Source:  www.business.maktoob.com

DUBAI – Be ready to spend at least $1,500 if you want to check into the world’s first Armani hotel that opens on Tuesday in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Photograph: Public Domain
Photograph: Public Domain

The cheapest room, a 45-square-metre Armani Studio, costs $1,525 a night. The priciest, a 235-square-metre Armani Signature room, will cost you $4,900 a night, about $550 more than the most expensive suite at Dubai’s sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, the world’s first seven-star hotel.

The signature room features three “fixture powder rooms, a storage closet, a spacious living room, one bedroom, a private study, a dining room, a full service bar counter and full service pantry, an extra walk-in closet and a bathroom with separated shower and bathtub”.

And if that’s not enough, you have the added comfort of knowing that Giorgio Armani personally designed the hotels’ 160 rooms, each having a “luxurious range of Armani amenities”, the hotel’s website says.

The Italian fashion maestro himself said on Tuesday: “It has long been my dream to have a hotel in which I myself would like to stay and entertain family and friends.”

The hotel’s website says it will “be the most exclusive destination in the city”.

But as a bevy of beautiful models and a gala dinner with hundreds of VIPs marks the hotel’s opening, the question on many minds is who will pay such a steep price for a hotel room.

Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, the owner of the hotel, said: “The hotel will be a referral point for luxury hospitality projects in the future, and brings global attention to Dubai and Burj Khalifa.”

He added: “There is interest from many cities. We are choosing cities meticulously.”

NEXT HOTEL IN MILAN

The idea of Armani’s first hotel in Dubai took birth in 2005 when the designer and developer Emaar Properties struck a deal to open at least 10 such hotels within the next decade in locations such as Milan, New York, London and Morocco. The next will open in Milan in 2011.

Five years later, Dubai’s property sector has crashed and tourist numbers are below expectations. Thousands of hotel rooms – from luxury to budget – remain empty and it remains to be seen whether the emirate’s shine and glamour can be revived.

A one-bedroom suite at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel, the cheapest shown on its website, costs about $2,170 a night. A two-bedroom deluxe costs about $4,350 and boasts 335 square metres of space, two bathrooms with jacuzzis and a butler.

The Armani hotel’s launch was pushed back by a week after the air travel chaos engulfing Europe delayed the arrival of Armani and celebrity guests to the emirate.

The Burj Khalifa, whose own opening was delayed a few times, also houses 150 privately owned Armani Residences, which are being handed over to buyers.

(Additional reporting by Shakir Husain)

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