Designer hotels eye Dubai market

Dubai HopitalityThe Ristorante at the Armani Hotel Dubai. The property is one of two in Armani’s portfolio, including the Armani Hotel Milano l Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ Gulf News Archives

Dubai: More designer hotels are planning to open in Dubai to capitalise on demand from a large number of brand-conscious visitors, according to industry experts.

The association of designer brands with hotels is a result of a “brand extension” trend that the hotel industry has seen, according to Chiheb Ben Mahmoud, executive vice president and head of hotels and hospitality for the Middle East and Africa at JLL, a real estate consultancy.

“Designers and fashion houses have often been tempted to be associated in one form or another with hospitality or a leisure -related product. Designer brands are meant to further embody a hotel brand and give it a more tangible interpretation and anchor the experience,” he said.

The hotel industry has seen other “extended brands,” including Baccarat Hotels and Resorts and Nobu Hotels.

Ben Mahmoud said that with the large spectrum of travellers in Dubai, desígner hotels are expected to “ fill a gap in the overall hospitality landscape and create a new proposition that would appeal to new Dubai visitors or to repeat visitors.”

According to him, the setting up of a hotel with a designer brand name creates a new revenue stream for the designer brand involved.

“[Designer hotels] appeal to both regional and international markets,” says Hala Matar Choufany, managing director at HVS, a hospitality consultancy.

Bulgari Hotels and Resorts announced last month its first property in the Middle East, which will be in Dubai’s Jumeirah Bay Island, located off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Road. It is expected to open in 2018.

The company does not have immediate plans to expand further in the region, according to Silvio Ursini, executive vice president of the Bulgari group.

“We trust that it will be very well received given the appreciation for the Bulgari brand already present in the market since many years,” Ursini told Gulf News in an emailed statement.

Asked if Bulgari is sceptical about its location in Dubai, Ursini said: “We believe that our location is possibly the primest of all, combining an exclusive beach and marina experience with easy access to the city.”

The Bulgari Hotel will compete with the top luxury hotels in Dubai, and will target “sophisticated international clientele,” Ursini said. Each Bulgari hotel has a different theme, while keeping some of the hotel company’s features.

The emirate is also home to the Armani Hotel Dubai in Burj Khalifa, which opened in 2010.

“Since the launch of Armani Hotel Dubai, we have grown strength-to-strength, innovating and enhancing our current offerings to meet the demands of a growing consumer base. The hotel continues to record robust occupancy levels,” said Spencer H. Wadama, general manager of Armani Hotel Dubai.

The property is one of two in Armani’s portfolio, including the Armani Hotel Milano.

“We will continue to explore opportunities in key growth markets,” Wadama said.

The Palazzo Versace hotel in Dubai, which has been delaying its opening, declined to comment when contacted by Gulf News.

Christopher Hewett, senior consultant at TRI Hospitality Consulting, said that the growth in the number of designer hotels will be limited in the coming years, since most of the growth will be in the three- and four-star segment.

Source: Sarah Algethami, Staff Reporter, gulfnews.comGN



For Rent


View more properties

For Sale


View more properties