We rarely cover promotions here because it is just too prosaic but Damac Properties – for the 10th year running – is offering something we cannot pass on reporting. In conjunction with the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), the developer is promising free 2016 models of the BMW 730i, BMW X6 and Lamborghini Huracan for buyers of its properties in Dubai. According to the Khaleej Times, which broke the story, eligible buyers will get their car upon payment of just 20 percent of property price. The promotion holds true for the full spectrum of Damac Properties, including the villas in Akoya, Damac Residenze in Dubai Marina, serviced apartments in the vicinity of the Burj and Versace-styled villas on Palm Jumeirah. Longtime readers will realize that we covered something similar some years ago right here, proving that some promotions are indeed worth revisiting.
The new year got off to an unfortunately fiery start in Dubai as the Address Downtown Hotel went up in flames. The hotel is right next to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, where the actual fireworks show is. Reuters and the BBC are reporting that up to 16 people were injured and one person suffered a heart attack during the evacuation of the building; the heart attack victim subsequently passed away (this is unconfirmed at this point). Little is known about the cause of the fire, which reportedly started at 21:30 (GMT), December 31 on the 20th floor and subsequently engulfed 40 floors of this 63-storey building.
[UPDATE 1] Wire services are reporting that Emaar Properties, parent company of the Emaar Hospitality Group, have decided to shutter the Address Downtown Hotel indefinitely. “Guests have been provided with alternate accommodation in various hotels in Dubai,” Emaar Properties said in a statement. No word yet on the cause of the fire nor on the financial implications for firm. No new injuries have been reported but Dubai authorities upped the injured count to 16 and added detail on the heart attack victim. Our story has been updated to reflect this.
Witnesses reported that explosions were heard at the hotel after blaze began. As of this posting, the fire has been contained but the BBC reports that the 20th floor is still ablaze. The authorities are presently investigating. The Address Hotels and Resorts, launched by the Emaar Hospitality Group, has not released a statement on the fire but has set up a hotline for guests affected by the situation.
Image credit: Danny15. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Construction work on ‘Aladdin City’, a project inspired by the tales of Aladdin and Sindbad, will start next year, according to emirates 24/7.
The project will have three towers, comprising commercial and hotel space, with the towers spread over a distance of 450 metres on Dubai Creek.
The project aims to develop towers to be the icons of legends of the past with a touch of beauty and tourism characteristic of the city.
It comes in the prime location of Dubai Creek maintaining the activities of the port heritage. The project is located outside the zone waiting to be registered with the World Heritage by Unesco.
It will have air-conditioned bridges with moving floor to connect the towers, driveways and parking lots. The shape of the bridge represents the form of exotic marine life such as dragon and snakes.
Three towers will have a built up area of 110,000 square metres with the highest tower of 34 storeys. The other two towers will have 26 and 25 floors respectively. There will be a total parking space for 900 cars.
Dubai, the Gulf emirate best known for its extravagant projects and scorching temperatures, announced Tuesday it would build the world’s largest indoor ski resort, with a 1.2-kilometre run.
Dubai’s current indoor ski resort, opened in 2005 in the Mall of the Emirates, remains the largest in the world, according to the Guinness World Records website, boasting a 400-metre (yard) slope.
The slope runs year-round, despite summer temperatures in Dubai that can top 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
The new covered ski resort comes as part of a scheme dubbed Meydan One, also to include the world’s tallest residential tower at 711 metres (2,333 feet), a dancing fountain sweeping up to 420 meters (1,378 feet), a vast shopping centre, a 350-room hotel and a marina.
Estimated to cost of up to 25 billion dirhams ($6.8 billion), the project is to extend from the Meydan race track in the desert to Burj Khalifa.
The first phase of the project, eventually to house up to 78,000 residents, should be completed in the next five years, in time for the UAE’s hosting of World Expo 2020, according to its promoters.
