The Al Habtoor Group made two major announcements regarding their hotel sector this October, with Khalaf Al Habtoor confirming his belief in the success of the hotel branch of the company.
The first concerned the launch of the Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah, formerly the Habtoor Island Resort and Spa, which is to be managed by Hilton Worldwide.
Building of the foundations of the project, which is located on the Palm Jumeirah Island in Dubai, began in 2007. The company has now recommenced work on the project however and it’s expected to be finished by the end of 2013.
The Al Habtoor Group also announced plans to collaborate with Hilton Worldwide with regard to the management of their two hotel properties in Lebanon.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the Waldorf Astoria on October 5, Khalaf Al Habtoor was positive about the growth of the hotel industry in the current economic climate.
“The [economic] situation is stable and we’re witnessing constant growth in Dubai and in the UAE, which makes it the perfect time to re-launch this hotel project,” he said.
The Al Habtoor company was one of the first to reserve a plot on the reclaimed land of the Palm Jumeirah and as a result, the setting of the resort is stunning. “We wanted to create something very special in this beautiful place and we took our time deciding on what to do with this project. We managed to secure one of the best locations on the crescent,” he said, adding that the resort, which will be surrounded by the Arabian Gulf Ocean, will overlook the Burj Al Arab and offer breathtaking views of Dubai.
The hotel is set to be one of the most prestigious in Dubai, with many unique features; it will offer a 5-star experience unlike any other. Aside from this ambitious plan, the Group is also delighted to be collaborating with Hilton Worldwide in three of their hotels, two in Lebanon and one in Dubai.
Speaking at a press conference on October 17, 2001 to announce the venture, Khalaf Al Habtoor explained that the Habtoor Grand and the Metropolitan Palace, both in Lebanon, are to be managed from now on by Hilton Worldwide and renamed as a result. They will now be known as the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand and the Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace. Both are located in the centre of Beirut.
This is the first time that Hilton Worldwide will operate in Lebanon. It will be the first time too that they open a Waldorf Astoria property in Dubai.
Christopher J. Nassetta, President and Chief Executive Officer, of Hilton Worldwide was present at the press conference on October 17 to announce the collaboration. “Beirut is one of the liveliest cities in the world and a leading gateway between the East and West. We’ve been looking forward to entering Lebanon and are very pleased that we are able to do so with this calibre of property,” he said.
“Equally, the Waldorf Astoria’s heritage and prestige is the perfect fit for Dubai and it is exactly the right time for this luxury brand to join the expanding number of properties we’ve planned in the UAE. Today’s announcement amply demonstrates our ongoing commitment to growing in the Middle East and consolidates our position as a leading hospitality provider in the region.”
Khalaf Al Habtoor said he was delighted to be handing over the management of the three hotels to the renowned American company. He said: “They were our partner of choice in helping to re-establish the two Beirut hotels and we’re particularly thrilled to be part of the team launching the legendary Waldorf Astoria name in Dubai.”