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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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Address Dubai Mall wins two top honours at World Luxury Spa Awards

Address Dubai Mall, located in the heart of Downtown Dubai overlooking the iconic Burj Khalifa, and linked directly to The Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping and entertainment destinations in the world, has won two honours at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2017.

The hotel demonstrated its industry leadership in setting luxury service standards by winning the honour of the being ‘Best Spa Manager’ and ‘Luxury Day Spa’ at the global event.

The two honours, chosen by members of the public, are an indication of the international benchmarks that Address Dubai Mall has set, and how leisure and business travellers value the high levels of hospitality it offers as among the world’s finest. The awards also reinforce the Spa’s elegance and charm coupled with its interior design, and constant commitment to enhance hospitality standards.

From bespoke furnishings to restaurant menus and in-room amenities, Address Dubai Mall guarantees a Dubai experience like nothing else. The hotel has 244 signature rooms and suites and offers three upbeat restaurants and lounges, wellness facilities, convenient business amenities, and an all-round quintessential luxurious experience.

World Luxury Hotel Awards is the pinnacle of recognition for a hotel in the luxury hospitality industry, rewarding hotels for earning the respect of guests and industry players alike, and voted for by the public, in over 60 categories.

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The Residence Collection at Al Habtoor City Reaches New Construction Milestone

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Founding Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group confirmed that the construction of three residential towers at Al Habtoor City is on track with more than 70 per cent of the project completed. The sought-after freehold property boasts 1,427 luxury apartments set in the heart of Dubai directly on the banks of the Dubai Water Canal and Sheikh Zayed Road.

“I am very pleased to see high demand from local and international investors and sales are proceeding exceptionally well.” said Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor. “We launched the sale of the Noora Tower with 546luxury units, including four ultra-luxury penthouses in 2016. The Residence Collection is over 70 per cent finalized as verified by the Dubai Land Department. We are well on schedule for delivery in towards the end of 2017.”

Al Habtoor added, “Al Habtoor City is a very high-quality development and an unrivaled lifestyle destination with exceptional facilities. The multi-use development has sealed its mark on the map as it is a destination like no other, the region’s largest hospitality, entertainment and residential complex. I am incredibly proud of the project for it brings something unique not only to Dubai, but also in the world. It is a dynamic neighbourhood pulsing with life.”

Set in the heart of the one million sq ft development, the Residence Collection consists of three luxurious residential towers – Noora, Amna and Meera. Housed within two 73-storey towers and one 52-storey tower, they comprise of deluxe apartments, lofts and simplex, duplex and VIP penthouses, ranging from 1 to 7 bedrooms. The residential community will have exclusive access to first-class amenities, which include the largest swimming pool and leisure deck in the UAE, a state-of-the-art gym, a luxury spa, multiple restaurants and bars, the Al Habtoor Tennis Academy – which includes an indoor tennis court for year-round play.

The heart of the Leisure Collection features a permanent state-of-the-art, high-tech theatre housing the region’s first resident show – La Perle. Created by world-renowned Artistic Director Franco Dragone, La Perle combines the spirit of Dubai with a 1300-seat aqua-theatre to deliver an unmissable spectacle in, on, and above water.  A “must-see” show for audiences from across the world La Perle is the only permanent water-based theatre production between Las Vegas and Macau. Set to make its debut in September 2017, tickets can now be purchased online.

Three five-star hotels within the Al Habtoor City’s Hotel Collection, The St. Regis Dubai, W Dubai – Al Habtoor City, and The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City collectively present nearly 1,600 rooms and suites, 18 restaurants and lounges, two spas, 34 meeting and banqueting spaces, including three state-of-the-art ballrooms. Furthermore, the Boulevard and Marina Promenade on the Canal will offer 21 retail spaces with signature restaurants, gourmet cafés, boutiques, a supermarket, medical centre, crèche and much more.

