By Andy Sambidge
International resort developer says first Dubai hotel is only operation resort on manmade Palm
International resort developer IFA Hotels and Resorts (IFA HR) has announced the opening of its first hotel in Dubai - Fairmont the Palm.
The $330m five-star beach front hotel is the only operational resort located on the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah.
Talal Jassim Al-Bahar, chairman and CEO of IFA Hotels & Resorts, said: "As the largest foreign investor on the Palm Jumeirah, it is fitting that this landmark hotel is our first to become operational in Dubai.
"The opening of Fairmont The Palm signifies our first contribution to Dubai's hospitality landscape."
Dubai continues to be the strongest trading hotel market in MENA when measured by average rates and occupancies. In October, STR Global recorded average room rates of $476 for beachfront hotels in Dubai.
Gabriel Matar, head of Middle East and Africa for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, said: "Based on its competitive set, we expect to see Fairmont The Palm command a premium of up to 70 percent versus city centre hotels."
The new resort features 460 metres of beachfront, 381 guestrooms, 2,200 sq m of meeting and conference facilities, a 1,600 sq m spa, and seven food and beverage outlets.
These offerings form part of a larger $616m development that includes 562 luxury apartments bringing the total number of keys in the development to 957.
Joe Sita, President of IFA Hotel Investments, which asset manages IFA HR's operational properties, added: "In addition to accommodating visitors to Dubai, we expect Fairmont The Palm to become a dining and leisure destination central to life on the island.
"Accessible to the adjacent residences, the 860 apartments in our Golden Mile development, as well as the island villas and neighboring buildings, we are confident the property will draw a sizeable amount of domestic business."
Jennifer Fox, President, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, said: "We are extremely excited to add Fairmont The Palm to our list of global destinations."