Kingdom finds new ways to attract
A new hotel in Dubai is set to woo those who visit this desert kingdom. Lea Jacobs takes a look at what is on offer
THE building boom may have slowed somewhat in Dubai since the heady years from 2006 through to mid-2008, but there is still a great deal of construction work going on in the desert kingdom. Described as the fastestgrowing city in the world that at one time saw 20% of the world’s building cranes operating there, there seems to be no stopping this modern city’s expansion.
Interestingly, it appears that the “Arab Spring” that affected other Middle Eastern counties negatively, has fuelled Dubai’s popularity. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is seen by many tourists as a stable alternative to many of its neighbours and as such the numbers of visitors reportedly rose by 6% last year.
Dubai definitely has it all. Fantastic shopping centres, including the Dubai Mall with 1,200 shops, an Olympic-size ice skating rink, an aquarium and an indoor theme park are a magnet for those who enjoy the finer things. Burj Khalifa, which features 160 floors and is renowned as the tallest building in the world at 830m, is also a must-see.
There is also a wealth of hotel accommodation in the area, including Fairmont The Palm which was developed by IFA Hotels and Resorts (IFA HR), co-developer of the acclaimed Zimbali Coastal Resort in South Africa. Fairmont The Palms is the first hotel that the group has opened in the city. This $330m, fivestar beachfront hotel is the only operational resort located on the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah island, making it one of the island’s most accessible destinations.
It has also become the eighth property in the world to offer a Fairmont Heritage Place (FHP) private residence club and the second FHP in the IFA HR portfolio.
IFA HR is a leader in the development of hotel and residential resort projects throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Asia and North America. The company is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of approximately $1bn, and is also listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The company’s IFA Hotels & Resorts main shareholder is the Kuwait-based International Financial Advisors (IFA). With a proven track record of delivering integrated resorts through international hotel brands, IFA HR is one of the few global developers that have demonstrated the ability to sell, develop and asset manage the full range of real estate vacation products to an international audience.
Talal Jassim Al-Bahar, chairman of IFA Hotels & Resorts South Africa says: “Following Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Fairmont Zimbali Resort, this is the third Fairmont property in our portfolio and our first operational hotel in Dubai. For our current and future owners in both FHP Zimbali and FHP The Palm, it is especially exciting news that another world-class Fairmont Heritage Place destination is now accessible.”
The hotel features 460m of beachfront, 381 balconied guestrooms, 10 Fairmont Heritage Place residences, The Palm residences, 3,000m² of meeting and conference facilities, a 1600m² spa, seven food and beverage outlets and an array of amenities including four swimming pools, a private beach club and Children's Activity Centre.
In addition to the diverse food and beverage outlets, the hotel features 10 floors of rooms and suites. Each guest room features a five-fixture bathroom with bathtub and separate walk-in shower and is equipped with the latest in entertainment and communication systems.
The Fairmont Heritage Place residences, located on the penthouse levels of the hotel, are generously scaled, with one-bedroom units averaging 144m² and two-bedroom units averaging 223m². These ideal holiday retreats, which are sold in 1\13th fractions, boast expansive windows with wonderful views. All bedrooms have large en-suite bathrooms, open-concept dining and living areas, and large private terraces running their length.
Mark Sawkins, GM of Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Fairmont Zimbali Resort, sees the opening as a great opportunity for FHP Zimbali owners to enjoy Fairmont Heritage Place, The Palm and all of their luxurious services through their reciprocal use agreements.
The extensive offerings in Dubai form part of a larger $616m development that includes 562 luxury apartments, bringing the number of units in the development to 957. Contact: fairmontheritageplace.com/thepalm
The Palm is the only five-star beach resort on the trunk of the iconic Palm Jumeirah island in Dubai, which boasts 460m of beachfront, 381 balconied guest rooms and seven food and beverage outlets.