To highlight, Al Habtoor City is located in close proximity to Dubai’s famous landmarks, hospitals and schools, Business Bay and downtown area, and a short drive from Dubai’s two airports.

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The Retreat Palm Dubai Mgallery By Sofitel Becomes Member Of The Prestigious Healing Hotels Of The World

The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel, the newest addition to AccorHotels’ distinctive MGallery by Sofitel collection of contemporary boutique hotels, has become a member of the esteemed Healing Hotels of the World – the invite-only ‘club’ is the world’s leading authority in luxury-end ‘Healing’ destinations and resorts specializing in the field of holistic health.

As a member of Healing Hotels of the World, it is acknowledged that The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel features beautiful accommodation and architecture, cutting edge holistic healing therapies achieving visible results, caring and thoughtful service, healing cuisine and a natural stunning location.

The group is the only global brand that has successfully established and implemented authentic and quality driven criteria for the environment and delivery of holistic health and wellbeing services. It adheres to strict benchmarks which must be met by properties, ensuring that guests can trust that when staying at a member of Healing Hotels of the World, they will receive a meaningful experience that is genuinely anchored and committed to whole body healing.

Situated along the exclusive coastline of Palm Jumeirah’s East Crescent, the idyllic The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel, set to open in summer 2017, offers guests a unique and tranquil environment in the heart of vibrant Dubai. The beachfront destination showcases 255 luxurious rooms and suites, designed with natural elements, earthy tones and harmonising feng shui, synonymous with serenity and calmness.

General Manager Samir Arora says, “We are delighted to receive an invitation to become a member of the Healing Hotels of the World. The solicitation acknowledges our commitment to long lasting healing and wellness which is the true heart and ethos of our brand.”

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JW Marriott Hotel Dubai Unveils ‘Creating Everlasting Memories’ Wedding Film

JW Marriott Hotel Dubai is a gem in the heart of Dubai’s historic Deira neighborhood. As a timeless wedding destination and Marriott’s first property in Dubai, the Hotel has occupied a cherished space in the hearts of its guests. Opened in 1993, JW Marriott Hotel Dubai today carries tremendous nostalgia for guests; guests whose very first luxury hotel experience, childhood memories and priceless wedding moments were all created and celebrated here. Today, the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai is popular for its vintage charm, warm service and expert wedding planners. In paying homage to the 24 year old history of the Hotel hosting countless brides and grooms, the Hotel unveils a new short film titled ‘Creating Everlasting Memories at the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai’ which captures the true essence of the precious moments celebrated at over thousands of weddings hosted at the hotel over the years and can be viewed on the Hotel’s YouTube channel here.

The wedding film traces the journey of a little girl who visits JW Marriott Hotel Dubai with her mother. The old world splendor of the Hotel fills her eyes with wonder and her steps with an eagerness to discover. Flash forward to the present, and the girl, now a woman dressed elegantly in her bridal gown walks up the grand staircase of the lobby of the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai – the very staircase she used to run up during her childhood visits to the property. Spaces across the Hotel such as the restaurant, the Royal Suite and the Town Square are havens of nostalgic memories for her. Almost like a happy constant in her life, the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai continues to be that place where she begins a new journey in her life as she takes the first dance with her groom in the Hotel’s Amal Grand Ballroom.

In 2016 alone, JW Marriott Hotel Dubai hosted over 200 weddings serving 43,000 guests. The experienced hotel team comes together to deliver the JW Treatment in bringing to life the brand’s commitment to highly choreographed, anticipatory service and modernly designed ballrooms. To make wedding planning a joyful journey, they ensure every detail, from the wedding cake to the specialty linen, from the themed set ups to entertainment, are personalized and that the service surpasses all expectations. As a testimony of being a timeless wedding destination, the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai has introduced an exclusive ‘Creating Everlasting Memories’ Wedding Package. Wedding families that book this package for a minimum of 100 guests at AED 175 per head can enjoy luxurious inclusions such as an overnight stay in a Suite for the bride and groom including a romantic breakfast served in the comfort of their room, dinner at The Market Place restaurant, wedding décor elements including a dance floor, complimentary wedding cake, and the couple can even earn Marriott Rewards Rewarding Events Points or air miles towards their honeymoon!

