By  on October 30, 2007

MILAN — The first Giorgio Armani residences were unveiled in Dubai this past weekend, just as the company launched the designer's official hotels and resorts Web site and revealed plans to open a resort in Marrakech, Morocco, in 2009.

The Web site provides details about the development of Armani's worldwide collection of hotels and residences, allowing visitors to view the locations and services being developed by the designer and Dubai-based real estate developer Emaar Properties. The 144 private residences occupy floors 9 to 16 of the world's tallest building, Burj Dubai, which is also the location of the first Armani hotel, scheduled to open in late 2008.

A sales center, with a show residence that includes lobby, living room, kitchen and bathroom areas, was presented on Sunday. The apartments cost $3,000 per square foot. Market sources estimate that, in total, the residences are selling for between $2.5 million and $5.5 million.

In a statement, Armani said, "...the Armani Hotel Dubai and the associated Armani Residences will effectively bring to life my vision of hospitality."

All furnishings from the Armani/Casa home collection are made-to-measure, with bespoke finishes. "I gave each apartment a unique, personal touch. I wanted to convey a sense of privacy and intimacy, using style and color, fabric and materials," said Armani.

The owners of the apartments will be able to take advantage of the hotel's 24/7 room service and housekeeping, and have access to Burj Dubai's four luxurious pools, a cigar club, a library, an exclusive residents' lounge, a 15,000-square-foot fitness facility and an observatory.

"I have greatly enjoyed the process of designing the residences as I have sought to find the perfect blend of the strictly personal atmosphere of a home and the more international, cosmopolitan feel of the Armani Hotels & Resorts project, of which this is an offshoot," said Armani.

Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said the Armani Residences "lends added distinction to Burj Dubai's status and prestige. Burj Dubai is all about individuality, being iconic and set apart from the rest."

Armani Hotels & Resorts was established in 2005. Under the terms of the agreement between the designer and Emaar, the partners foresee the opening of at least seven luxury hotels and three vacation resorts within the next 10 years. The Armani Hotel Dubai is expected to be opened in the last quarter of 2008 and will include 160 guest rooms and suites, restaurants and a spa, covering more than 432,000 square feet. The Armani Hotel in Milan will open in the second half of 2009 and will occupy the top five floors of the building lodging the city's Armani megastore, in central Via Manzoni. Work will begin in December.

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