Emaar Hospitality Group is set to open its first new Address hotel in six years in the final quarter of 2016.
The Address Boulevard, which will be housed on the lower floors of a new, 72-storey Downtown Dubai tower linked to The Dubai Mall, is nearing completion.
New general manager Pascal Dupuis said it is expected to open this year.
“We’re aiming for the last quarter,” said Mr Dupuis, who has more than 25 years of experience in hospitality and who has worked in Dubai for two years, managing both The Address Montgomery and more recently The Address Dubai Marina hotel for Emaar Properties.
“Most of the MEP is done, the interiors have started and my team will start to move in from May,” he said.
He added that recruitment is already under way, with about 250 staff of the 550 required to run the hotel and serviced apartments lined up. About 30 per cent of the staff will be recruited internally.
Once complete, The Address Boulevard will be the second-tallest tower in Downtown Dubai and the sixth-tallest in Dubai.
It is housed in a curvilinear tower that has been designed by the Dubai-based architects Norr Group and built by contractor Brookfield Multiplex. It has 196 rooms on the lower floors, including 36 suites with an accompanying club lounge. It will also house a conference and banqueting hall, a new multi-room food & beverage concept and a spa that takes up the entire fourth floor.
Above this will be 530 serviced apartments and its luxury Sky Collection apartments. The top two floors of the building will contain a “lifestyle dining” restaurant and bar that will be run by an independent F&B operator, which Mr Dupuis declined to name as he said it was still in the final stages of negotiations.
The F&B concept on the third floor of the hotel will be based around a “home” theme, with separate rooms such as a library, kitchen, games room and dressing room.
The timeframe means that it should open just before restoration works complete on the neighbouring The Address Downtown Dubai property, which was badly damaged during a fire on New Year’s Eve. The Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar said this week that he would try to get the The Address Downtown back open by the end of the year.
“That’s really what I want to do but how much can I push human spirit?” said Mr Alabbar. “It’s not realistic, but I will push for it.”
Robert Booth, a former chief executive of Emaar’s Dubai operations who is now co-managing director of his own development firm, Ellington Properties, said that Dubai needed many more new hotels.
“Last year, we had 14.5 million tourist visitors, and that number is going to grow to 25 million in 2020. To accommodate that tourism growth, you need 5,000 new hotel rooms for every 1 million new visitors you get. For an average size of 200 rooms per hotel, that’s 25 new hotels you need every year to accommodate the increase in tourism.”
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