It's been a busy year for both the regional and international hospitality market in 2017. 

We bring you a round up of the top ten biggest stories that shook the hotel industry both in the Middle East and in international markets. 

1. Five Holdings takes over Dubai's Viceroy Palm Jumeirah property

In June 2017, Viceroy Hotels and Resorts announced that it would no longer operate its Palm Jumeirah property. The hotel was taken over by Five Holding's Kabir Mulchandani less than three months after opening its doors on March 31, 2017. Five Holdings went on to drop the Viceroy brand from its hotel projects in the UAE. Reasons for the termination of agreement were not given, though the company added that a formal brand launch is scheduled for October. A legal battle is still ongoing and recently Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI) a travel website has named Five Palm Jumeirah, one of the two Dubai hotels, as the 'worst luxury opening of 2017'.​​​​​​

2. Bulgari hotel confirms Q4 2017 Dubai opening

In January last year, Bulgari announced that it would open its flagship Middle East property in Dubai in Q4 2017. And the luxury jeweller went on to do just that. The luxury property is the world's fifth Bulgari Hotels and Resorts property and will be operated by Marriott International.

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3. W Dubai - The Palm reveals management team

W Dubai - The Palm, set to open in 2018, has revealed its management team, to be led by general manager Anne Scott. Its six restaurants and bars include: Wet Deck; Torno Subito by Massimo Bottura - his first venue outside Italy; Akira Back – the Korean culinary master; SoBe - a rooftop bar with a South Beach vibe and 360-degree views; Liv – offering Mediterranean cuisine; and W Lounge – for curated cocktails pre/post dinner.

Seen in the picture below are: [front row, L-R] director of marketing Rosemarie Domdom and director of talent Nicola Bean; [second row, L-R] director of spa Deborah Micouris, executive assistant manager - rooms Sergio Fernandez; general manager Anne Scott; director of finance Santhosh Nair; executive chef Daniel Nuss, and director of sales Natalie Litowtschik; [third row, L-R] director of style Kenny Yen, executive assistant manager - B+F Brendan McCormack, chief engineer Gregory Sta Maria, and director of revenue Wira Slingerland.

4. Two Dubai hotels named worst luxury openings of 2017

Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI) a travel website has named two Dubai hotels as the 'worst luxury openings of 2017' in its year-end report. The two hotels are both located on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah. Dukes Dubai and Five Palm Jumeirah were named by the members-only resource for affluent globetrotters as the worst ranked hotel openings of the year. 

5. Dubai's $1.4bn Royal Atlantis on track despite design changes

Despite adjustments to its design, The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences is still on course to complete and open in 2019, according to Pierre Sironval, managing director of Six Construct. The contractor, which is the wholly owned Middle East subsidiary of Belgium’s Besix Group, is building the Dubai hotel on behalf of Kerzner International Resorts, as part of a joint venture (JV) with Ssangyong Engineering & Construction (Ssangyong E&C).

6. Hotelier Awards 2017: Hotelier ever after...

Once upon a time, or rather, 13 years ago, ITP Media Group decided to honour the best and the brightest of the land with the Hotelier Middle East Awards. Since then, the Hotelier empire has grown in spades, and this year, the theme for the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2017 was ‘Fairy Tales’. The night had fairy tale beginnings and endings, as we celebrated the success stories of those dedicated to being hoteliers ever after.

7. Marriott International tops 2017's Hotelier Power 50 list

Marriott International president and managing  director, Middle East & Africa, Alex Kyriakidis has topped the Hotelier Middle East Power 50 List 2017After the acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts in September 2016, the mega-operator controls 30 brands, and Kyriakidis, armed with this along with his business acumen, has led the growth of Marriott International in the Middle East and North Africa in a stunning way. launched a dedicated micro-site for the Power 50 2017

8. Salary Survey 2017: Top Middle East hotel companies to work for

The respondents of the 2017 Hotelier Middle East Salary Survey revealed which hotel operators they would like to work for the most. 

9. Hospitality development is about to boom in Dubai

With Expo 2020 just four years away, Dubai’s hospitality sector looks set to witness impressive growth, supported by high occupancy rates and significant expansions from reputed names in the hospitality market. Preparations for the world’s fair are acting as a catalyst for growth within the UAE’s hospitality sector.

10. Rotana to open 14 new hotels in the Middle East in 2018

Rotana is on track to open 14 properties by the end of 2018, which will see the UAE-based operator entering new markets such as Iran and Tanzania.


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