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Palazzo Versace Dubai Announced as the Best Venue for Intimate Weddings and Celebrations

Palazzo Versace Dubai took home the award for Best Venue for Intimate Weddings and Celebrations at the Experiential Venue Awards 2017.

The awards ceremony, which took place at JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity, celebrated the best event venues serving the Indian MICE and Weddings market and saw over 200 hotels nominated across 15 categories. All nominees were subject to a rigorous two-stage voting process comprising of industry and jury nominations.

Commenting on the achievement, Sandra Tikal, General Manager of Palazzo Versace Dubai, said: “We are honoured to have been recognised as the ‘Best Venue for Intimate Weddings and Celebrations’ in the region, an accolade which highlights our unique range of elegantly designed spaces and commitment to delivering unforgettable experiences to those who choose Palazzo Versace Dubai as their wedding venue. We accept this award with a renewed commitment to going above and beyond to exceed the expectations of our guests on their big day.”

Attended by esteemed members of the hospitality and experiential industry in Asia, the Experiential Venue Awards were co-located with the WOW Awards and Convention Asia 2017, the largest recognition platform for MICE, Live Marketing and the Entertainment Industry.

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DoubleTree by Hilton opens in Business Bay

The hotel is located in Bay Square as part of a low-rise community square surrounded by shops, cafes and local businesses.

“Dubai is a fast-growing, cosmopolitan city that offers visitors a range of activities, from shopping in the modern malls, to watching a performance at the opera, to abra rides on the creek,” said Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton.

“As the first and only hotel in Bay Square, DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay is ideal for travellers seeking accomodation in this popular new destination. We look forward to welcoming guests with something special at every stage of their stay, starting with our signature, warm DoubleTree cookie upon arrival.”

Her views were echoed by Rudi Jagersbacher, president, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Hilton, who said: “Hilton’s portfolio stretches across the region, and we are pleased to have expanded our presence in Dubai with the opening of this beautiful new hotel.

“DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay is an exciting addition to an already bustling area of Dubai, and we are thrilled to bring yet another of our world-class properties to a city renowned for its hospitality. With this great addition to our portfolio, we now operate 10 Hilton properties in Dubai.”

To celebrate the hotel’s opening, Hilton Honors members will earn an additional 1,000 points per night – up to a maximum of 5,000 points – for bookings through December 25, 2017, when booking directly with Hilton.

“With its prime location in Bay Square, spacious rooms and exciting dining options, DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay is the smart choice for travellers to Dubai,” said Remco Werkhoven, general manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Business Bay.

“The hotel’s central location and shuttle bus service makes it ideal for business, leisure and ‘bleisure’ travellers – those who blend business trips with personal time.”

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Atlantis The Palm Announces USD 100 Million Refurbishment Project

In line with Dubai Tourism’s vision of attracting 20 million visitors per year by 2020, Atlantis announces an extensive refurbishment programme across Atlantis, The Palm, as well as an expansion with the brands second property, The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residencies also located on The Palm.

Atlantis, The Palm shares impressive results during the first five months of 2017, which saw occupancy levels of 93% on average, with an 11% increase year on year. Boosted by competitive room rates and an increase in guests from Russia, China, India and European countries such as France and Germany, the integrated entertainment destination has become the fastest growing resort in the region, surpassing its competitors in total rate of occupancy growth.

Starting on 4th July 2017, the iconic five-star destination resort will embark on a three-year refurbishment programme, including the resorts 1539 rooms and suites. The project will see 50 rooms and suites refurbished every six weeks, to ensure that guest experience will not be impacted, with completion benchmarked for 2019 just in time for the World Expo 2020.

