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Thu 6 May 2010 03:55 PM

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Ritz-Carlton Dubai expansion delayed to summer

Construction work to increase hotel by 163 rooms likely to take 24 months - president.

Ritz-Carlton Dubai expansion delayed to summer
EXPANSION PLANS: The work is likely to take 24 months, Simon Cooper said.

Expansion of the Ritz-Carlton Dubai hotel, which was due to start in April, has been delayed until the summer, Arabian Business has learnt.

“It hasn’t started yet, we had to connect up the sewers so there was some preparation work that had to be done and it was held up a little bit,” Simon Cooper, president of the Ritz-Carlton, said at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

“The dividers are going up for preparation for the contractor and I think the work will begin in the summer,” he said, adding that construction is likely to take 24 months to complete.

The beachfront resort currently features 138 sea view guestrooms over seven floors but the plans will see a new wing being built to house an additional 163 guestrooms, bringing the total number to 301, the company said in January. The new wing will also include The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, outdoor swimming pools and a terrace, a spa and fitness centre.

Cooper also confirmed that Union Properties, the developers of the Ritz-Carlton project in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), are still pushing ahead with plans to sell the site but for the hotelier it is still “business as usual.”

“They don’t have to tell us but put it this way, we know two or three of the bidders very well and I would say that their interest is probably because we have other relationships with them. It is totally Union’s call, we are not involved in the slightest. If they get the price they wanted they would have sold it by now,” he said.

Although work on the site has “gone a bit slow because of the challenges Union has had,” the Ritz-Carlton DIFC is due to open by the end of the year, said Cooper.

In Cairo, the hotelier is currently constructing the Nile Ritz-Carlton and plans to start construction on the Palm Hills later this year. Cooper confirmed that the operator is also looking at projects in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Muscat.

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