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Desert Palm Dubai Defines A Home-Grown Boutique Retreat

Since opening its doors in 2008, Desert Palm, as it’s affectionately known has been Dubai’s little oasis of calm on the edge of the city. Formally opened by HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the 160-acre private estate will be known as Desert Palm Dubai and is independently operated.

Originally created as a haven for owner Ali Albwardy’s personal enjoyment of polo, Desert Palm Dubai is set in the graceful, serene, manicured surrounds as a private polo estate. The retreat boasts four polo fields, a riding school, stabling facilities for over 300 horses.

As part of Albwardy LLC’s portfolio, Desert Palm Dubai has become a firmly established retreat, spa and fitness destination within the UAE community and stylish society.

James Reeves, General Manager states that “The future of luxury hospitality will be to celebrate guest’s individuality, imagination and to redefine the code of unpretentious service. Our retreat focuses on continuously improving services using the ease of technology for in-house guests, enabling them to book experiences around the city from the privacy of their suites and villas, or simply reserving dinner at RARE to booking a spa treatment.

Although we recognise that technology should not be seen as a ‘replacement’ for guest services, rather we believe it should enhance it. At Desert Palm Dubai, we focus on you so you can decide when you want something and how you want it as opposed to your stay being defined by breakfast, lunch, dinner.

The hotel focuses on the elements that makes the guest’s experience truly private, from the surrounding appeal of a boutique property, the sense of intimacy in certain spaces, “it is always important to keep some things classic and personal,” stated Reeves.

Situated as an oasis opposite the new Dubai Safari Park, which is slated to open later this year, and near IMG Worlds of Adventure, Desert Palm Dubai features 38 guest suites and villas, an infinity swimming pool, organic-specialised treatments at LIME spa, RARE as the fine dining restaurant that masters Argentine-style Grill, a relaxed poolside brasserie, the chic lounge RED bar or the outdoor Polo bar.

Desert Palm Dubai is an elegant, equestrian-themed boutique hotel and basks in the lush landscape to provide a refreshing, avant-garde contrast to the conventional flamboyance of the city’s sky-scraping image. The hotel’s culture is providing guests with everything they need for a relaxing and timeless experience from the fast-paced business hub’s lifestyle. Taking cues from its rebranding celebration, guests will receive beautiful benefits when reserving directly from their new website on


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Nakheel and Centara reach new milestone on 600 room beachfront resort at Deira Islands

UAE based master developer Nakheel and leading Thai hotel group Centara Hotels & Resorts today reached a key milestone on their 600-room beachfront resort and waterpark at Dubai’s Deira Islands, with the official formation of the joint venture company and the signing of a management agreement.

The joint venture, cemented by Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah and Centara Chairman of the Board, Suthikiati Chirathivat, at a signing ceremony at Centara’s headquarters in Bangkok, will deliver a family-centric lifestyle destination at Deira Islands, Nakheel’s new, 15.3 sq km waterfront city that is set to become Dubai’s newest tourism hotspot. The resort will also be managed by Centara, whose portfolio already includes over 14,000 room keys across 67 hotels and resorts in Asia, Indian Ocean and the Middle East.

Set to open in 2020, the resort is the first Centara establishment in the UAE and will cover an area of almost 300,000 sq ft. Features will include a waterpark, multiple restaurants including alfresco rooftop dining options, kids’ club, spa and fitness centre, and business facilities. Recent enhancements to the hotel’s design have added 50 rooms to the original plan, bringing the total number of keys to 600.

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Take advantage of last minute staycation deals

The summer holiday is coming to an end, but you don’t have to have the holiday blues! Take advantage of the last weekend in September, and unwind with family or friends at JA Palm Tree Court or JA Ocean View Hotel. Don’t miss these last minute deals, so book direct now and enjoy the privileges.

