Al Habtoor eyes Xmas Eve opening for Waldorf Astoria Dubai

Dubai conglomerate names date for launch of new hotel offering on Palm Jumeirah
Al Habtoor eyes Xmas Eve opening for Waldorf Astoria Dubai
By Beatrice Thomas
Mon 16 Dec 2013 04:17 PM

Dubai conglomerate Al Habtoor Group is set to expand its hotel portfolio with the launch of the Waldorf Astoria Dubai on the Palm Jumeirah.

The company on Monday offered an exclusive sneak peak of the luxury premises, which vice-chairman and CEO Mohammed Al Habtoor confirmed would open on Christmas Eve.

Featuring 319 guest rooms, two swimming pools and six bars and restaurants, including a specialty European restaurant with a soon-to-be-announced "top-rated European chef", it marks the fourth Dubai hotel in Al Habtoor's accommodation portfolio.

Al Habtoor said the hotel had an excellent management team in Hilton Worldwide's Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, which also runs the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, and was in an excellent location.

Room prices started from AED1,800 ($490) to AED3,000 a night, he said.

"We have the right name, the right brand and the right location on the Palm," he told Arabian Business on the sidelines of the event.

Al Habtoor said with average hotel occupancy of 85 percent in Dubai, the city could easily absorb the extra capacity. Al Habtoor has three more hotels under construction in the city - St Regis, W and Westin - which are expected to be completed in 24 months.

"There is still quite a bit of room (for new hotel developments)," he said. "As far as I know there is another 20,000 rooms coming from now until the next three, four years. Out of that 2,000 is our hotels.

"The demand is there. You can see also Emirates Airline, they have purchased new aircraft for new destinations and that means more people coming to Dubai."

Al Habtoor chairman and founder Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor described the Waldorf Astoria hotel as a gem.

"The Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah is a great addition for the UAE," he said. "The property is uniquely placed with amazing views of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai Skyline, including the Burj Khalifa."

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