Top 10 GCC hotels opening in 2017

With several hotel project launches announced in the last week, Construction Week lists the top 10 hotels opening this year in the GCC

NEWS, Projects, Damac, Hospitality, Hotel openings GCC, Hotel projects, Hotels in bahrain, Hotels in the GCC, Qatar hotels, Rotana, Saudi Arabia hotels, Swiss-Belhotel International, UAE hotel projects

1. Swiss-Belhotel opens two new hotels in Bahrain

According to Hotelier Middle East, Grand Swiss-Belresort Seef, a 189-key five-star luxury resort will be ready by Q4 2017 while a new residences property in Juffair is also in the final stages of being branded as Swiss-Belresidences, due for a December 2017 opening.

Swiss-Belhotel International chairman and president Gavin M. Faull said in a statement: "We are pleased to expand our footprint in Bahrain where we have enjoyed great success with our flagship property Swiss-Belhotel Seef.

"The new developments are in line with our multi-brand growth strategy and reinforce our commitment to Bahrain where we continue to see a strong demand. We look forward to a long-term partnership with our valued owners and associates."

Swiss-Belhotel International currently has 3,500 rooms in the pipeline for the Middle East.



2. Damac’s hotel The Distinction to open in June

Real estate developer, Damac Properties, has announced that its five-star property in Downtown Dubai, Damac Maison Royale The Distinction, is set to open in June.

The new hotel, to be operated by Damac’s hotel operator, Damac Maison Royale, boasts views from each of its fifty-two floors.

The 305-key Damac Maison Royale The Distinction offers fully serviced deluxe rooms as well as one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites that are complemented by a full kitchen. The property’s amenities include a spa, recreational facilities, and a health club.

Niall McLoughlin, senior vice president, Damac Properties said: “Dubai has recently reached the 100,000-room mark and has been ranked ninth among the top 10 cities with the largest supply of hotel rooms in the world."



3. BlueBay to open Blue Diamond Salam Palace in Fujairah

Along with the two hotels recently launched in Jeddah and Makkah, BlueBay will complete the five-star Blue Diamond Salam Palace in Fujairah by the end of 2017.

The mixed-use Blue Diamond Salam Palace will include 266 suites and 111 one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as four restaurants – La Marina, Amwaj Lounge, Aretusa, Asian and The Pearl.

Roman Hernandez, director general and CEO of BlueBay Hotels, told Construction Week: “Fujairah is a blooming destination. As there are not that many alternatives in the area, we definitely consider the emirate part of our strategic expansion.

“We are in the right place at the right time and continue to take advantage of the local business there.”



4. Damac Towers by Paramount Hotels more than 85% complete

It was reported in April that Damac Towers by Paramount Hotels was 85% complete and on track for a 2017 opening. Superstructure works are also now 100% complete, and internal finishes, façade works, MEP works, carpentry and joinery works are nearing completion.

Damac Properties is currently selling units in three of the towers to be operated under its Damac Maison brand, with the development having an estimated sales value of $1.35bn.

Comprising four towers stretching 250 metres high, the project will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury serviced branded apartments, offering more than 1,900 units with a total saleable area of approximately 186,000m2.

In addition, one tower will contain a five-star hotel complex to be operated by Paramount Hotels & Resorts, which will have over 800 rooms. Hotel rooms will be managed under a rental pool scheme.



5. Time Hotels to open Rako Hotel in Qatar

Time Hotels will make its Qatari debut with Time Rako Hotel in Doha. Located in the Al Wakra area, the 102-key property is scheduled to open in Q3 2017.

Time Rako Hotel is located 20 minutes from central Doha and 15 minutes from Doha International Airport, according to Hotelier Middle East.

The hotel's rooftop will feature a lounge bar with an outdoor terrace seating over 106 guests. The hotel will offer three multipurpose rooms suitable for a range of event types and can cater for up to 500 guests.

In total, Time Hotels’ expansion strategy will see the establishment 61 villas and more than 840 hotel rooms.

Time Hotels CEO Mohammed Awadalla, said: “It has been a busy year for Time Hotels with a raft of properties announced; several of them [are] due to come online within the next 12 months.”

“We have been very strategic with our openings by identifying and assessing the demand within the market, and implementing the most suitable brand from the Time portfolio to best match customer demand.

“We’re excited by the prospects this year brings and look forward to adding further to our portfolio,” he concluded.



6. Much-delayed Mondrian Hotel is set to open in Qatar 

Inspired by falcons, another new luxury hotel is expected to open to the public within the coming months.

After four years of delay, the Mondrian Doha is expecting a soft launch during Q2 2017, its owners announced.

Along with “an exclusive and immense spa”, the hotel will have 270 rooms and suites, eight bars and restaurants with local and international cuisine.

Located in West Bay lagoon, near Lagoona Mall, plans for the hotel were originally revealed in 2011, with an opening set for 2013.

Part of the SBE hotel group, the project has seen numerous delays, with the latest overshooting of its most recent launch date due in the fall of 2015.



7. Saadiyat Rotana Resort, Abu Dhabi to open year-end 

Abu Dhabi will be opeing the Saadiyat Rotana Resort and villas, originally scheduled for a 2015 opening.

Omer Kaddouri, president and CEO of Rotana, said: “Next year, we will be introducing a number of five-star properties to the market, including the all-new Saadiyat Rotana Resort and villas in Abu Dhabi, scheduled to open in Q4 2017.

“Ideal for both, business and leisure travellers, the resort will feature 354 upscale rooms and suites, 13 beach villas, a beach club and extensive conference facilities.”

The total value of the 12 upcoming properties managed by Rotana in the UAE is estimated at $1.7bn (AED6.24bn).



8. The Address Downtown to complete renovations in Q4 2017

Emaar’s flagship hotel The Adress Downtown is set to reopen this year after a fire engulfed the building on New Years’ Eve 2015.

The hotel, which has been undergoing repairs since early 2015, is said to have gone through a complete renovation.

"We are focusing on getting The Address Downtown more beautiful than before, totally ready and we're well on track," Olivier Harnisch in April, according to Reuters.

Harnich reaffirmed that the hotel will most definitely be opening by the fourth quarter of the year at a conference in Dubai.



9. Motor City opens Park Inn hotel

A new shopping mall and hotel are set to open in Dubai's Motor City in early 2017, as part of an investment worth $(AED500m).

First Avenue, based at the edge of the Dubai Autodrome, will have 70 high-street retailers and 15 casual dining restaurants. The two-storey development stretches across 46,451m2, with a one kilometre roadway linking each end.

The development, owned and operated by Saudi Arabia’s Al Tawfeeq for Development and Investment (ATDI), will open in the first quarter of next year.

The four-star 150-room hotel, adjoining the mall, will be operated by Park Inn by Radisson. The hotel overlooks the race track at Dubai Autodrome.



10. Ajman The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah hotel opens

Ajman’s The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah officially opened its doors in April, making it the fifth five-star hotel in the emirate.

Operated by Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah, designed by Italian architect Pierro Lissoni, is located beside a 100ha ecological wetland.

The beach resort offers an 18-hole Nicklaus Design championship golf course, and motorised and non-motorised water sports.

Covering an area of 543ha, Al Zorah is a mixed-use coastal development situated on a 1.6km-long stretch of beach.

The hotel features 113 villas, suites, and a penthouse; the rooms and suites offer private balconies, while the villas offer terraces and temperature-controlled private pools, according to Hotelier Middle East.

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