Nakheel JV for Dubai's first all-inclusive hotel

Spain's Riu Hotels & Resorts signs a joint venture with Nakheel for a four-star all-inclusive property

Riu Palace, Cancun
Riu Palace, Cancun

Nakheel is set to partner with Spain’s Riu Hotels & Resorts to build Dubai’s first all-inclusive beach resort at its planned Deira Islands scheme, the developer has announced.

When complete, Deira Islands will be a 15.3km2 mixed-use waterfront development that will add 40 km, including 21 km of beachfront, to Dubai’s coastline, as well as hotels, serviced apartments, villas and retail and cultural projects.

Under the agreement, Nakheel and Riu Hotels & Resorts will create a 750-room, four-star all-inclusive hotel resort close to planned attractions at Deira Islands, including Deira Mall and Deira Islands Night Souk.

All-inclusive is an as yet untapped market for Dubai, but the government wants to broaden the emirate’s hotel offer beyond luxury and business and cater to families seeking attractive holiday packages. Rixos Bab Al Bahr is the only hotel in the UAE that has declared itself as part of the all-inclusive tag.

The Riu resort at Deira Islands will also be one of the largest hotels in Dubai in terms of room numbers, the developer claimed.

Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said in a statement: “Under this new partnership, Nakheel will introduce one of the world’s biggest, most respected names in hospitality and an entirely new concept in hotel accommodation to Dubai.

“This is a milestone for our growing hospitality business and a significant step towards creating a new range of affordable, family resort-style hotel accommodation in the emirate, in line with the Government of Dubai’s tourism vision for 2021.”

Riu Hotels & Resorts is one of Europe’s biggest hotel operators, with more than 100 hotels – a total of 45,000 rooms – across 19 countries. They cater for up to four million guests a year.

Luis Riu, chief executive and owner of Riu Hotels and Resorts, added: “This project is our golden opportunity to bring the Riu brand to the Middle East, and, through our partnership with Nakheel, to deliver a new and unique hospitality offering in Dubai.”

Nakheel’s expanding hospitality and leisure business intends to build 10 hotels across Dubai over the next five years, including at Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands, Dragon City and Ibn Battuta Mall.

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