By Courtney Trenwith
The Dubai firm is building a polo club & resort, Oasis Villas and Metropolitan hotel, which will see the return of the former brand and Red Lion English pub
Dubai-based Al Habtoor Group has announced three new projects including a polo resort and club, a four-star hotel and a residential community, worth a total AED2bn ($547m).
The Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, worth $270m, will include a five-star hotel with 136 rooms and 162 bungalows, a polo club, a polo academy, a riding school with 500 stables and three professional polo fields.
It would be built in three stages, with the hotel opening last in early 2017, CEO Mohammed Al Habtoor said.
The Metropolitan Sheikh Zayed Rd marks the return of the group’s first hotel brand. The original Metropolitan, which opened in 1979, was demolished in 2012 to make way for Al Habtoor City, near Dubai Downtown.
The new hotel also will include the former Red Lion English pub and Don Corleone Italian restaurant. Graded four stars, it will have 334 rooms and is due for completion in 2016.
Chairman Khalaf Al Habtoor said he had promised to return the Red Lion pub when the Metropolitan closed.
“Today, I am delivering on that promise. I am not nostalgic, but I am conscious of what our customers want and I am confident that this new hotel will become a new destination in Dubai,” he said.
The group also is building Oasis Villas next to the Metropolitan in Jumeirah.
The community will include 74 villas with between four and six bedrooms each, as well as a communal gym, pool, children’s play area and jogging track.
Khalaf Al Habtoor said the projects were mostly financed through the group’s cash flow, with a “small” amount of local finance.
The announcement came a day after analysts Knight Frank said the Dubai real estate market had recorded its first quarterly decline in four years, with prices falling more than five percent between June and September, although it remained 12.5 percent up on Q3, 2013.
Khalaf Al Habtoor said he was not deterred by the market report and believed Dubai real estate was performing well.
“It doesn’t matter that sometimes there’s a little bit of fluctuation or a little bit of slight tolerance,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Al Habtoor Group also confirmed it was expecting to close a deal on President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield, US, on December 16.
It also is constructing its self-titled city, which is expected to include three luxury Starwood hotels, St Regis, W hotel and the Westin, on the Dubai Water Canal.
The chairman also said more projects were close to being confirmed and he expected to announce them in the near future.
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