The opening of Dubai’s AED2.3bn ($626m) Palazzo Versace hotel and resort has been pushed back until 2014, the CEO of Versace told Arabian Business this week, despite developers’ claims the much delayed project would open this summer.
“Now we are finalising Palazzo Versace here in Dubai for 2014. It is now in full speed and will be located on the opposite side of Festival City,” Gian Giacomo Ferraris, CEO of Versace since July 2009, told Arabian Business in an interview.
In March 2012, developer Enshaa Services Group said it would deliver the project by the end of 2013 and was even aiming for a soft opening this summer.
“Since assuming control of the development... Enshaa has been targeting the soft opening of the hotel in summer 2013 and with the grand opening in the last quarter of 2013,” a spokesperson told Arabian Business at the time.
While some sources close to the project claimed the project had slowed due to funding issues, Enshaa said it was being partly hindered by a lack of water and electricity on site.
“The development cannot be completed without the services infrastructure... and [Enshaa] is currently exploring alternatives to obtaining services including the running of chilled water pipes from a district cooling plant across the creek, and running cables to an alternate power distribution station other than the one which will eventually serve our development.
“The delivery dates of the development are per the provisions in the sales and purchase agreement.”
The spokesman declined to comment on suggestions that the project was being stalled due to funding issues.
The Dubai Creek development has so far missed its original completion date by four years, and is still not being constructed at full speed.
Palazzo Versace Dubai was launched in 2006 by Emirates Sunland Group, a 50:50 joint venture between Enshaa’s subsidiary firm Emirates International Holdings (EIH) and Australian developer The Sunland Group.
The design included two Versace-branded residential buildings comprised of 169 units, and a Versace-designed hotel with 217 suites.
The project was located in the master development Dubai Culture Village, being overseen by Dubai Properties Group.
UAE-based Enshaa at the time had a 50 percent stake in Palazzo Versace Gold Coast in Australia, a Sunland-developed property which had been open for around a decade.
In October 2011, Enshaa Services Group, another subsidiary of Enshaa, took control of the project as part of a swap deal.
Under the agreement, Enshaa agreed to relinquish its stake in the Australian property in exchange for full ownership of the Palazzo Versace in Dubai.
Sources say the project has encountered a series of delays since its launch due to different issues, including problems with a nearby dhow ship yard and a complete project redesign.
An Enshaa spokesperson did not immediately respond to queries from Arabian Business when contacted for an update on the project.