By Shane McGinley
Iconic sail-shaped hotel celebrated 20 years since its official opening on December 1, 1999
Dubai’s Burj al Arab is “one of the most profitable hotels” in the world, according to the CEO of Jumeirah Group, the owner of the iconic sail-shaped building.
The legendary property was dubbed the world's first seven-star hotel by a British journalist when it was officially opened on December 1, 1999.
While it was not expected to make money, but to be an instantly recognisable icon for the city of Dubai, in the same way the Eiffel Tower is for Paris and the Statue of Liberty is for New York, this is certainly not the case, Jose Silva told Arabian Business in an interview in the presidential suite of the iconic hotel.
“It’s very profitable. It’s true that some icons never become truly profitable but this is one of the most profitable hotels I know,” Silva said, without giving specific numbers.
“We’re not sharing the numbers. I can tell you that it is as profitable as any grand luxury hotel in the world, if not to say more profitable,” he added.
Jumeirah Group’s parent company Dubai Holding does not give a breakdown of profit and revenue for its various divisions. In February 2017, it’s last financial results announcement, it reported that its business group, Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group - which Jumeirah is a part of - saw net profits increase 8 percent to AED6.32 billion ($1.72 billion) for the year ended December 31, 2016 and revenue increased 16 percent to AED16.84 billion over the same period.
The hotel has 201 suites, ranging in size from 170 square metres to 780 sq m. Measuring 321 metres high and is built on a man-made island 280m off Dubai’s coastline, the hotel began construction in 1994.
The full interview with Jose Silva will be published in Arabian Business later this month.