The Interior Design of the typical guestrooms was awarded to UAE based interior design studio WA International, whose design will be built by fitout specialists, Al Tayer Stocks, who have been awarded the strip out and refurbishment of the 1532 guest rooms, suites and corridors.

The project will deliver a fresh look and feel, including contemporary carpet designs reminiscent of the turquoise and azure seas, with shades of coral bursting through the newly enhanced guestrooms.

Integrated technology will also be acknowledged throughout with 49-inch flat screen televisions, proximity reader key systems and many more convenient features. The refurbishment will also extend to balcony areas as well as bathrooms, which will include Greek Didyma marble basins and free standing bathtubs.

Additionally, all day dining restaurant Kaleidoscope is currently under renovation and will see a new dynamic introduced when it re-opens in September 2017. Further projects planned are the re-design of Ayamna Bar, Nasimi Beach and The Imperial Club.

“We had very strong five months that significantly exceeded our expectations” said Serge Zaalof, Chief Operating Officer Atlantis Resorts & Residences, “April was our strongest month to date since the opening. Such a positive start to 2017 is encouraging and with our continued efforts to enhance the guest experience we are confident that the rest of the year will be successful. Our aim is to constantly innovate with the new room offering as well as the re-design of restaurants and bars we will wow our guests and exceed expectations.”

The room renovation project comes ahead of the launch of Atlantis’ second Dubai property the $1.4 billion Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences, which is set to change the landscape of Dubai upon launch in late 2019. Located on the crescent of The Palm and next to the iconic Atlantis resort, this new generation of distinctive luxury will offer 231 Residences and 795 new lavish guest rooms and suites on over 10 hectares of land. With the sales launch of The Residencies in January 2017 and prices starting at approximately AED 7,650,000 (circa $2m/£1.7m), the property is destined to become a new landmark, a world-renowned address and will be Dubai’s first super-prime residential development.

The company’s portfolio has also expanded to China, with Atlantis Sanya, Hainan set to open in 2018. Poised as the first entertainment destination resort to be opened in Haitang Bay, the 5-star ocean themed resort will encompass 300,000 sqm of exceptionally spacious and luxurious accommodation, totaling 1,314 guestrooms, 154 suites and five underwater suites. The resort will also be home to an 85,000 sqm Aquaventure Waterpark, a 13.5 million litres Aquarium, 7,500 sqm of swimming pools and 21 dining options.

In addition, the latest announcement for the Atlantis brand comes in the form of Atlantis Ko Olina Hawaii, a $2 billion project that will see the fourth property in the Atlantis portfolio potentially take the title as the most expensive Atlantis resort ever built. While details are still being finalised, the high-end sanctuary will be located on 15 acres of land at on the island of Oahu.

“Hawaii is the perfect location for our next Atlantis destination resort. All our resorts and residences will encompass the fun, interactive entertainment experiences which are at the heart of the Atlantis philosophy,” said Zaalof. “I am thrilled that we are able to continue to innovate on the Atlantis adventure around the globe and we are committed to offering unprecedented experiences to resorts guests, residents and visitors alike. Atlantis has redefined destinations and introduced innovative, awe-inspiring offerings at each of its locations and we will continue to do so.”

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French Riviera project launched in Dubai

An AED12 billion-project patterned after French Riviera has been launched in Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, Dubai. Launched by the Dubai-based Azizi Developments, the project, dubbed Azizi Riviera, will be implemented within the Meydan One project near Dubai Water Canal. It includes 69 mid-rise residential buildings, a retail district, as well as one four-star and one five-star hotel. The first and second phase of the project is expected to be completed in December 2018.

In terms of residences, the development will offer 13,000 units including one-bedroom, two-bedroom and studio apartments.

The ceremony laying down the foundation stone of the project was attended by Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman and CEO of Meydan Group, and Mirwais Aziz, Chairman of Azizi Group.

