Nakheel and Centara cement AED500 million hospitality joint venture with AED290.5 million construction contract

26th July 2018

601-room beachfront resort and waterpark boosts Dubai’s four star accommodation offering in line with government tourism strategy

UAE-based master developer Nakheel and leading Thai hotel group Centara Hotels & Resorts today cemented their AED500 million joint venture with a construction contract worth AED290.5 million to build a 601-room beachfront resort at Dubai’s Deira Islands. 

The two entities have appointed Parkway International Contracting LLC to deliver Centara Deira Islands Beach Resort Dubai – Centara’s first in the UAE – which is set to open in Q4 2020.  A new hospitality concept for Dubai, the resort will significantly boost the emirate’s four-star accommodation – the fastest-growing segment in 2017 – in line with government tourism goals.  

The contract, which takes Nakheel’s infrastructure and construction investment at Deira Islands to nearly AED8.8 billion so far, was signed in Dubai today at a ceremony led by Nakheel Chairman, Ali Rashid Lootah, and Mr Suparat Chirathivat, Executive Vice President – Corporate Development, Central Group, parent company of Centara Hotels & Resorts and one of Thailand’s most prominent family-owned conglomerate holding companies. Mobilisation will begin immediately, with construction completion in Q4 2020.  
Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said: “Nakheel continues to play a pivotal role in shaping and diversifying Dubai’s tourism offering with a 27 billion AED hospitality and retail expansion that supports the government’s vision. Our joint venture with Centara underlines our commitment to working with trusted international brands to bring new hospitality concepts to Dubai, and today’s crucial milestone brings this exciting new resort ever closer. I look forward to delivering one of Dubai’s most sought-after destinations for travellers from all over the world.”

Suparat Chirathivat, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, Central Group, said: “Centara is thrilled with the speed at which its joint venture with Nakheel is progressing and looks forward to opening Centara Deira Islands Beach Resort Dubai in 2020. Today is a key milestone of expansion for Centara as we continue to extend our upscale resort portfolio internationally.

“This is Centara’s first hotel in Dubai, and the UAE, and represents our arrival in a key gateway city in the Middle East. We believe that the unique design and service of Centara Deira Islands Beach Resort Dubai will offer unforgettable holiday experiences to guests. With Nakheel’s development expertise and Centara’s record of delivering and inspiring extraordinary guest experiences, we will create a unique resort that surprises and delights guests for years to come.”

Centara Hotels & Resorts is part of Central Group, which has interests in the merchandising, real estate, retailing, hospitality and restaurant sectors. Centara entered the Middle East market with the opening of Centara Muscat Hotel last year, with imminent openings in other Gulf States.

Located on a prime beachfront spot at Nakheel’s Deira Islands waterfront city, the resort will also be managed by Centara, whose growing portfolio already includes over 12,000 keys across 60 hotels and resorts in Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East. 

The family-centric resort will feature a waterpark, multiple restaurants, kids’ club, spa, fitness centre and business facilities. The 601 sea-view and city-facing rooms cover a range of categories, with an emphasis on family-sized accommodation: 114 rooms are specifically for families, covering 450 sq ft. There are also rooms for people with special needs, standard rooms, deluxe rooms, suites and 1,200 sq ft duplexes. 

Nearby attractions on Deira Islands include Deira Mall and Deira Islands Night Souk, both of which are currently under construction by Nakheel. Mainland Dubai and its Gold Souk and newly modernised Fish Market are just minutes away by boat or car. 

Centara Deira Islands Beach Resort Dubai will add 601 rooms to Dubai’s four star hotel segment, which grew by 10 per cent last year – more than any other room category – to over 25,000 rooms. The emirate, which is set to welcome over 16 million tourists this year, currently has around 109,000 hotel rooms in total, with 132,000 anticipated by the end of 2019.  Nakheel has 6,600 rooms in its own hospitality project portfolio. The government recently reduced municipality fees on hotels to seven percent, which will further encourage tourism. 

Nakheel’s partnership with Centara is the developer’s second international joint venture at Deira Islands. Construction of the first, an 800-room, AED670 million beachfront resort with Spain’s RIU Hotels & Resorts, is under underway, with anticipated completion in 2020. 

The master developer’s hospitality expansion will see the delivery of 6,500 rooms and hotel apartments across 18 hotels, resorts and serviced apartment complexes. The first two hotels, at Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta Mall, opened in 2016.  

Nakheel has invested AED8.8 billion in infrastructure and construction contracts at Deira Islands so far, and recently announced a contract for nearly AED450 million to build a 12-lane bridge connecting the islands to the Dubai mainland. 

Deira Islands will transform ‘Old Dubai’ into a world-class hub for retail, tourism, living and leisure, and will add 40 km, including 21km of beach, to Dubai’s coastline. The coastal city is expected to have a population of 250,000 and to create 80,000 jobs. 

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