Omniyat to launch second Dh1bn hotel in Dubai’s Business Bay

Omniyat is set to launch a second Dh1 billion hotel project in Business Bay within the next 12 months, according to the company’s founder and executive chairman, Mahdi Amjad.

The company is in currently in talks to bring in another operator to the city following the deal it announced with Langham Hospitality Group yesterday, and the ME by Melia hotel due to open at the Zaha Hadid-designed The Opus building in 2017.

“We try to bring in new brands and attract a new audience to the city. And try to really add our touch to the skyline of Dubai. We owe that to the city,” Mr Amjad said.

Omniyat said that the Dh1bn Langham Place launch brings the total value of its portfolio up to US$4.4bn (Dh16.2bn). This includes a number of projects currently under development, including Anwa at Dubai Maritime City, The Sterling apartment block at Business Bay and the One at Palm Jumeirah, which is a joint venture with Drake & Scull.

Mr Amjad said that it is currently in the final stages of enabling works at One at Palm Jumeirah, where the company recently listed Dubai’s most expensive apartment – an eight-bed property with 12 parking spaces for Dh180m.

Tendering for the project’s main contractor has been completed and a contract will be awarded within the next 30 days, Mr Amjad said, allowing for the project to complete by the end of 2017.

We’ve gone from an empty piece of land with great potential to create one of the most prestigious residential buildings in the city,” he said. Prices at One at Palm Jumeirah start at Dh15m for a 350 square metre apartment, with the Dh180m containing just below 4,000 sq m.

“We have only 90 apartments on a site of close to 1m sq ft,” Mr Amjad said.

Elsewhere, he said that work is already underway at Anwa – a development containing 220 apartments and five townhouses in Dubai Maritime City – with Kele Contracting as main contractor. It is also due for completion in 2017.

A main contractor for The Sterling, which will contain 139 residences and one retail unit in two G+25 towers, is due to be awarded by the end of the year.

“We still have a few plots in Business Bay, but not a lot,” Mr Amjad said.

“We are very, very pleased with our investment in Business Bay. When we bought, it was a military camp that had just been evicted back in 2004. We were very fortunate to be given that opportunity and we made good use of that.”

According to JLL, the global market for hotel investments is booming, with transactions in the first half of the year growing by 55 per cent to a record high of $42bn. The market has been driven by a wealth of foreign investment, the consultancy said.

The biggest single deal was the $2bn purchase of a 64 per cent stake in the London-based Maybourne Hotel Group that includes The Berkeley and The Connaught hotels. It was bought by Qatar’s Constellation Hotels Group.

“Investors are looking for scale in what’s becoming a very competitive market,” said Mark Wynne Smith, the chief executive of JLL’s hotels and hospitality division.

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