Rebecca Bundhun

The world’s first Armani Hotel will open this year in the Burj Dubai, its developer and the fashion house say.

Following reports this month that the world’s tallest tower would not open in September as scheduled, Viviana Giussani, a spokeswoman for Armani in Italy, said the Dubai Armani Hotel “is not opening in September but later, anyway by the end of 2009”.

Ms Giussani said the Armani Hotel Dubai opening “has simply been moved to a new date but this decision has nothing to do with delays or any kind of problem”.
The hotel occupies the levels between the concourse and the eighth floor, and levels 38 and 39 of the tower.

The final height of the building has yet to be revealed, although it is believed to have hit its maximum earlier this year at 818 metres. The Armani Residences, which consist of 144 one and two-bedroom suites, are between levels nine and 16 of the Burj.
“The first phase of the Armani Residences has been sold out and we continue to receive strong global investor interest,” Emaar Hotels and Resorts said in a statement.
The hotel is a joint project between Emaar Properties and the designer Giorgio Armani, who has personally designed the 160 rooms.

It will also have a nightclub called the Armani Privé, a spa, an Armani Dolci confectionery store and an Armani Galleria.
Despite the increasing number of five-star hotels in Dubai, Emaar remains confident the hotel will be successful.

“The difference lies in the fact that the Armani Hotel Dubai has been personally designed and conceived by Giorgio Armani himself,” Emaar said. “There are indeed luxury hotels in Dubai but there will only be one Armani Hotel.”

Emaar said a worldwide search to recruit 600 staff for the Dubai hotel had already started. Interviews have already taken place in Italy.
Analysts have said that designer hotels with global names were in a good position to succeed.

“I strongly believe that the key of success for designer hotels will be to partner with professional and experienced hotel operators, as Giorgio Armani did with Emaar Hospitality, in order to better differentiate themselves from the competition,” said Arnaud Andrieu, the vice president at CB Richard Ellis Hotels Middle East.

The opening of the hotel will be followed by the launches of Armani hotels in Milan, Marassi in Egypt and Marrakech in Morocco, and later in what Emaar calls the key international destinations of New York, Shanghai and London.