By Andy Sambidge
Sheikh Mohammed calls for work to begin on 2nd phase of $680m Marriott Marquis Dubai
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Sunday ordered the start of the second phase of the AED2.5bn ($680m) JW Marriott Marquis Dubai hotel project.
Sheikh Mohammed, also vice president and prime minister of the UAE made the order during a visit to the new Sheikh Zayed Road hotel which opened earlier this month.
According to comments published by news agency WAM, he expressed his satisfaction with the completion of the first phase of the iconic project, describing it as a "boost to the tourism sector in the emirate of Dubai".
The hotel is opening in several phases, with its first tower of 804 rooms and suites in its soft opening phase, and with three of the final nine restaurants.
By January, the hotel will have all nine restaurants and five bars and lounges open, with a grand opening scheduled to take place in February.
The directive from Dubai's ruler for the second phase to begin comes just a day after he announced plans to build a new multi-billion dollar tourism and retail project called Mohammad Bin Rashid City.
The new city project, which will be built by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties, will include plans for the world's biggest shopping mall, a Universal family theme park, a park that is a third bigger than Hyde Park in London and 100 hotelsFor all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.