Escape to a family-friendly beachfront resort at JA Palm Tree Court amidst lush gardens. Just 15 minutes from Dubai Marina, you won’t have to travel far for a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whether you are looking for an active weekend on the award-winning 9-hole golf course or for outdoor activities like horseback riding, tennis and water sports, or you just simply want to enjoy the setting and delicious dishes with refreshing cocktails – there is something for everyone at Dubai’s only true resort. Starting from 695 per person/per night, guests can enjoy an all-inclusive offer of breakfast, lunch and dinner from a wide range of restaurants.

Enjoy a stay at the award-winning 4-star JA Ocean View Hotel in a prime location on ‘The Walk’ JBR, which is situated on one of Dubai most popular beaches. This hotel is the perfect escape for those looking for a staycation in the heart of the city.

Starting from 575 per room/per night, including breakfast, guests won’t be short of things to do. JA Ocean View Hotel, overlooks the gorgeous Arabian Sea and offers a wealth of leisure facilities such as spa treatments and children clubs, restaurants offering a selection of international delicacies and entertainment and recreational possibilities in and around the hotel. So, whether you want to get away from the everyday hassle, or make the most of the weekend with family or friends, this is the perfect place for a much needed break.

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AccorHotels Surpasses 100 Hotel Mark in the Middle East

AccorHotels, the world’s leading travel & lifestyle group, revealed that it has surpassed 100 hotels in operation across its Middle East portfolio, with the opening of 12 landmark properties in its economy, midscale, upscale and luxury segments thus far in 2017. The number of hotel openings this year exceeds the number of hotels opened by the Group in all of 2016, and has already established 2017 as a year of record growth.

AccorHotels’ Middle East current portfolio is spread across 11 countries, including United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Iran.

This milestone was achieved as part of a major expansion strategy by AccorHotels Middle East in recent years. The Group announced plans last year to double its room count to 50,000 by 2020, and has already reached the 30,000 room mark to date.

Olivier Granet, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels Middle East and Africa, commented: “When I joined AccorHotels in the Middle East more than six years ago, we set a very ambitious objective to reach 100 hotels in operation.  We were at the half way point at that time due to the solid foundation laid over the past 35 years in the region. Today, I am pleased to announce that with strong teamwork, we were able to achieve this milestone in record time.” He further added, “Our core values of ‘Feel Welcome’ and ‘Feel Valued’ are at the heart of everything we do at AccorHotels, and my genuine gratitude goes out to our teams that deliver memorable guest experiences across a wide spectrum of segments and brands.”

“We continue to build great momentum with the acquisition of Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel as well as our Group’s addition of innovative lifestyle brand and resort offerings, as seen in the Middle East by the opening of one hotel on average every month until the end of the year and two hotels a month from 2018 onwards.  I am very confident that we will achieve 50,000 rooms in operation by 2020 based on performance, team engagement, guest satisfaction and successful long term relationships with owners.” concluded Granet.

Development Highlights

– 101 hotels in operation representing over 30,000 rooms
– 12 new hotels opening since the start of 2017, representing over 4,500 rooms
– 1 new hotel signed every two weeks with plans to open 1 hotel every month in 2017 and 2 hotels every month from 2018 onwards
– Largest hotel operator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with over 9,500 rooms in operation, and plans for the portfolio to grow over 60 hotels

Brand Expansion Highlights

Signing of the largest Sofitel in the Middle East with the 598-room Sofitel Dubai Wafi

Opening of the largest Mercure hotel globally with the 1,019 rooms and apartments of Mercure Dubai Barsha Heights Hotel Suites & Apartments in the UAE

Signing of the first AccorHotels’ lifestyle brand – Mama Shelter – in the Middle East, with plans to debut in Dubai’s Business Bay

Signing of the first Swissôtel & Swissôtel Living in the UAE through the rebrand of Dubai’s most iconic properties, Al Ghurair Hotel and Al Ghurair

Living in addition to the expansion of the Swissôtel brand in Makkah with the opening of the 1,624 room Swissôtel Al Maqam

Entry of the first MGallery brand in the Middle East with The Retreat Palm Dubai, MGallery by Sofitel, set to open later this year

