DUBAI, 24 January 2017: UAE real estate developer Nakheel and Thai hotel group Centara Hotels and Resorts signed, earlier this month, a joint venture agreement to build and operate a 550-room, beachfront resort with waterpark at Deira Islands in Dubai.
Under the agreement, signed in Bangkok, by Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah and Centara chairman Suthikiati Chirathivat, the two companies will deliver an upscale resort on a prime stretch of beach on Deira Islands – Nakheel’s new, 15.3 sq km, tourism, leisure, retail and entertainment hub.
Nakheel’s joint venture with Centara is the latest development in the company’s aggressive expansion into Dubai’s hospitality sector and its second international joint venture for Deira Islands. The first, an 800-room, AED900 million all-inclusive resort and waterpark with Spain’s RIU Hotels & Resorts, was confirmed in February last year.
The resort development represents the first Centara project in the UAE, covering an area of 295,900 sq ft. Features in addition to the 550-room hotel include a waterpark, dining facilities, business centre, kids’ club, spa and fitness centre. The resort is anticipated to have soft opening in 2019 and grand opening in 2020.
Centara’ s portfolio currently includes around 14,000 rooms in 65 hotels and resorts under six brands in Asia, Indian Ocean, and the Middle East.
At the signing ceremony, Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said: “Our joint venture with Centara cements our commitment to partnering with successful, reputable international hotel brands to bring new tourism concepts to Dubai in line with the Government of Dubai’s tourism vision.”
Chairman of Centara Hotels and Resorts Suthikiati Chirathivat added: “We are thrilled and proud to be partnering with Nakheel on this joint venture hotel investment that will see Centara Hotels & Resorts operate and manage a distinguished new resort in an exciting new destination. This partnership is a ground-breaking move for Centara as we continue to extend our upscale resort portfolio internationally.”
Nakheel currently has over 5,300 rooms across 16 hotels, resorts and serviced apartments in operation or under development, with the first two – at Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta Mall that opened in 2016.
Deira Islands, where Nakheel has already invested more than AED3 billion in infrastructure work, coastal works and design services for a range of new projects, will add 40 km, including 21 km of beach, to Dubai’s coastline. Nakheel recently completed an AED150 million access bridge to the islands, and has just released a tender for the construction of six marinas. The development is expected to have around 250,000, create more than 80,000 new jobs, and offer hundreds of new hotels, serviced apartments and mixed-use buildings, and extensive retail and leisure attractions. Nakheel itself is building 16 residential towers, five hotels, two serviced apartment complexes, Deira Mall, Deira Islands Night Souk and several marinas at the islands.