With its reputation as a liberal city in a conservative environment, Dubai has become a business and financial hub attracting businesses and expatriates seeking to establish themselves in the Middle East.
READ MORE: LUXURIOUS SKI RESORTS FOR NON-SKIERS
The emirate, which has also emerged as a tourist destination, last year logged 13.2 million visitors, and aims for 20 million tourists by 2020.
InterContinental Hotels Group has expanded its portfolio of hotels in Dubai with the opening of the InterContinental Dubai Marina.
The property features 132 rooms and 196 fully serviced InterContinental residential suites and has views over Dubai Marina.
Part of the Bay Central development, situated in Dubai’s newest hub for contemporary lifestyle in the heart of Dubai Marina, the hotel is located within walking distance of the Dubai tram and metro.
The property features nine restaurants, lounges and bars, an outdoor swimming poo, male and female spas, gym facilities and meeting spaces.
The jewel in the hotel’s crown will be Marina Social restaurant – British, Michelin-starred chef, Jason Atherton’s first in the Middle East – which will open later in September 2015.
Dubai attracted more than 13 million visitors last year as the cash-flush emirate looks to reap the rewards of its growing tourism sector.
A total of 13.2 million foreigners headed to Dubai in 2014, an increase of 8.2% compared with the previous year, its tourism department said.
DON’T MISS: DUBAI TO BUILD ‘MUSEUM OF THE FUTURE’
It said it hoped to attract 20 million tourists a year to Dubai by 2020, when the city will host a World Expo.
Figures released in March showed that hotels in the emirate posted a 9.8% rise in revenues to $6.5 billion (5.8 billion euros) last year — the sector’s best annual result since the 2009 financial crisis.
Turmoil in most of the traditional tourism destinations across the Middle East appears to have helped Dubai capitalise on its reputation as a safe haven for tourists and businesses.
Dubai’s economy contracted 2.4% in 2009 when it rattled global markets over its debt crisis before receiving a $10-billion bailout from Abu Dhabi and reaching restructuring deals with lenders.
An internally “flawless” 100-carat diamond was on show Monday in Dubai ahead of being sold at auction next month by Sotheby’s.
The stone, which was discovered a decade ago in the De Beers mines of South Africa, will go under the hammer at a “Magnificent Jewels” sale in New York in April, the auction house said.
One of five diamonds weighing more than 100 carats that have surfaced on the market over the past 25 years, the jewel’s estimated sale price is between $19-25 million, according to Sotheby’s.
The auction house describes it as the “ultimate emerald-cut diamond, weighing 100.20 carats, D colour, internally flawless” and “unlike any diamond offered at auction before”.
Frank Everett, Sotheby’s VP of sales for jewelry said the diamond could be worn as “a pendant on a necklace, or a cuff bracelet or a ring” although someone might buy it “to admire it just as an object in its own right”.
The number of vehicles in Dubai has doubled over the past eight years giving the Gulf emirate more cars per person than New York or London.
The bustling city state now has 1.4 million vehicles for a population of 2.4 million, equivalent to 540 for every 1,000 people, according to the Roads and Transport Authority figures.
DON’T MISS: FERRARI ENZO ABANDONED IN DUBAI
That compares with 305 vehicles per 1,000 people for New York and 213 per 1,000 for London. The number of registered vehicles has risen from just 740,000 in 2006, an average annual increase of 8.2 percent.
If that trend continues, the number of vehicles could reach 2.2 million by 2020, when the emirate is due to host the universal exposition.
Dubai has invested heavily in public transport infrastructure in recent years, opening a metro rail network in 2009 and the first phase of a tram network last year. But car remains king and, despite massive road expansion projects, traffic jams are frequent.
Dubai on Wednesday announced plans to build an oval ring-shaped “Museum of the Future” to showcase innovation and solutions to challenges facing cities of the coming decades.
The museum is to be built on a grassy hill near the Burj Khalifa with a 500-million-dirham ($136-million) price tag and aiming to open in 2017.
