It has been announced that the first Waldorf Astoria resort in Dubai is to open on the Palm Jumeirah. Work on Hilton’s US$272 million resort property is being restarted. It was revealed yesterday that Hilton would operate the hotel under its top hotel brand, Waldorf Astoria.
The hotel, was put on hold when the global economic downturn hit the emirate but has been redesigned, and the 324-room resort is now scheduled to open at the end of 2013.
Thirty five-star hotels were originally planned for the Palm Jumeirah, with 14,000 rooms. But many were put on hold or cancelled as the property market in the emirate deteriorated. Even so, analysts have said that there will be stiff competition between properties on the Palm once more hotels open on the man-made island.
Another Waldorf Astoria hotel, is planned for Ras Al Khaimah, . But that property is not scheduled to open until the fourth quarter of next year. Hilton Worldwide also signed agreements yesterday to manage two existing hotels in Lebanon, owned by Al Habtoor, which will be converted to the Hilton brand. These will be the operator’s first hotels in that country.
Hotels in the emirate have benefited from unrest elsewhere in the region this year, as travellers have favoured Dubai over other destinations.
“We see the outlook of Dubai as extremely buoyant,” said Rudi Jagersbacher, a Hilton executive.