World's tallest hotel hosts Dubai opening ceremony
New 355m-high hotel was the sixth-tallest building to complete in 2012
An official opening ceremony has taken place at the world's tallest hotel - the $490m JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai's Business Bay area.
The 72-story property is the first JW Marriott Marquis outside of North America. It is 355 metres high - just 26m shorter than New York's Empire State building - and was the sixth-biggest building to open in the world in 2012, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
Speaking at the launch, Marriott International's president and CEO, Arne Sorenson, said: "Dubai is an important destination for Marriott International as one of the world's most exciting cities offering world-class facilities and infrastructure, central location in the region and future growth potential.
"The investment in this unique and visually stunning hotel is testament to the continued opportunities that lie ahead for the brand and company," he added.
The hotel has more than 7,500m2 of indoor and outdoor event space, a 4,000m2 spa and health club, a 30-metre pool on the seventh floor of the building, nine restaurants and five bars and lounges.
Mitzi Gaskins, vice-president and global brand manager for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, said: "The opening of this landmark hotel in Dubai is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication to delivering the very best product, facilities and service in this international gateway city."
JW Marriott's video of the hotel's launch is available here