World’s tallest hotel gives Dubai its second record in a week

DUBAI: The world’s tallest hotel opened in Dubai on Jan 6, continuing a record-setting week for the emirate that started with the inauguration of highest skyscraper.

Rose Rayhaan, a 72-story building with 482 rooms and suites, rises less than a mile from Burj Khalifa, the 200-floor tower that opened Jan 4 with firework, light and water displays. The alcohol-free hotel will be operated by Rotana, an Abu Dhabi-based hotel management company that announced the opening in an e-mailed statement on Jan 6.

Started in 2004, the Rose Rayhaan is one of several Dubai hotels that opened after the global recession hurt international travel, increasing vacancy rates and putting pressure on room prices. Rotana, which manages 70 hotels throughout the Middle East and North Africa, plans to open two more Dubai hotels in the first quarter of this year, adding another 547 rooms and bringing the number it operates in the emirate to 11.

Kerzner International Ltd opened the Atlantis resort in November 2008, adding 1,500 hotel rooms at the foot of one of Dubai’s palm-shaped islands. The Burj Khalifa includes 160 hotel rooms.

Rose Rayhaan was developed by Bonyan International Investment Group LLC. The hotel is 333m high and is Rotana’s second alcohol-free property that caters to more conservative clients. The first is located in Islam’s holiest city of Mecca. Islam strictly prohibits the consumption of alcohol.

Alcohol-free hotels have “huge potential due to its inherent appeal in the Middle East”, Daniel Mathew, the hotel’s general manager said in the statement. This “reflects our respect for the culture and beliefs of our guests and our dedication to fostering a new Arabia in today’s world.” The hotel’s initial occupancy rate is 65%, Mathew said.

The Burj Khalifa, formerly known as Burj Dubai, is the world’s tallest tower, soaring 828m. The building, which cost US$1.5 billion (RM5.07 billion), includes a hotel, 1,044 apartments and 37 floors of office space. – Bloomberg LP

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