Surpassing 30 operational and pipeline Novotel properties in the Middle East, thereby securing the largest brand footprint for the Group in the region

Opening of the first ibis Styles hotels in Saudi Arabia and in Bahrain in response to greater demand for quality budget accommodation

Growth of Fairmont in the Middle East through the opening of two flagship properties –  Fairmont Fujairah and Fairmont Amman – and the signing of hotels in Cairo and in the North Coast of Egypt

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2018 Forecast As Busy Year For UAE Hotel Openings With 83 New Projects Set To Launch

As the region’s largest and longest-standing hospitality event draws to a close for 2017, forecasters have revealed that 2018 is expected be hugely eventful for the UAE’s hospitality industry – with no less than 83 new hotels set to open.

The latest Middle East and Africa Hotel Construction report by TOPHOTELPROJECTS –  commissioned by The Hotel Show Dubai 2017, the 18th edition of which concludes today (20th September 2017) at the Dubai World Trade Centre – has identified the UAE as being the busiest country for hotel construction in the Middle East and Africa.

The region currently has more than 200 hotel projects in the pipeline, with Dubai (164 projects), Abu Dhabi (25 projects) and Ras al Khaimah (12 projects) seen as the busiest areas for hotel construction in the UAE. Of these properties, 83 will open next year.

Some of the most anticipated hotel openings include Dubai’s Rosemont Hotel and Residences, Curio Collection by Hilton (730 rooms) and Fairmont Abu Dhabi Marina Hotel & Residences (812 rooms).

“The spotlight is firmly on the hospitality industry in this region, particularly the UAE,” commented Ray Tinston, Portfolio Director of the dmg events Middle East, Asia and Africa hospitality portfolio which includes The Hotel Show, The Leisure Show and the Middle East Hospitality Awards – which have all run in Dubai this week to massive success.

“We have welcomed more regional and international guests to our events this week than ever before in our 18-year history serving this market, some of which have massive expansion plans for the region, covering hundreds of hotels.

“Some of the business deals orchestrated at our shows this week has been unprecedented, and just goes to illustrate once more how continually forward-thinking and how constantly growing the hospitality market is in this part of the world. With experts revealing that hotel openings are going to galvanise the market from 2018, we are set to provide the industry with an even larger showcase of the best products and insights.”

Event organisers have today revealed the dates for next year’s The Hotel Show Dubai and The Leisure Show Dubai. Both will take place 16-18th September 2018.

In making that announcement, the event organisers also unveiled how both shows will be brought to life with more live features than ever before.

Following on from the huge success of its debut running in 2017, The Middle East Housekeepers League of Champions will once again pit the region’s exceptional pool of background staff against one another in The Hotel Show’s timed contest to clean-up ransacked guest rooms, which attracted an incredible 28 different teams for its inaugural hosting.

The Middle East Hospitality Forum – which itself drew capacity crowds to every discussion at this year’s show – will return too, maintaining the same quality caliber of speakers which included Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM).

At The Leisure Show, new features will include The Landscaping Competition, The Outdoor Furniture Showcase and Everything Golf – the latter geared at providing all the equipment vital to developing and maintaining the region’s unparalleled golf offering.

The ever-popular Fit Hub will bring live gym sessions back to the Dubai World Trade Centre once more, while the Pool and Spa Conference will gather leading professionals to dissect both the challenges and opportunities facing one of the Middle East’s fastest growing industries.

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Palazzo Versace Dubai wins prestigious Best Luxury Hotel of the Year Award

Palazzo Versace Dubai won the Best Luxury Hotel of the Year Award at the annual Middle East Hospitality (MEHA) Awards Gala Ceremony 2017. The awards acknowledged excellence across the region’s diverse hospitality sector by rewarding hotels, resorts and restaurants that have demonstrated exceptional performance, innovation and visitor relations in the last year.

Winners in each of the 17 categories, which ranged from Luxury Hotel of the Year to Best Use of Technology, to the MEHA Lifetime Achievement Award were crowned by a distinguished judging panel of industry leaders.

