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Nakheel in deal for Dubai luxury hotel

Nakheel signed up with Thailand’s Minor Hotel Group to manage the developer’s second property at Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai.

The mall, which is undergoing an expansion, expects to open the 372-room property in 2018. It will be branded as one of the upscale Avani Hotels and Resorts. A second property at the mall, a 372-room Premier Inn, is expected to open this year.

Dubai’s ever-increasing number of hotel rooms, meanwhile, is putting downwards pressure on rates and occupancy.

Last month, the average room rate in Dubai was Dh914.09, a 10 per cent decline year-on-year, while occupancy slid 0.8 per cent year-on-year to 85 per cent, said the research company STR Global.

In November, Dubai had 78,184 rooms, or a 5.5 per cent increase year-on-year, according to the latest data.

Ibn Battuta Mall’s new 14-storey hotel will have direct access to it, and a link to the Dubai Metro.

The mall is adding 766,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space. The expansion is expected to take three to five years, according to the developer.

The mall currently receives 22 million visitors a year. The extensions will add about 1,000 shops to its current 300, and two multi-screen cinemas.

Minor Hotel will also manage a 500-room Avani beachfront resort at Nakheel’s Deira Islands project.

This month, the developer opened a 251-room ibis Styles hotel at Dragon Mart, and has another seven in the pipeline that are expected to take between two to five years to complete.

A 320-room Premier Inn is in the works at Dragon City.

Under construction is The Palm Tower, a 289-room hotel, that will be branded St Regis. The luxury hotel will occupy the first 18 floors of the 52-storey tower.

Other projects include a joint venture with Spain’s Riu Hotels and Resorts for a 750-room, all-inclusive beachfront resort. Nakheel also has a joint venture with Thailand’s Centara Hotels and Resorts for a 550-room resort and water park, which is in the design phase, also at the Deira Islands.

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