Emaar has put plans for a third Armani Hotel on hold, saying it wishes to establish the brand before further expansion, according to a senior executive.
The first Giorgio Armani-designed hotel, by Emaar Hospitality Group, opened in the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai in April 2010.
A second opened the following year in Milan. Shortly beforehand, the then chief executive Mark Dardenne revealed Emaar was designing a third Armani-branded resort, with Paris, New York and Marrakech tipped as the preferred locations.
However, it emerged on Sunday that the plans have not been pursued. Philippe Zuber, chief operating officer at Emaar Hospitality Group, said the company was “very happy” with the progress of its Dubai and Milan resorts and had no intention of opening a third at present.
When asked why the plans had been dropped, he said only: “We need time to establish the brand and have no plans to look elsewhere... We are very happy with the two hotels we have.”
In 2010 Dardenne said of the Armani Hotels brand: “We think we are bringing something different to Dubai and the UAE and so far [it has been] very well received. It was very positive and it is in a fantastic location in the Burj Khalifa and is a new product.”
In a statement to Arabian Business, a spokesperson added: “Armani Hotels & Resorts has two properties now in Dubai and Milan, and we are in discussions for other properties in some key markets. More details will be announced once they are finalised.”
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday to launch the 22nd year of the Arabian Travel Market conference, Zuber reported strong annual occupancy rates of 85 percent and higher across Emaar’s Dubai hotels.
He said there were plans for further expansion, in particular of The Address hotels brand, adding that Emaar was eyeing management contracts in “several international markets”.
An announcement of the completion of one such contract is expected tomorrow, he said, but would not be drawn on the details in advance.
Below: Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani (L) and Emaar Properties chairman Mohammed Alabbar at a press conference on April 27, 2010, for the opening of the first Armani-branded hotel in Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. (AFP/Getty Images).
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