Designed to resemble the French Riviera waterfront, the development will also offer access to the Meydan One Mall and the Meydan Racecourse – where the Dubai World Cup is held.

Azizi Riviera is the first in a series of projects that Azizi is planning to develop in the Meydan One mega-development, following a partnership with Meydan Group announced earlier this year.

The wider Meydan One development will feature the 711 metres-tall Dubai One Tower, Meydan One Mall, a five-star hotel, a civic plaza with dancing water fountains, an indoor sports facility, a 4km canal and a marina.

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TripAdvisor has awarded Aquaventure ‘Best Waterpark in Dubai’ and fourth ‘Best in the World’

Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm has taken the title as the Best Waterpark in Dubai and the Middle East and Fourth Best Waterpark in the World. Crowned by the ninth annual TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, the top waterparks are chosen by travellers across the world, with the final selection based on millions of reviews and opinions left on the site.

In addition to taking the fourth top spot, ahead of Thermas dos Laranjais in Olimpia, Brazil and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, the 17 hectare beachfront waterpark also beat competitors in the region, securing the title as Best Waterpark in Dubai and the Middle East.

Situated on the apex of the Palm in Dubai, the award-winning waterpark is a firm favourite with celebrities, sports men and women and tourists from all over the world. With thousands of ‘excellent’ reviews and images shared by guests on Trip Advisor, travellers love Aquaventure for its appeal to families and guests of any age. From thrilling rapids and diving with sharks, to taking on a mass of terrifying and record breaking slides, one reviewer describes it as “A must in Dubai for the entire family!”.

To keep families and residents cool throughout the summer, Aquaventure is inviting everyone to try out their award winning slides with some amazing packages starting from just AED 225. An example package includes Aquaventure admission, The Lost Chambers Aquarium admission and a meal deal for just 250AED for adults and 225AED for children (offering savings of up to 105AED per person) .

A few things you didn’t know about Aquaventure Waterpark……

  1. Aquaventure is a water playground of over 18 million litres of water, consisting of extraordinary rides with cascades, tidal waves and rapids
  2. The park has a 2.3 kilometre river ride with tidal waves and pools, water rapids and white water chargers . It takes an impressive 45 minutes to float around the park.
  3. Aquaventure is capable of using over 790,000 litres of water per minute to create surges and waves with swells reaching almost 1 metre high
  4. Aquaventure is the only waterpark in The Middle East that offers Marine Animal Experiences including: Shark Safari, a delightful walk on the bottom of the Shark Lagoon and Cownose Ray Feeding, in the water interacting and feeding the hungry rays
  5. The Rapids are the longest waterpark river in The Middle East. This 1.6 kilometre river adventure uses 15 million litres of fresh water to propel inner-tube riders through high intensity rapids, wave surges and waterfalls that circumnavigate the lush tropical waterscape of Aquaventure
  6. Aquaventure is the only waterpark in Africa and the Middle East which has 700 metres of white sand beach
  7. Aquaventure is complimentary to all guests staying at Atlantis, The Palm
  8. The 17 hectare waterpark is now home to the world’s largest circumference water ride, first twin racing tube rides and the longest zip line circuit in the Middle East
  9. The Atlantean Flyers Is also the first zip line integrated into a waterslide tower in the world
  10. Aquaventure is home to the world’s first timed double slide within a slide experience – Slitherines and Aquaconda

Complimentary to guests of Atlantis, The Palm and welcoming thousands of visitors from across the world each day, Aquaventure contains 18 million litres of fresh water used to power eleven thrilling waterslides and a 2.3 kilometre river ride with tidal waves and pools, water rapids and white water chargers. Using the latest technology, Aquaventure is capable of using over 750,000 litres per minute to create water surges and waves with swells reaching almost 1 metre high. Guests are propelled through the lushly landscaped waterscape, never having to leave their inner tubes as innovative water escalators carry participants up slide towers and down through rapids.

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