DON’T MISS: YOU CAN BUY HOUSES UNDERWATER IN DUBAI
The Museum of the Future will “actively produce futuristic inventions,” the booming Gulf emirate’s government said, and provide a “permanent home for the world’s greatest innovations.”
It will “work to stimulate and incubate imaginative solutions to the challenges of future cities. It will bring together the brightest researchers, designers, inventors and financiers under one roof.”
The museum will house “innovation labs” focused on health, education, smart cities, energy and transport, and provide a platform for inventions by world-leading technology giants and start-ups.
First they built artificial islands off the coast of Dubai. Now the next stage is homes that will be partially submerged.
A developer is to build 42 villas that have two floors above water level and one beneath on a cluster of six islands on The World islands project.
The developer, Kleindienst Group, said the 1,700 sq ft villas, expected to be finished in 2017, have an initial price of Dh5 million ($1,3 million).
DON’T MISS: DUBAI’S WORLD HAS A SINKING FEELING
The three-level villas are part of Kleindienst Group The Heart of Europe (THOE), which will have rain and snow-filled streets and floating bridges.
The villas are being sold by Privilege Dubai, a real estate consultancy, which has bought the underwater villas from the developer.
The Heart of Europe comprises six islands: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden and St. Petersburg with six additional destinations being Sochi, Belgium, Luxembourg, Geneva, Monte Carlo and Poland.
THOE is the first permanent development at THE WORLD, a collection of manmade islands in the shape of the world, 2 miles off the coast of Dubai.
BURJ AL ARAB, the world’s most luxurious hotel and the flagship property of Jumeirah Group, is preparing to embark on a year of milestone celebrations to mark 15 years as the pinnacle of Arabian hospitality.
Built on an artificial island 280 meters from the Jumeirah coast, the five-star luxury hotel was commissioned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.
DON’T MISS: AND THE BEST HOTEL IN THE WORLD IS…
On December 1, the hotel will host a fireworks show, combined with a visual 3D mapping projection that will be played off the sail-like structure.
Longtime partner Hermès will also be launching a series of limited edition gifts that the property has featured over the last 15 years.
Designed by architect Tom Wright of WS Atkins, construction of the hotel began in 1994 and involved 250 designers from the UK, US and Dubai, 3,000 companies and contractors, and the labor of 3,500 workmen at any given time. The hotel officially opened its doors on December 1, 1999.
At 321 meters, the Burj Al Arab stands taller than the Eiffel Tower and is 60 meters shorter than the Empire State Building.
The 15th anniversary celebrations will continue throughout 2015 with a spectacular ‘Best of the Burj’ package featuring the top experiences available at the hotel.
The package includes Rolls-Royce Phantom pick-up, a luxurious suite, six-course degustation dinner and signature spa experience.
Rates start at 5,990 AED ($1,630 USD) a night.
Fans of the hotel can follow the celebrations on social media channels with the hashtag #CelebrateWithBurjAlArab.
DON’T MISS: BESPOKE PHANTOMS FOR BURJ AL ARAB
DUBAI is reaching for the skies with a plan to build the world’s tallest twin towers as part of its “The Lagoons” project.
The Dubai Twin Towers are set to “define a new skyline for the city”, although an architect for the project has yet to be announced.
The mixed-use towers will form part of The Lagoons, a “city of the future” comprising 40-storey residential towers by Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding. The concept forms part of the Dubai Creek Harbour project.
Spread over 6 million square meters, The Lagoons will feature its own integrated transport systems, environmentally sustainable ecosystems and park areas, alongside Dubai Creek Residences, a series of luxury waterfront apartments.
Dubai Creek Harbour at The Lagoons will also feature cultural amenities, healthcare centers and retail space.
Dubai Creek Residences will launch on November 1 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London and Moscow, where apartments will be available for pre-sale.
A construction date for the twin towers has yet to be announced.
