The hotel chain said the agreement is for the hotel site to be located at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and will be about ten miles from Dubai International Airport. The company said the Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre is pegged for a fall 2017 opening and will be the 25th unit in the Waldorf Astoria portfolio.
The hotel chain said the Dubai unit is part of a “mixed-use residential, retail and office-space development.” The hotel will have 247 rooms, “as well as a range of upscale dining options, spa and wellness facilities.” The site will also feature a grand ballroom, meeting rooms and an events space — for businesses and social functions.
Hilton Worldwide said it has been active in the region. The company said over the past year “notable milestones included the opening of three Hilton Garden Inn hotels in Dubai; the signing of an agreement for the first Hampton by Hilton in the Middle East; as well as confirmation of the first Curio, a Collection by Hilton for Dubai, with The Rosemont Hotel & Residences.”
Carlos Khneisser, vice president of development, Middle East and North Africa for Hilton Worldwide, said that “sound fundamentals underpin our luxury story in the Middle East, where we have seen exceptional growth in locations tailored for both leisure and business travelers.”
“As an iconic luxury brand originating from New York, another center of global finance, I am delighted that we will welcome Waldorf Astoria to this international hub,” Khneisser added.
Shehab Gargash, who is described as a representative of the property owners, said the hotel “will offer business, as well as leisure, travelers, a new and compelling luxurious living option at the heart of Dubai’s major financial, business and commercial centers, with easy access to the largest shopping malls and a wide range of restaurants and entertainment.”
Over the past year, the DIFC has marketed itself as an important financial hub able to serve the Middle East, as well as South Asia and Africa. In particular, the association of businesses involved in the DIFC have touted the growth of the “fintech” sector as a key opportunity. Last month, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce opened the Dubai Industry International Arbitration Centre in the DIFC.
A chamber official said “the office will provide additional dimension to the center by emphasizing the importance of commercial arbitration in settling commercial disputes, and highlighting the positive role it plays in strengthening the legal business environment in the emirate of Dubai and the region.”