x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Armani Hotel is not yet sewn up

The Burj Khalifa hotel's opening ceremony has been pushed back to April 22 and will open to the public two days later.

Giorgio Armani will have to wait even longer than expected for the much-anticipated opening of his first hotel, as work on the project inside Dubai's towering Burj Khalifa will not be completed on time, The National can reveal. The Italian fashion house owner was supposed to open the Armani Hotel on March 18, a date set after the delayed launch in January of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

But now the hotel's opening ceremony has been pushed back to April 22 and will open to the public two days later. The new facility's reservation department confirmed the opening dates but neither the hotel management nor Emaar, its developer and operator, would comment on the delay. However, a source close to the property's management said: "We needed additional time to make sure everything was 100 per cent perfect."

The observation deck on the 124th floor of the 828m tower closed last month and has yet to reopen. At the time, Emaar said this was for maintenance and did not comment on reports of a faulty lift. The tower has 57 lifts, with those for the Armani Hotel being separate from those that service the observation deck. The hotel was first scheduled to open last year, but as the Burj Khalifa suffered construction setbacks, its own launch also had to be pushed back.

The luxury hotel will occupy the levels between the concourse and the eighth floor, and levels 38 and 39 of the tower. Its 160 rooms were personally designed by Mr Armani. There are also 150 privately owned Armani Residences, which will be handed over to residents before the hotel opens. The venue will also have a nightclub, shop, several restaurants and an Armani Dolci confectionery store. Armani Hotels and Resorts was launched under an agreement between the fashion company Giorgio Armani and the developer Emaar Properties in 2005.

There are plans to open at least 10 Armani hotels and resorts internationally within the next decade. One is due to open in Milan, Italy, this year and other properties under development include the first Armani Resort, planned for Marrakech, Morocco, and the first Armani Residences villas, in Marassi, Egypt, Armani Hotels and Resorts said. Other Armani hotels, resorts and residences are being planned for New York, Tokyo, Shanghai and London.

In Dubai, the brand name and the hotel's location are likely to help the property attract guests during a difficult time for the industry, analysts say. rbundhun@thenational.ae