Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
The archipelago in the shape of a map of the world is about to get its first development, at a time when many companies have put their projects on hold.
The archipelago in the shape of a map of the world is about to get its first development, at a time when many companies have put their projects on hold.

Seven Tides plans resort on The World

The archipelago in the shape of a map of the world is about to get its first development, at a time when many companies have put their projects on hold.

The World might soon be showing signs of life. The Dubai developer Seven Tides plans to be the first company to start developing its holdings on the man-made archipelago near the Palm Jumeirah. The company owns 10 islands that make up the South America section of The World and plans to start building in the next six months.

If Seven Tides can pull it off, it would be a rare success story for The World project, which has seen many proposed developments falter, and their developers go under, during the global economic meltdown. Seven Tides intends to build chalets on the islands that would be linked logistically to the Royal Amwaj resort that the company is developing on the Palm. "We're hoping to be the first group of islands to commercially start developing," said Michael Scully, the managing director of the hospitality division of Seven Tides. "We have got a number of investors who are looking at partnering us on The World islands."

The Thai-themed Royal Amwaj resort will open in the first quarter of next year, Mr Scully said, after a postponement from its scheduled opening in the last quarter of this year. The World islands are an eight-minute boat ride away from the Royal Amwaj resort, which would serve as a base for logistics for the islands. "It makes it a very, very attractive return on investment," Mr Scully said. He declined to reveal how much had been invested in the islands. "Certainly the value of the islands now is different to what it was six months or a year ago," he said.

"However, we believe that if you develop them in the right way, making them simple and attractive and island-like, our model shows a very positive return on investment. The way we can do that is by not having to invest in very expensive infrastructure, because we have that at the Royal Amwaj." Each island will have between 45 and 55 chalets built on stilts over the water. The islands will be connected via walkways and will have swimming pools and tennis courts. They will be self-sufficient for water and energy, with their own power and water sources on one of the islands, Mr Scully said.

Development would take place in different stages, starting with three of the islands, he said. "As they become profitable and work, we will develop further islands." The Royal Amwaj resort, which will be operated by Movenpick, claims to offer guests the first fully inclusive packages in Dubai, including flights, accommodation, meals, drinks and even some spa treatments in the price of a stay, as it competes with an ever-growing number of five-star hotels in the emirate.

"What we are finding through our research is that under the present economic climate more and more people want to understand what the cost of the holiday is going to be before they start," Mr Scully said. The resort, which was comparable in quality to the likes of the Royal Mirage and Al Qasr in Dubai, was still aiming to attract the high-end tourist, he said. "Fully inclusive used to be perceived in the old days to be more of a downmarket aspect of tourism. However, the likes of destinations such as top five-stars in the Maldives and cruise liners have really promoted the all-inclusive packages, so high-end travellers are far more keen to have fully inclusive packages," Mr Scully said. "The high-end market now is becoming more aware of costs and looking for value as well."

Seven Tides plans to open three other hotels in Dubai with Movenpick next year: at Ibn Battuta and a Movenpick Deira due to open in the first quarter, and Oceana, due to open on the Palm Jumeirah in the second or third quarter. rbundhun@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National