Damac, Paramount close in on Riyadh hotel deal

Dubai developer says it is finalising agreement with Hollywood firm for another luxury hotel
By Courtney Trenwith
Wed 08 May 2013 08:24 AM

Luxury developer Damac and legendary Hollywood production company Paramount are close to finalising another five-star, movie-themed hotel, this time in Riyadh.

The companies launched Damac Towers by Paramount – four 250m tall towers including a hotel, residences and retail - in Downtown Dubai two months ago. Located near the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, more than 200 apartments sold out within hours of going on sale late March.

Damac managing director Ziad El Chaar revealed to Arabian Business negotiations for a second hotel were well underway. It would be built in the Saudi capital, which he said was desperate for more hotels.

“We’re nearing completion [of negotiations] but the structure of the project is different from the one in Dubai, that’s why it’s taking more time, because it’s not your traditional hotel,” El Chaar said.

“In Dubai we’re building a Paramount hotel and residences and attaching them to condominiums, which is very close to what the standard hotel agreement is. [Whereas] we are focusing the plan in Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh, on condo hotels.

“We think there is a market segment in Riyadh which is still under-serviced in condo hotels. It’s a hotel room that you buy, that you own. You use it whenever you are in town and you get the proceeds of leasing that when you are not in town. There are a lot of transit visitors to Riyadh, being the capital of Saudi Arabia.”

The $1bn Damac Towers by Paramount in Dubai will be linked by a platform offering entertainment, retail, restaurants and a luxury, intimate cinema.

Most of the decor will be based on block-buster movies, while the hotel also will include cinema-like features such as self-service mini bars on each floor and a wide selection of movies in each room.

Paramount Hotels and Resorts, which manages the 101-year-old film and television production company’s hospitality interests, also is building a hotel in China, while in March CEO Thomas van Vliet said the company was looking to build similar hotels in Doha, as well as in Brazil, the Caribbean and Indonesia.

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