The Dubai developer Meraas yesterday launched a residential project with the Italian luxury fashion brand Bvlgari on Jumeirah Bay Island.
The Bvlgari Resort and Residences will feature 165 apartments, eight penthouses, 15 mansions and a five-star hotel. The project will be spread across 1.7 million square feet.
The Bvlgari-branded 101-room hotel along with 20 villas will be operated by Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton. The project will also feature a 50-berth marina and a Bvlgari yacht club.
The apartments will have one to four bedrooms, while the mansions will have between three and six bedrooms.
The residences, which are scheduled to be handed over in 2017 along with the entire project, will go on private sale this week.
Meraas declined to disclose prices, but these “would be at the top of the range”, said Cherif Hosny, the chief hospitality officer at Meraas.
“We are targeting the niche market, we need luxury. Dubai is a branded city,” he added.
In 2011, a Bvlgari penthouse apartment hotel property in Knightsbridge in London sold for £100 million (Dh556.1m).
The island would also include unbranded waterfront villas by Meraas, which are not yet on the market.
Increasingly the residential component is moving into the hotel segment in the UAE as the concept of city resorts takes off.
Emaar’s Vida Hotels and Resorts will expand to a 180-room Vida hotel and serviced apartments in Town Square near Al Barsha.
Vida also expects to open Vida residences next to Vida Downtown, said Stefan Viard, the general manager of Al Manzill and Vida Downtown.
The mixed-use Hills project near Emirates Hills will feature 136 serviced apartments branded as Vida Residence.
The Bvlgari residences are generating interest from Gulf, European, Chinese and Indian investors, according to Silvio Ursini, executive vice president at Bvlgari. The company, known for its watches and jewellery, expects to open hotels in Shanghai and Beijing in 2017. It already has a presence in Bali, London and Milan.
Dubai has the largest number of hotel rooms in the region under construction with 14,385 rooms across 49 hotels at the end of last month, according to the consultancy STR Global. That represents 18 per cent of the total number of rooms under various stages of construction.
When the Bvlgari hotel opens it will join Emaar’s Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa among the handful of fashion luxury brands to operate hotels in the UAE.
“Doing hotels is a very complicated business, because they are massive real estate projects, and this is why only a few brands have managed to do it,” Mr Ursini said.
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