The already saturated luxury market in Dubai is about get more crowded with the opening of a new Four Seasons hotel.
The 14-acre resort has a Spanish-Mediterranean feel with Arabian accents and the 237-room hotel offers panoramic sea views and large balconies.
The lobby (pictured below) is capped by an octagonal dome finished with gold leaf and no expense has been spared – even the handrails in the elevators are made of Murano glass.
Rooms include marble flooring, walk-in closets, customizable beds and a luxurious bathroom covered in sheets of silver leaves.
Presidential Suites boast their own media room and private gym, whilst the Royal Suite has a butler’s room and a grand living room with its own piano.
Within the Resort’s gardens are two outdoor, free-form swimming pools, in addition to the indoor pool in the spa and fitness complex.
Set amid lush gardens, both the family-friendly Active Pool and the Quiet Pool shimmer with white and gold mosaic tiles beneath towering palms.
Day villas will be available to reserve and will include a private sun terrace plus mini bar and flatscreen TV in an air-conditioned interior.
There is a beachfront watersports center that offers activities like kayaking and paddleboarding, large enough to host catamarans and dinghies.
At five stories, the new hotel is comparatively low rise amid the city’s soaring towers, in keeping with the surrounding coastal community.
The hotel is scheduled to open on 1 November 2014, and is now confirming arrivals from 1 December 2014.
Dubai plans to open the Pearl of Dubai, an underwater theme park designed by the art team behind “Avatar” and the five “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.
The theme park to be built by Reef Worlds is set to include scuba diving and snorkeling in a space modeled after the mythical Lost City of Atlantis.
The Pearl of Dubai is being billed as the largest sustainable underwater tourism site as it will stretch across five acres off the city coast.
The underwater attraction will be designed to excite the imagination with submerged ruins and references to a mythical, sunken empire.
The artificial reef, to be built in shallow waters of The World islands, will also aim to foster marine life with colonies of algae and soft corals.
The World is an artificial archipelago of small islands constructed to resemble a world map in Dubai.
The BURJ AL ARAB in Dubai has been named the best hotel in the world by readers of The Telegraph’s luxury magazine Ultratravel.
In addition to taking the title of best hotel in the Middle East, the luxury hotel beat Claridge’s in London, the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, the Mandarin Oriental and The Upper House in Hong Kong to take the lofty title.
The Burj Al Arab was also chosen by the UK publication’s readers as the best hotel on the planet last year.
In the glittering city of superlatives that makes sport of claiming a string of firsts, largest and tallest records, the Burj Al Arab offers a slew of extravagant hotel services including butler service for kids, weddings on the hotel helipad, and 24-carat-gold-plated iPads.
It was also named the world’s leading hotel at the World Travel Awards last year, an event known as the Oscars of the travel industry.
Other major winners of the Ultratravel awards include Emirates, which won in the category of best long-haul first class, and British Airways for best long-haul business class.
Here are the other major winners:
Best hotel in the Middle East: Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Best new hotel in the world: Rosewood London
Best hotel in the Americas: Four Seasons Hotel New York
Best hotel in Africa and the Indian Ocean: Cape Grace, Cape Town
Best luxury hotel chain: Four Seasons
Best airline lounge: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, London Heathrow Terminal 3
Best long-haul first class: Emirates
Best long-haul business class: British Airways
Best hotel in Asia: The Upper House, Hong Kong
Best hotel in Europe: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
Best hotel in the world: Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Best country: United States
Best ski resort: Whistler, Canada
Best large luxury cruise line: Cunard
Best city: New York
Best luxury tour operator: Kuoni
Best golf resort: The Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland
Best airport: Changi, Singapore
Best river cruise line: Viking River Cruises
Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab hotel has created a wedding package that will turn its helipad 212 meters in the sky into a unique wedding reception venue.
Add-on features with the wedding package include everything from a dramatic entrance aboard an Italian twin engine Augusta 109 aircraft — or by terra firma in a Rolls Royce Phantom — to accommodations, beauty, spa treatments and personal training sessions.
