Top 10 Middle East hotel openings of 2010

There is little surprise at this hotel’s entry into the Top 10 Hotel openings of 2010. There were sceptics who claimed this was a “fluff” opening, but the noise surrounding the arrival of the world’s first Armani hotel couldn’t be ignored. All eyes were on Dubai for the right reasons — and quite a stunning hotel was the result. Room categories available include 24 Armani Studios, 44 Armani Classic rooms, 38 Armani Premiere rooms, 36 Armani Suites, six Armani Executive and six Armani Ambassador Suites, and five Armani Signature Suites.

Inside Dubai’s Armani Hotel

Giorgio explained the was surprised when Mohammed Alabbar asked him to do this hotel project in Dubai. “My thinking is less is more, and Dubai was being called the Las Vegas of the desert. I couldn’t understand why he wanted this hotel in Dubai.” Alabbar himself told me it took “two years” to persuade him to sign up!

Getting real

Even with the limited amount we know about the project, it is impossible to conceive of how it could mirror the success of the Burj Khalifa, and thereby pay for itself. As anyone who has been to Jeddah will tell you, the idea of a Jeddah Mall, with starry-eyed tourists lining up to have their photos taken in front of the world’s tallest tower is not just implausible, it’s laughable.

Burj Khalifa fit-out firm applies finishing touches

Fino International said on Sunday it was nearing the end of its 33 month project to fit out the Burj Khalifa’s corporate offices, public lobby and Armani Hotel & Residences.

China, Saudi Arabia plan Burj Khalifa replica

Saudi Arabia will help China build a $1.3bn luxury hotel modelled on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, according to newspaper reports from Beijing. The People’s Daily Online quoted a senior official as saying that graphics and planning of the ‘seven-star’ hotel had already been completed. The announcement was made at a press conference on Wednesday.

Hotel Missoni Kuwait on track for March launch

Missoni Kuwait is the latest in a growing list of Gulf hotels designed by top Italian fashion labels. The first Armani hotel opened in Dubai in 2010 and will be followed by the launch of the Palazzo Versace hotel later this year. Elisabetta Gucci, the great-granddaughter of the founder of the fashion label, last year said Dubai would be the setting for the first of up to 40 Gucci branded hotels.

BlackBerry PlayBook makes its UAE debut

The PlayBook, which was showcased at a launch event at Dubai’s Armani Hotel, was released in the US on April 19. Canadian makers Research in Motion (RIM) were forced to recall around 1,000 of the devices in May after they were shipped with a flawed operating system.

Engineering discipline

Right at the start of 2010, with much fanfare and fireworks, the world's tallest man-made structure was officially opened. The Burj Khalifa was one of the most anticipated, watched and reported on construction projects of all time and its opening is also ranked as the best moment so far, in the tenure of Hyder Consulting's regional managing director Wael Allan.

Saudi must cut red tape to boost real estate speed

The chairman compared Jeddah Gate with the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower built by Emaar in Dubai. “The two projects both began in May 2005,” he said. “Burj Khalifa was opened, while Jeddah Gate is still under construction.”

Dubai’s realty check

Given that he’s talking from a stylish ballroom in the first ever Armani Hotel, within the Burj Khalifa — the tallest and one of the most talked about buildings in the world — it’s hard to argue.

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