“We are deeply honoured by this outstanding recognition. Palazzo Versace Dubai is the most beautiful hotel, known best for its excellence in service. This achievement is not possible without the dedication and commitment of the team on the ground. Their intuitive service mantra is what defines the level of the hospitality at Palazzo Versace Dubai. We thank all our partners and guests for their continuous support”, said Raza Jafar, CEO of Enshaa and Chairman of Palazzo Versace Dubai.

Palazzo Versace Dubai is a luxury urban resort located on the foreshore of the Dubai Creek, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The 215 suites and the 169 exclusive residences together with several signature restaurants, a spa and the sophisticated range of Versace Home Collection products are brought together to create the Palazzo Versace Dubai – a truly unique lifestyle location. UAE developer ENSHAA in conjunction with Versace developed Palazzo Versace Dubai, a hotel and residential project which opened in November 2015.


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One&Only Royal Mirage and One&Only The Palm Lead Dubai Trip Advisor Guest Satisfaction Rating

The resorts of One&Only Royal MirageThe Residence & Spa, The Palace, and the Arabian Court are all featured within the top 10 most favoured places to stay amongst 550 hotels listed for Dubai on Trip Advisor, the world’s largest review and ranking website. The Residence & Spa has continuously clinched the #1 position for the past year alone, whilst the exclusive One&Only The Palm follows, currently listed as #3 favourite.

Over the past 18 years, One&Only Royal Mirage has been recognized as a pioneer in the hospitality landscape of Dubai, contributing to the success of the destination and has year after year, continuously been the recipient of prestigious travel trade or guest recognition awards worldwide.

“We are humbled by such appreciation and proud to contribute to the ongoing vision of excellence set by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Such achievement would not have been possible without the unconditional support granted by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, to whom we are extremely grateful,” says Olivier Louis, Managing Director of One&Only Royal Mirage and One&Only The Palm. The appreciation and recommendations by our discerning clientele is extremely gratifying when one considers the tremendous number of new prestigious branded properties having opened over the years. This stamp of approval solidifies that in a copycat world where so much is becoming the same, there are still places where one can experience the unpackaged thrill of original discovery.”

One&Only Royal Mirage is an oasis of calm and style amidst the excitement of the bustling city of Dubai, where genuine care and hospitality blend with fantasy and tradition, creating an ambiance of Arabian influenced refinement and majesty. The resort offers understated elegance and exclusive charm with a kilometre of private beach and 65 acres of lush landscaped gardens, filled with an array of in indoor and alfresco restaurants, beach lounges, indulgent spas, and meeting facilities.

“Each year, we strive to innovate and elevate our numerous facilities to continue to exceed our guest’s expectations, whilst never compromising on the foundation of our experience and service DNA, a beautiful blend of tradition and innovation complemented by the generous and genuine service provided by our amazing team of dedicated colleagues,” says Olivier Louis. “One&Only Royal Mirage, together with its’ sister property, One&Only The Palm, both resorts having established themselves as Dubai’s either most elegant, stylish, or intimate beach resorts will continuously seek to offer an authentic expression of timeless Arabian hospitality to Dubai’s visitors or residents alike, all the way to Dubai 2020 and far beyond.”


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Dubai’s Al Maha Resort Leads The Way With Three Wins At 2017 Middle East Hospitality Awards

Dubai’s luxurious desert retreat the Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa has been crowned the region’s prime holiday destination after scooping no less than three prizes at this year’s Middle East Hospitality Awards (MEHA).

The collection of private villas – nestled deep in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve – was named Resort of the Year at the prestigious industry ceremony, held last night at the Palazzo Versace Dubai.

Described as “a truly unique Arabian paradise”, the serene desert oasis also took home the Most Impressive Hotel Feature award for their on-site safari, where guests can get up close to passing camels, oryx and gazelles. The resort’s General Manager Arne Silvis was named Hospitality Leader of the Year.

“It is wonderful to be part of a property that is so truly unique and successful,” Silvis commented on Al Maha at the awards ceremony.

