MILAN — Versace plans to open its second Palazzo Versace Resort, in Dubai, in 2008.
The resort, which will cost about $700 million to build, will comprise 215 suites, a spa, restaurants and 204 luxury villas and will be located in the Arabian Bay, on the waterfront site on Dubai Creek, Dubai. Construction is set to start by early 2006.
The Dubai Palazzo Versace will be developed with Australian property developer Sunland Group Ltd. and Emirates International Holdings. The latter two have formed a joint venture, Emirates Sunland Group, which will build and manage the resort. In March, Emirates Sunland Group signed an agreement with Dubai Properties to acquire the land for the resort.
Versace will provide design, style and furnishings, as well as special pieces from its home collection and other divisions. Versace has a licensing deal with Sunland for the Palazzo Versace project, generating revenue from royalties and the sale of products needed to stock the hotel. There are currently two Versace boutiques in Dubai.
Sunland teamed up with Versace when the fashion company opened its first Palazzo Versace in September 2000: a six-star hotel with 205 rooms and 72 condominiums on Australia's exclusive Gold Coast tourist strip of Queensland. The hotel is lavishly decorated in typical Versace style, with neoclassical furniture, fountains, statues and marble floors.
"The idea of applying Versace's luxury and style philosophy to an exclusive holiday is an ideal combination," said Versace's chief executive officer Giancarlo Di Risio in a statement. Di Risio said the resort is "an important part of the group's strategy for the future."
Santo Versace, chairman of the company, said the resort will be in line with the brand's "style and glamour" while in tune at the same time with the local style. "Palazzo Versace will provide the ultimate destination for those wanting a taste of the 'Versace' lifestyle within a dynamic and modern environment such as Dubai's," said Versace.
Versace is one of several fashion firms moving into hotels. Last year, Giorgio Armani revealed plans to open residential apartments, luxury hotels and resorts in partnership with a Dubai-based property group, Emaar Properties, a $1 billion project. One of the first Armani-designed hotels, set to open in 2007, will be in Emaar Properties' new Burj Dubai development, where there are plans for 250 suites, restaurants, a spa, and 150 luxury residential apartments, all conceptualized by Armani and fully furnished with the Armani Casa collection.Bulgari has linked with Marriott International Inc. to open a string of Bulgari hotels; Krizia's Mariuccia Mandelli opened her prestigious K Club in Barbuda in 1990; upscale jeanswear firm Diesel owns the surreal and extravagant Hotel Pelican in Miami, and the Salvatore Ferragamo firm owns the Lungarno Hotels chain, created in 1995. Massimo Ferretti, owner of Aeffe, the Italian clothing manufacturer that produces Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Narciso Rodriguez and Pollini, owns a hotel, the essential Carducci76 in Cattolica, near Aeffe's headquarters; Anna Molinari restored her family hotel in Carpi, where her company is based, and Carla Sozzani, of Corso Como 10, owns the tiny hotel Three Rooms in Milan.
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