheikh Zayed Road and 720 tonnes of waste had to be cleared across Dubai.

When asked about the challenging hospitality market, Mr Gorsia said he was confident the new offering would find its niche.

“Being non-alcohol licensed hotel is actually an advantage. Families, especially extended families, and kids will enjoy the hotel. It is close to the hot spots in the city, such as Dubai Mall and World Trade Centre.

“The feel of being at home when the person is actually away from home is what we are trying to deliver,” he said.

Following the enactment of a strict fire safety code and a call for all buildings to install a fire alarm system connected to the Civil Defence control room, Mr Gorsia said all safety measures have been installed at the hotel.

“All aspects related to fire fighting and emergency evacuations have been put in place. The hotel is connected to the Civil Defence Operation room.”

He said dedicated security teams will also be available at the hotel to ensure that no daredevils attempt to climb the exterior of the hotel or perform any stunts.

On plans to expand the hotel, Mr Gorsia said they are developing another project in Tecom but would not disclose any further details.