“I love the desert. The silence and tranquility. Our team lives on-site and being a smaller property, we are able to provide a personalized experience to guests. I am incredibly grateful to the team who are so loyal, they have stood by me the past 15 years, and they make Al Maha what it is. The three awards we have won this evening are a tribute to their hard work.”

The annual awards – orchestrated by and held during The Hotel Show Dubai, which began yesterday and runs through Wednesday at the Dubai World Trade Centre – celebrate the achievements, innovations and excellence of the Middle East’s ever-expanding hospitality industry over the past 12 months.

In what was the prize-giving’s biggest ever number of entries, judges had the unenviable task of assessing hundreds of different submissions across 18 separate categories. Last night’s ceremony welcomed more than 400 leading industry professionals.

Big winners included host venue the Palazzo Versace Dubai, crowned Luxury Hotel of the Year. Boutique Hotel of the Year went to the XVA Art Hotel in Al Fahidi, while the newly-opened Rove Downtown celebrated being named Mid-Market Hotel of the Year.

Across food and beverage, Hendrick’s Bar at the Four Seasons Jumierah Beach won Best Bar/Nightlife Venue; folly by Nick & Scott was named New Restaurant of the Year; and Gregoire Berger of Ossiano was announced as Head Chef of the Year.

Other individual awards went to 24-year-old Elham Bolooki of the Jumierah Group, named as the hospitality industry’s 2017 Rising Star. Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes OBE was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, the year Rhodes W1 – his signature Dubai restaurant – celebrates ten-years in the Emirate.

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in Oman – famed for being perched on a cliff – won Hotel Launch of the Year, while on the leisure front Talise Fitness at the Madinat was voted Best Gym, and Al Barari’s Heart & Soul Spa declared the region’s Best Spa / Wellness Centre.

Gary Williams, Event Director at The Hotel Show, and who opened last night’s ceremony, said: “The Middle East Hospitality Awards celebrate the exceptional endeavor, service standards and guest experience offering that combine to keep visitors coming back to the Middle East time and time again.

“The exceptionally high standards of the hundreds of entries we had for this year’s competition prove only once again how our region now competes with any other destination in the world in regards to the level of hospitality we continually provide to all residents or tourists that spend quality time here.

“I would like to congratulate every venue and individual that entered MEHA 2017 – an awards ceremony which truly celebrated another outstanding year for the industry.”

The Hotel Show Dubai 2017 is running at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from the 18-20th September 2017 as part of Dubai International Hospitality Week. The Dubai Tourism endorsed event, organised by dmg events and the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), is expected to attract more than 50,000 visitors.

The three-day event encompasses six hospitality and foodservice trade shows under one roof: The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show, owned and organised by dmg events; GulfHost, The Speciality Food Festival and SEAFEX Middle East owned and organised by DWTC; and yummex ME, jointly organised by DWTC and Kölnmesse.

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Emaar Hospitality Group Announces 20th Address Hotel Project

Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure business of Emaar Properties PJSC, today announced the roll-out of its 28th upcoming hotel project – the signature Address Fashion Avenue, located directly opposite the iconic Burj Khalifa and linked to the Fashion Avenue in The Dubai Mall that is currently being expanded.

Address Fashion Avenue, featuring the 167-room Address Fashion Avenue hotel and Address Residences Fashion Avenue with only 78 high-end residences, also marks the Group’s 20th hotel project under its premium luxury brand Address Hotels + Resorts, and the 12th Address project in Dubai.

With two other hotel brands, the upscale lifestyle Vida Hotels and Resorts, and the contemporary Rove Hotels, Emaar Hospitality Group now has 11 operational hotels and 28 hotel projects in the pipeline in Dubai and international markets including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and Turkey.

Address Fashion Avenue stands out for its spectacular location next to Burj Khalifa, and near the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard. Linked directly to the Fashion Avenue, a veritable showcase of flagship outlets by the world’s leading fashion brands in The Dubai Mall, the project is one of the last developments in Downtown Dubai.

