Sbe signs the Middle East's first SLS property in Dubai

The US$550m project is scheduled to open in Q3 2020, with 254 hotel rooms, 371 residential units, and 321 hotel apartments

A render of the SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences
A render of the SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences

Sbe has partnered with World of Wonders Real Estate Development to sign the first SLS property in the Middle East: SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences.


The 75-storey tower, which has finished more than 60% of its construction, is set to open in Q3 2020 and will offer 254 hotel rooms, 371 residential units and 321 hotel apartments. The US$550m project will be one of the tallest hotels and residences in the region.

Speaking exclusively to Hotelier Middle East while in Dubai for the signing, sbe founder and CEO Sam Nazarian said: “Today we signed a long-term hotel management agreement and a residential branding agreement which will probably be the most important residential project that will open in Dubai. This is difficult to say because there are so many great projects here. But for us this showcases exactly what we are great at.” SLS Dubai also feeds in to the growth of sbe's residential platform with 1,300 branded residential units sold to-date, valued at $2bn, with another $2bn more in the pipeline.

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He added: “It [SLS Dubai] showcases what separates us as a company, which is really resonating more now in this region and globally, which is the loosely phrased word ‘lifestyle’. It’s been the part of the mainstream of dialogue now with every brand. The essence of how it applies to our business is really unique and is something that we are very excited to be leading.”

He also revealed that the top four floors of the hotel will be “epic”, as it is where all the branded food & beverage venues will be located. The property will feature sbe’s signature culinary concepts Fi’lia (on the 70th floor) and Carna (on the 74th), sbe's mixology lounge in the lobby, as well as signature rooftop nightlife venue, Privilege.

Nazarian said: "SLS is a true pioneer in the commitment we made when we started the company to delivering a luxury, lifestyle product that will resonate very well here in Dubai. It will resonate for the residences, the serviced apartments, the hotel rooms, and the signature food & beverage experiences that we are going to deliver in addition to having a rooftop pool experience, which is going to be - and this is very hard to say in Dubai - never been done before."

Located in the Downtown district of Dubai, the property offers views of the Burj Khalifa as well as the Dubai Creek. Two infinity pools are situated atop of the tower, with the operator claiming that these pools are among the highest not just in the city, but globally. Sbe’s signature Ciel Spa is located on the 69th floor, which will offer treatment rooms, dedicated male and female thermal areas that contain saunas, plunge pools and relaxing rooms, a hair and nail salon, a fully equipped gym and two outdoor terraces. Additional hotel facilities include an extensive ballroom and flexible event studios.

Sbe subsidiary Dakota Development, led by president Joe Faust, provided original concept development and design management services for the project in collaboration with international architecture firm Aedas and interior design firm Bishop Design.

SLS Dubai continues sbe’s development in the Middle East after openings of Katsuya restaurants in Kuwait City, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and a Cleo in Kuwait City. Sbe also is working on the 2019 opening of Delano Dubai Hotel & Residences on Palm Jumeirah, as well as the Mondrian in Dubai. Nazarian teased further projects for sbe in the region, and told Hotelier Middle East that the company sees Dubai being one of its major global markets for expansion.

In 2018, sbe entered into a partnership with Accor, following the latter’s acquisition of a 50% stake in sbe.

Read the full interview with Sam Nazarian in the April 2019 issue of Hotelier Middle East.

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