Couples can also develop a specially designed, bespoke wedding scent with a perfumer and take private lessons on etiquette and dance.
The Burj Al Arab’s Wedding in the Skies program starts at $55,000.
A Dubai restaurant has installed interactive tables that allow guests to swipe through the menu, update their Facebook status and even order a taxi home.
At Ebony Interactive Restaurant in Dubai, interaction with wait staff is minimal, as diners can browse the digital menu, place their order, and watch chefs prepare their meal via ‘chef cams’ by using the touchscreen tabletops.
The interactive tables also allow guests to customize their decor and choose from a range of images and patterns for their desktop ‘tablecloth.’
While waiting for their meal guests can catch up on current news, check in on Facebook or send greetings and virtual cards to diners at other tables.
The project aligns nicely with the Dubai Smart City initiative which aims to transform the city into one of the most connected destinations in the world.
Karl Lagerfeld is presenting the Chanel 2014/15 Cruise Collection in Dubai.
The collection will as usual be unveiled in-between the main fashion week seasons, on May 13.
Details relating to the star-studded event’s inspiration and decor are still top secret although we can expect another grand show full of extravagant details.
The Chanel Resort collection is one of the fashion world’s most anticipated events, with previous shows having taken place in Paris, Versailles, Singapore, Los Angeles and Saint Tropez on the French Riviera.
While London and Paris continue to dominate the list of most popular foreign destinations, many cities saw a significant boost in American tourism in 2013.
That’s according to Hotels.com, which came up with a list of the most frequented destinations of 2013 based on its own Hotel Price Index.
The latest ranking comes in the aftermath of a recent spat between Paris and London, in which French officials disputed claims that London is on track to overtake Paris with a projected 16 million international visitors in 2013.
Meanwhile, Toronto bumped Rome to fourth place to crack the top three spots thanks to a plunging Canadian dollar and “captivating art scene.”
The report also singles out Dubai as a destination to watch, as the affluent city surpassed longtime favorites like Madrid, Florence, and Venice, cracking the top 15 foreign cities on the list.
Here are the Top 10 most popular foreign cities (2013) amongst American travelers by Hotels.com – destinations expected to continue to trend this year.
7. Hong Kong
10. Niagara Falls
The glittering city of Dubai and Etihad Airways emerged the big winners at the 20th edition of the World Travel Awards, an event known as the Oscars of the travel industry.
Just days after being chosen to host the 2020 World Expo convention, Dubai was named the world’s leading destination at a gala ceremony held in Doha over the weekend.
According to the world’s travel elite — CEOs of travel agencies, travel experts, tourism board officers and executives — the city is also now home to the world’s leading hotel, leading new hotel, beach resort, spa resort and new resort.
Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, took the title of world’s leading airline for the fifth consecutive year in a row, cementing its status as the gold standard in airline service.
Here’s a list of the some of the major winners at the 20th edition of the World Travel Awards:
World’s leading airline: Etihad Airways
Leading airport: Singapore Changi Airport
Leading beach destination: Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands
Leading beach resort: Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai
Leading cabin crew: Etihad Airways
Leading casino resort: MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
Leading cruise line: Royal Caribbean International
Leading culinary destination: Peru
Leading destination: Dubai
Leading golf destination: Portugal
Leading honeymoon destination: Mauritius
Leading hotel: Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Leading island destination: Maldives
Leading low-cost airline: AirAsia
Leading luxury hotel: The Oberoi Gurgaon, India
Leading luxury resort: InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, Thailand
Leading luxury train: Maharajas’ Express
Leading new hotel: JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Leading safari destination: Kenya
Leading spa resort: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai
Leading themed resort: Universal Orlando Resort, Florida
Leading wellness hotel: Grand Hotel Lienz, Austria
Most innovative airline: Korean Air
Most romantic resort: Baros Maldives