The project complements the ongoing expansion of The Dubai Mall, which will witness the Fashion Avenue being expanded to add over 150 international fashion brands as well as a selection of restaurants and leisure attractions. Living up to the name, Address Fashion Avenue will celebrate its ‘fashion connection’ with a contemporary design and elegant architectural features.

With fashion forward living spaces highlighted by soft hues and silhouettes, Address Fashion Avenue is thoughtfully created to exude style. Each room of the project – both the hotel room and serviced residence – unfolds like a distinct piece of a designer’s signature collection.

Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “With 28 upcoming projects and 11 operational hotels, Emaar Hospitality Group has set a distinctive imprint in the hospitality sector. As our flagship hotel brand, Address Hotels + Resorts has been a driving force of our growth, with its positioning of ‘where life happens’ resonating with our guests and residents. The new Address Fashion Avenue is even more exceptional not only because it is the 12th Address project in Dubai but also for its unique location by Burj Khalifa and linked directly to the expanded Fashion Avenue of The Dubai Mall.

“The hotel and serviced residences will appeal to those value exclusivity, love fashion and wish to make a personal statement on their preferences and aspirations. With Dubai fast evolving as a global fashion hub, the project will appeal to the trendy and trend-setters. Address brings enriching experiences for our guests, and we will continue to enrich their lives with luxury, style and elegance,” he added.

The welcome foyer of Address Fashion Avenue will have a specially commissioned art installation and dining rooms feature a lively open kitchen. The library, lounge and fumoir will appeal to connoisseurs for relaxing and meetings. The rooftop pavilion overlooking the spectacular vistas of the city as well as Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain will be the place to-be-seen for trend-setters.

The deluxe guest rooms and suites are stylishly designed to appeal to the discerning with elegant décor and plush bedding, seating and work spaces. Other hotel amenities include a cafe, restaurant, rooftop pool and lounge, spa, fitness facilities, and children’s play areas.

Address Residences Fashion Avenue, with only 48 one-bedroom and 30 two-bedroom apartments, also redefines style and comfort. Fully serviced by Address Hotels + Resorts, the interiors are thoughtfully planned and laid out, and every aspect of the apartment designed to maximise the style factor associated with this prestigious project.

Address Fashion Avenue adds to a choice of hotels and serviced residences in Downtown Dubai, with the already operational Address Boulevard, Address Dubai Mall, Palace Downtown, Vida Downtown, Manzil Downtown and Rove Downtown, that are sought-after by guests and residents.

Marking its tenth year of operation, Emaar Hospitality Group has redefined the hospitality sector of Dubai and is fast expanding its footprint to international markets.

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IHG announces signing of two new hotels in Business Bay

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the signing of two new properties in Dubai – Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay and InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Business Bay.

Both properties are in partnership with API Hotels & Resorts.

“In the Middle East, we are currently engaged in the strategic expansion of the Crowne Plaza brand, as well as growing the footprint of our InterContinental Residence Suites,” said Pascal Gauvin, chief operating officer, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG.

In support of these goals, we are delighted to be working with API Hotels & Resorts, an eminent partner with a proven track record in high quality hotel developments across the UAE.”

Expected to open in 2019, Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay will have 290 rooms and suites.

InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Business Bay will offer 30 studios, 60 one bedroom, 60 two bedroom, and 10 three bedroom suites.

Jassim Al Ali, CEO of API Hotels & Resorts, said: “In order to maximise further growth opportunities in the Middle East, we believe that we need to add a global operator with an internationally recognized brand to our portfolio and IHG, as a market leader with over 5,000 hotels worldwide fits this profile perfectly.

“Furthermore, both InterContinental and Crowne Plaza have established reputations around the world, and we’re excited to be adding these iconic names to our portfolio here in Dubai.  This is a growing market for hotel development; particularly for business and luxury brands. We’re looking forward to providing career-focused business travellers and luxury seeking residents with the finest service across two world-class properties.”

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