Hilton Worldwide has partnered with Al Habtoor Group to brand the UAE conglomorate’s AED 1 billion hotel under construction on the Palm Jumeirah the first Waldorf Astoria in Dubai.
At a media conference yesterday, Hilton Worldwide president and chief executive officer Christopher J. Nassetta said: “We are also very excited about introducing the Waldorf Astoria brand to Dubai, the most iconic luxury brand in the world certainly needs to be in one of the most iconic major markets in the world”.
The 324-room hotel will feature four signature restaurants, two bars, a private beach, health club and spa and a 600-capacity ballroom.
It is scheduled to open at the end of 2013, and will be the second Waldorf Astoria in the UAE, following the opening of Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah at the end of 2012.
Al Habtoor Group has also appointed Hilton Worldwide to manage its two hotels in Lebanon, which will mark Hilton’s entry to the Lebanese market.
The Beirut Habtoor Grand and Beirut Metropolitan Palace will be converted to the Hilton Hotels and Resorts brand.
The deals, signed yesterday, are the first agreements between the two companies.
Previously, Al Habtoor Group has managed its hotels via its in-house brand, Habtoor Hotels and Resorts.
Khalaf Al Habtoor, chairman and founder of Al Habtoor Group explained: “Hilton Worldwide and Al Habtoor Group are two of Dubai’s biggest corporate names, and our capabilities as hotel developers combine perfectly with Hilton Worldwide’s expertise as hotel operators.
“We have experience in running our own hotels and we did a great job ourselves, but now we thought it is the right time to hand over this new project to the people who are professional, who have more experience than us, who can provide worldwide experience and also to promote our property.
“We are both partners in success and we don’t want to look into anything else except success and growing together in this part of the world,” Al Habtoor added.
Al Habtoor and Nasseta said they looked forward to working together on additional projects in the future.
“Our partnership I hope will not be only limited to these three hotels,” said Al Habtoor.
Nasseta agreed: “It’s the start of a great partnership with the Al Habtoor Group, which is beginning with three asserts and certainly we’ll be committed to those and look forward to the opportunity to do much more together over time”.
Al Habtoor said that the company’s other existing hotels — the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Metropolitan Palace Hotel, Metropolitan Hotel and Metropolitan Hotel Deira, all in Dubai —would continue to be managed by the Habtoor Hotels and Resorts brand.