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Mon 17 Mar 2003 04:00 AM

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Grand Hyatt Dubai opens its doors

March 18 is the opening date for the 674 room behemoth that now dominates central Dubai’s Garhoud area.

After a long wait and much anticipation, the Grand Hyatt Dubai formally opens its doors to guests on March 18. Over 1,000 employees from 54 countries will welcome the general public to the 674 room behemoth that now dominates central Dubai’s Garhoud area.In addition to its many rooms, the most in a regional hotel according to management, the Grand Hyatt also offers extensive conference facilities, 14 food and beverage outlets and a Grand Residence incorporating 176 apartments and 10 villas. The whole thing is set within 37 acres of landscaped gardens.Over the last two years, Peter Fulton, the hotel’s general manager, has made clear that the Grand Hyatt is to be positioned at the heart of Dubai’s burgeoning conferences and exhibitions business — known more catchily as MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences & exhibitions.) The hotel will be closely aligned with Arabian Travel Market in May and September’s IMF and World Bank Governors’ meetings, which are expected to bring 14,000-16,000 people into Dubai from around the world.“There has been concern expressed over its size and how we’re going to fill it,” said Fulton. “We look at ourselves as part of Dubai’s strategy to build a world class travel destination.”In what may be a first for any hotel in the world, the Grand Hyatt Dubai has four dhows embedded in the ceiling of its reception area, which also features 40,000 square feet of indoor tropical gardens.The Grand Hyatt Dubai is owned by the government of Dubai, although how much has been invested in it has not been revealed.

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