Jumeirah Group has signed a deal to operate the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, which is scheduled to open in the first quarter of next year as the second luxury hotel on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah.
Located on the west crescent of the Palm, the Ottoman-themed property will include 405 rooms, 38 villas and 10 restaurants and bars, in addition to an 8,000 square metre spa. It is owned by Zabeel Properties, a unit of Zabeel Investments of Dubai.
The hotel will join the Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah, where the construction of several other of high-end hotels has been delayed.
"Quite a few of them haven't proceeded or had some sort of challenges," said Jalil Mekouar, the managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle's hotel division for the Middle East and Africa.
The hotel will enter a competitive market. Although average occupancy rates in Dubai have fallen to 72 per cent after hitting a high of 85 per cent in 2004, according to Jones Lang LaSalle statistics, luxury properties have tended to perform better. And the Zabeek Saray should also benefit from the relationship with Jumeirah Group, which operates the Burj Al Arab, Mr Mekouar said.
"Jumeirah has been very successful, even in times of crisis," he said. "They are the ones that suffered the least."
Jumeirah Group has been working since August to prepare the hotel for its opening, a company spokesman said. Jumeirah Group replaced Rixos Hotels, a Turkish hospitality company that was originally working on the project.
The hotel has not announced an official opening date, but an "opening party" was planned for next Tuesday, said the spokesman, who declined to be named. Bookings were already being accepted, he said.
Room rates range from Dh1,350 (US$367) to Dh2,500 a night, according to Jumeirah's website.
The Jumeirah Zabeel Saray will be Zabeel's first hotel in Dubai. The company is also developing Tiara Residence and Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah.