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Construction Paradise
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Union Properties and The Ritz-Carlton, Hotel Company L.L.C. partner to open a hotel in the center of Dubai's new financial district

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C, Chevy Chase, Md. and Union Properties PJSC have announced plans to open a 330-room hotel, with 121 serviced and managed apartments, at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).


Simon Cooper President and COO OF The Ritz Carlton Hotel company, Mr Fardan bin Ali Al Fardan VICE CHAIRMAN Union properties.
Scheduled to open in 2008, this will be the second Ritz-Carlton in Dubai and the fifth location in the Middle East for the award-winning luxury hotel company.

'We believe the hotel will be a very strategic addition to our global portfolio,' noted Simon F. Cooper, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. 'We have enjoyed great success with our resort on Jumeirah Beach, therefore the opportunity to expand our presence in Dubai and be part of a region of substantial growth is a tremendous opportunity. The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre will attract senior corporate executives travelling to Dubai to conduct business in the centre, and provide an outstanding meeting site for the international companies that have opened offices and expecting to open offices at the DIFC. Dubai is a vibrant and exciting city, poised on the brink of becoming one of the world's foremost leisure and business destinations, and we feel privileged to play a part in this development.'

Mr. Anis Al Jallaf, Chairman, Union Properties, speaking on the occasion said 'The visions of our leaders seemingly have no boundaries and the Dubai International Financial Centre is yet another example of the foresight of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and U.A.E. Defence Minister. Our partnership with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in the development of The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre, is in sync with that vision. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has established a world class reputation for outstanding service and surroundings, and with our joint venture Dubai can expect a hotel and residences which will be the most prestigious address in the region.'

A soaring contemporary design on Sheikh Zayed Road, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre will stand 15 stories high. The interior will blend elements of modern style and classic Arabic design elements for a showplace of luxury and elegance. The 330 guestrooms and suites will include a Ritz-Carlton Suite and Royal Suite with the convenience and comfort suitable to host visiting dignitaries and delegations.

Several floors of the hotel will be dedicated to guests of The Ritz-Carlton Club, which features an extra measure of privacy and amenities for guests. A dedicated concierge will staff The Club Lounge, offering complimentary food and beverage presentations from breakfast to after hours cocktails.

Three restaurants, including specialty dining outlets, will provide a setting to enjoy the cuisine made famous by Ritz-Carlton chefs. A Lobby Lounge and Bar will offer a casual elegance for the enjoyment of afternoon tea and evening cocktails.

Meetings and conference space at The Ritz-Carlton, totaling 2000 square meters will be extensive, and flexible enough to host large gatherings and exclusive social events. The facilities include a 1,400 square meters Ballroom, five meeting rooms, including a boardroom, will be available to accommodate a range of needs and occasions.

Recreational amenities will include a 2100 square meters health club and spa, as well as both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Serviced apartments will range in size from 125 to 350 square meters and feature one to four bedroom, furnished luxury units. Residents will be able to utilize all services offered by the hotel including housekeeping, catering, concierge, and in- room dining.
 

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Construction Paradise
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dubai gets second Ritz-Carlton property

By Saifur Rahman, Staff Reporter

Dubai:
Dubai-based developers Union Properties is investing Dh1.5 billion in a new hotel and serviced apartment complex to be managed by Ritz-Carlton, company officials said.

A soaring contemporary design on Shaikh Zayed Road, the Ritz-Carlton DIFC will stand 15 storeys high. The interior will blend elements of modern style and classic Arabic design elements. The 330 guestrooms and suites will include a Ritz-Carlton Suite and Royal Suite.

Simon T. Azzam, chief executive of Union Properties, said construction of the complex at the Dubai International Financial City would begin soon. Gensler are the architects of the property, which comprises a 330-room hotel and 121-room serviced apartment complex.

The project is currently in the tendering process. "We expect to award the construction contract next month. The project will be completed by the first quarter of 2008," Azzam said.

This will be the second Ritz-Carlton in Dubai and its fifth location in the Middle East.

Several floors of the hotel will be dedicated to guests of the Ritz-Carlton Club, which provides an extra measure of privacy and amenities for guests.

The hotel will have three restaurants, a lobby lounge and a bar. It will also have meetings and conference space totalling 2,000 square metres, including a ballroom and five meeting rooms.

Recreational amenities will include a health club and spa and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Serviced apartments will range in size from 125 to 350 square metres and feature one- to four-bedroom, furnished luxury units.

Simon F. Cooper, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, said, "We believe the hotel will be a very strategic addition to our global portfolio. We have enjoyed great success with our resort on Jumeirah Beach, therefore the opportunity to expand our presence in Dubai and be part of a region of substantial growth is a tremendous opportunity."
 

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I have seen renders, maybe in newspapers. It seams that it is the first building, nearerst to Emirates towers and The Gate, just behind Capricorn
 

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Construction Paradise
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
here's another proof it's one of the park lane buildings


Dubai: Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Union Properties to open 330-room hotel

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C, Chevy Chase, Md. and Union Properties PJSC have announced plans to open a 330-room hotel, with 121 serviced and managed apartments, at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Scheduled to open in 2008, this will be the second Ritz-Carlton in Dubai and the fifth location in the Middle East for the award-winning luxury hotel company.



“We believe the hotel will be a very strategic addition to our global portfolio,” noted Simon F. Cooper, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. “We have enjoyed great success with our resort on Jumeirah Beach, therefore the opportunity to expand our presence in Dubai and be part of a region of substantial growth is a tremendous opportunity. The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre will attract senior corporate executives travelling to Dubai to conduct business in the centre, and provide an outstanding meeting site for the international companies that have opened offices and expecting to open offices at the DIFC. Dubai is a vibrant and exciting city, poised on the brink of becoming one of the world’s foremost leisure and business destinations, and we feel privileged to play a part in this development.”



Mr. Anis Al Jallaf, Chairman, Union Properties, speaking on the occasion said “The visions of our leaders seemingly have no boundaries and the Dubai International Financial Centre is yet another example of the foresight of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and U.A.E. Defence Minister. Our partnership with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in the development of The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre, is in sync with that vision. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has established a world class reputation for outstanding service and surroundings, and with our joint venture Dubai can expect a hotel and residences which will be the most prestigious address in the region.”



A soaring contemporary design on Sheikh Zayed Road, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre will stand 15 stories high. The interior will blend elements of modern style and classic Arabic design elements for a showplace of luxury and elegance. The 330 guestrooms and suites will include a Ritz-Carlton Suite and Royal Suite with the convenience and comfort suitable to host visiting dignitaries and delegations.



Several floors of the hotel will be dedicated to guests of The Ritz-Carlton Club, which features an extra measure of privacy and amenities for guests. A dedicated concierge will staff The Club Lounge, offering complimentary food and beverage presentations from breakfast to after hours cocktails.



Three restaurants, including specialty dining outlets, will provide a setting to enjoy the cuisine made famous by Ritz-Carlton chefs. A Lobby Lounge and Bar will offer a casual elegance for the enjoyment of afternoon tea and evening cocktails.



Meetings and conference space at The Ritz-Carlton, totaling 2000 square meters will be extensive, and flexible enough to host large gatherings and exclusive social events. The facilities include a 1,400 square meters Ballroom, five meeting rooms, including a boardroom, will be available to accommodate a range of needs and occasions.



Recreational amenities will include a 2100 square meters health club and spa, as well as both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Serviced apartments will range in size from 125 to 350 square meters and feature one to four bedroom, furnished luxury units. Residents will be able to utilize all services offered by the hotel including housekeeping, catering, concierge, and in- room dining.
 

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like this looks very regal will add a good element to DIFC
 

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Construction Paradise
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Preferred locations


Ritz-Carlton broke ground on a second property in Dubai at the end of April. The luxury hotel chain is set to develop a 330-room business property in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), an onshore capital market designated as a financial free zone located parallel to Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road.

The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC will boast 121 serviced apartments, a selection of restaurants and bars, a speciality restaurant, cigar bar and lobby lounge. The new property, scheduled to open at the end of 2007, will also provide extensive meeting facilities.

“This is quite an exciting project. Obviously in Dubai we have been established for a very long time with a boutique hotel resort. Now we have the best of both worlds. We have a great location on Jumeirah and will have a great location in the financial centre, so I think the two properties will complement each other,” says Marc Dardenne, area vice president, Middle East, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

“The new hotel will have 330 rooms, in addition there will be 121 serviced apartments. It is quite a complex! The new hotel in DIFC will be quite dramatic. That is our goal, to have the leading business hotel in Dubai,” Dardenne adds.

The new property will be a true business hotel, according to Dardenne, and will complement the company’s existing hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai. “They are totally different products; one is a resort and one is totally a business hotel. We will look for synergies between the hotels with purchasing and human resources etc. But we will see that at a later stage,” he says.

The new property joins a portfolio of luxury resorts across the Middle East, including a business hotel in Doha and a mixed market hotel in Bahrain, which targets both the leisure and corporate sectors.

Ritz-Carlton is looking to extend its regional reach, and not just in terms of new property development. Dardenne says the region is also a vital outbound market for the company. The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai hosted a delegation of company representatives from Ritz-Carlton hotels in New York, Washington, Barcelona, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur at the end of March, all looking to attract the regional traveller.

“We have recognised the Middle East market as an important market, not only for hotel locations, but also as an outbound market for the company. When the delegation came over we did some sales calls to try and get to the outbound market. So really, as a company, we have realised that the Middle East is important and we want to have a strong presence,” Dardenne stresses.

Further Middle East expansion is still on the cards: Cairo, Kuwait and Oman are all locations under consideration for the chain.

“The preferred location we want to look at is definitely Cairo, especially as we have a hotel in Sharm. Kuwait could also be a location. We did look at Beirut, but it is not our highest priority at the moment because of what is happening. And we did have a project in Oman, which is now dormant, but that could still be a good location,” Dardenne reveals.

“But if you ask where we would like to be as soon as possible it would be Cairo and Kuwait, because they seem like good markets. Cairo would be a mixed hotel, business and leisure, as we would like to have a Nile location.”

A Cairo hotel would see Ritz-Carlton entering the market behind global competitor Four Seasons. The two chains are set to go head to head in Doha now that the Four Seasons Hotel Doha has just opened, and will compete for market share in Dubai when Four Seasons opens at Dubai Festival City in 2006.

“Four Seasons have strong backing, with Prince Al Waleed. This has really helped them in their expansion,” Dardenne admits.

“Clearly Four Seasons is our global competitor, but I always say that I welcome Four Seasons to come into the market. For example, they have just opened in Doha and we are very much aware of what they are planning and what they are going to do. We don’t take it easy, but I welcome Four Seasons to come into the market because in Doha we didn’t really have any comparison. We had one hotel and then all the other hotels were really not anything in comparison to us. Finally we are a player. There was always an issue with the rate, because we were much more expensive. Now we can measure this against the Four Seasons,” Dardenne says.

“With regards to us coming to Cairo, all the big players are in Cairo. Whereas other Four Seasons locations like Damascus and Amman are not high on our priority list.

“We think Four Seasons is a great company and they know what they are doing, they are just different from what we are doing. It is just great to see more high-end players coming into the market.”

In general, Ritz-Carlton has larger sized hotels whereas Four Seasons hotels are smaller, boutique hotels. However, they are still very similar in terms of service, market position and customer profile. And they are both very strong in terms of brand recognition.

“The key to success is to create brand loyalty,” says Dardenne. “That’s why we don’t have loyalty programmes. Other hotels do have rewards programmes, where customer loyalty is basically bought by giving them points. We believe we can get great loyalty by giving great service.

“Guests sometimes choose the location not because of the location, but because there is a Ritz-Carlton there. That is what we want to create. Now, would a Ritz-Carlton guest never stay in a Four Seasons or vice versa? No, I think that can happen,” Dardenne admits.

“Everyone is looking for value for money. At the moment [The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai] is running at an average rate of US $450. That is an average, some guests are paying US $600, US $700, or US $1,000 a night and you have to really create value for them. If they walk away and say ‘This was an expensive stay, but we just loved it and will come back’ then we have achieved what we want to do.

“Our hotels differ only from a physical point of view. The Doha property is pretty colourful, whereas here [Dubai] we have an Arabic touch. What makes it the same is the ladies and gentlemen, the company philosophy. People come and the moment they get in contact with an employee they feel genuinely cared for and they realise ‘Ahh this is The Ritz-Carlton’. The hotel is just a shell, what really makes it a Ritz-Carlton is the ladies and gentlemen.

“You can have a beautiful hotel with gold on the ceiling, but if you don’t get the right people, then it spoils the hotel. I have never received a guest comment card that says ‘I love your marble and I come back here because of your marble in the lobby’. But they all say ‘I had a wonderful experience because of Johnny in the lobby lounge and Patrick in the bar’. They come back because of the service.

“You need to have a certain standard, but what truly makes a difference is the service. Sometimes I see in hotels that are very lavish, the employees feel they are better than the guests. If you go to a hotel and don’t feel you belong there, then that is not right.”

The ladies and gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC will begin welcoming guests to the property at the end of 2007. The hotel will bring in a number of employees from its sister hotels in the region to assist with the pre-opening, and to ensure that the Ritz-Carlton experience remains continuous across the Middle East.
 

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Well the Ritz seems on a roll especially in the Middle East and Asia and here is an interview with the Executive VP. I did post a similart article in the Bahrain section like a week ago or so. Let me add, nice new hotel.


Bob Kharazmi
Senior VP, Ritz-Carlton International

The Ritz-Carlton is in expansion mode in the Middle East and Asia. But this blue-blooded brand is unlikely to grow beyond 80-85 hotels worldwide from only 59 today. Maintaining the highest standards of service culture remains the prime objective.

'We have just come from the opening of our 59th hotel in Jakarta,' says Bob Kharazmi, Senior Vice President of Ritz-Carlton International, the most senior executive outside North America who was visiting Dubai last week for the Arabian Travel Market.

'We have nine hotels under construction or negotiation in Asia: two in Beijing, three more in China, Kowloon in Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Plus we are in negotiations for Bora Bora and Fiji.

'But I would be very surprised if we had more than 80 to 85 hotels in 10 to 15 years time. We just want to have the best properties in the most strategic markets.'

Mr. Kharazmi explains that the 330-room, 121-serviced-apartment, high-rise Dubai International Financial Centre Ritz-Carlton is to be the next addition to the Middle East portfolio. This landmark hotel will also have a 20,000 square foot ballroom.

'We have almost closed a deal for a second hotel in Bahrain,' he says. 'And we are adding 120 more rooms to our Jumeirah Beach property, plus more meeting rooms and completely re-doing the spa; the hotel will be almost double its present size.'

He therefore sees 'good growth in 2005-9' and notes that 'Dubai is an incredibly vibrant market; the average rate has doubled; and there is a shortage of guest room supply.'

Yet how will Ritz-Carlton ensure that the group keeps the high service standards of its 29,000 'Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen' as the company philosophy runs?

'We are confident that our platform fits the majority of cultures around the world, as it is based on mutual respect and involving employees in the decision-making and operation of our hotels,' says Mr. Kharazmi.

'This gold standard culture fits every market. And when somebody joins Ritz-Carlton the first 10 days of training is spent on our principles, philosophy and culture.

'Food and beverage outlets are also very important to us as a connection with the local community, and appointing the right chef is vital to us.'

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Ritz-Carlton's top man is looking for an opportunity in Cairo and also Kuwait, and would also like to have a hotel in Oman. 'The Middle East is a focus for us and we are proud and privileged to be here,' he adds, only breaking off to greet the daughter of the owner of the Ritz-Carlton in Sharm El Sheikh.

Clearly the Ritz-Carlton intends to participate fully in the economic and hotel boom that is enveloping the region. But the commitment to the very highest standards and exclusivity will remain a barrier to overexpansion.
 

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from MEED:

Bouygues/Target JV signs up for DIFC Ritz-Carlton
CONSTRUCTION UAE
20 Jan 2006
The contract is worth an estimated $275 million

A French/local joint venture (JV) of Bouygues Batiment International and Target Engineering Construction Company has begun mobilising on the Ritz-Carlton hotel and apartment project in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) after winning the estimated $275 million main contract. The client on the three-year contract is the local Union Properties (MEED 12:8:05).

Two other contractors – Saudi Oger and Al-Naboodah Laing O’Rourke – submitted bids last August for the design and build contract, which centres on the construction of a 15-storey hotel and apartment building with three basements of parking. The contract does not include piling which has been carried out under a separate contract.

The development will comprise 340 hotel rooms, 124 serviced apartments and 323 unserviced apartments, ranging in size from one-four bedrooms. In addition, it will include a ballroom, meeting rooms, restaurants and other public facilities.

The project manager on Ritz-Carlton is a JV of the local Edara and APP; the architectural consultant is US-based Gensler & Associates; the structural and mechanical, electrical and plumbing consultant is the UK’s Hyder; and the quantity surveyor is DG Jones, also of the UK.
 
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