By By Natalie Long, tabloid! Editor www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: If there’s one man who is betting big on the success of the world’s tallest building, it’s Giorgio Armani. The Italian designer had opened a 700 square metre emporium dedicated to his stylish vision in Dubai Mall in July.
On March 18, the world’s first Armani-branded hotel, located over a dozen floors inside the Burj Khalifa, will be opened.
The hotel, which is the first of at least seven hotels and three luxury resorts planned in a billion-dollar tie-up between Giorgio Armani SpA and the developer of Burj Khalifa, has been decorated in line with Armani’s signature minimalist aesthetic, and the veteran designer claims to have had a hand in every element, from the overall look of the lobby and restaurants down to wall coverings, bedding and amenities.
In an interview with Gulf News, he described his vision for the company — such as mixing his high-priced and lower-priced lines together in one store — as “provocative”.
“The idea of a total Armani lifestyle is something that grew over the years,” he says.
“To begin with, I was happy working as a fashion designer, but then I started to wonder whether I could apply my aesthetic to other areas.
“There were the obvious [areas], like fragrance and accessories, but then I began to think about furniture, and soon I was developing Armani/Casa and with it an idea of a way of living. From there it was not a large step to imagining Armani spaces, like hotels and resorts. Everything I do seems to grow either from work I am engaged in, or from personal interests of my own.”
Spread over 12 storeys, starting at the Burj Khalifa’s concourse level with ballrooms and some of the hotel’s eight restaurants, the hotel has 160 guest rooms, a spa and 30,000 square feet of conference and banqueting space, including the Armani/Pavilion, an outdoor area for 350 guests. The hotel will employ 600 staff and will be operated under licence from Armani.
On levels 5-8 of the tower are the hotel guest rooms, decorated using pieces from the designer’s Armani/Casa interior design division. The guest rooms resume again on levels 38-39.
In between, on levels 9-16, are the 144 Armani Residences, luxury apartments designed by Armani and furnished with a custom-made product range. The one- and two-bedroom private residential suites range in size from 99 square metres (1,068 square feet) to 208 square metres (2,237 square feet), and have finishings including stone, zebrawood, Venetian plaster, fabric and leather wall coverings.
They will also feature state-of-the-art home technology such as fully automated security, temperature, drapery and lighting systems.
The second Armani Hotel will open in Via Manzoni, 31, Milan, and will be followed by the Armani Residences in Marassi, Egypt, and luxury hotels in locations including Marrakesh, New York and Shanghai.
Armani made his name three decades ago with men’s suits and built his company into a lifestyle brand encompassing six fashion brands, a homewares division called Armani/Casa, and other smaller companies. Giorgio Armani Group employs over 5,000 people around the world.
Armani Hotel, 6-star
Occupies concourse to level 8 and 38-39th floors, with 160 guest rooms and suites, five restaurants, a swimming pool and spa. 144 private Armani Residences are located on levels 9-16. One-bedroom residences sell from $3.9 million (Dh14.31 million).