W Dubai Festival City, which is scheduled to open in 2008, will be at the heart of Dubai Festival City's 245,000 square metres 'Marsa al Khor' (Harbour of the Creek) development and will be the contemporary waterfront community's hospitality centrepiece.
The W brand, which is operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), broke through the clutter of conformity in the upscale hotel arena in 1998, when it became the first hotel brand with the personality of an independent hotel and the first class service and unique amenities found in leading luxury hotels. There are now 20 W hotels in the most vibrant cities around the world, from Montreal, Canada to Seoul, Korea.
"The commitment of W Hotels is another major coup for us and again gives our Creekside development first-mover hospitality advantage,"
said Omar Al Futtaim, CEO, Dubai Festival City. "We are continually trying to raise expectations and this partnership is not only another first for the Middle East, but an indication of our dedication to this promise."
W Dubai Festival City will be designed by world renowned, award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel. It will be surrounded by a waterfront Quay, a Central Park, exclusive waterfront homes, state-of-the-art offices and an array of chic cafes, clubs, and restaurants.
"Dubai Festival City's hospitality community continues to evolve with the addition of the W hotel to our portfolio. The W nicely complements our other hotel offerings and will offer the visiting population a different and unique experience in Dubai," said Marwan Shehadeh, Managing Director of Al Futtaim Capital.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has entered into a management agreement for the W Dubai Festival City with the Al Futtaim Group, the project's developer and one of the Middle East's largest and most respected private sector conglomerates.
"W Hotels are in some of the most exhilarating International neighbourhoods - and the W Dubai Festival City is an ideal fit for this global strategy, which also includes Barcelona, Hong Kong and Shanghai," said Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Europe, Middle East & Africa. "The W Dubai Festival City will offer custom-designed accommodation in the heart of the emirate's down-town and close to a major convention centre, fabulous shopping facilities, dining and nightlife."
The W Dubai Festival City's 350 rooms will include luxury loft suites, multiple signature restaurants and a Bliss spa. It will be linked to other Dubai Festival City elements, including the Festival Marina, a Mediterranean-style yacht hub with marine activities and a unique urban retail resort, Festival Centre, which seamlessly blends retail, entertainment and hospitality into one complete family experience.
The W Dubai Festival City will offer the brands renowned 'Living Room' experience which creates a place where guests and locals can socialize with outdoor dining and spectacular waterfront views of the quay and the creek. All 350 guest rooms will indulge guests with W's famous beds with feather-top mattress, 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and goose down comforters. Hotel guests will be treated to W's signature 'Whatever/Whenever' service, the hotel's 24-hour concierge that can provide whatever guests want (from a pair of running shoes to private jet service), whenever they want it.
"Dubai continues to emerge as a sophisticated commercial and tourist destination, with world-class shopping, dining, beaches and year-round sunny forecast - an ideal city for W," said Ross Klein, President of W Hotels. "Working with architect Jean Nouvel, we intend to enhance the style and design fabric of Dubai, and Dubai Festival City in particular, offering a product that is entirely different from anything else in the market."
W Hotels is the latest world renowned operator to sign up to manage a property at Dubai Festival City. The 'city-within-a-city' already boasts the Middle East's largest hospitality cluster under one project, one ownership and with the highest level of connectivity, comprising of more than 2,500 rooms spread throughout hotels, a convention centre and timeshare resorts with more facilities planned for the future.