Plans were unveiled to build one of the largest hotel developments in the Middle East this week, a glut of hotel rooms in Dubai failing to dampen the enthusiasm for larger-than-life building projects.
The Al Habtoor Group, a United Arab Emirates-based development firm, confirmed on January 18 that it planned to build a new triple-hotel complex in the heart of the Emirate as part of a $1.3 billion project.
The new development, formed of two skyscrapers rising from a five-storey podium base, will see over 1,600 rooms added to Dubai's hotel scene and the existing hotel on the site -- the Metropolitan Hotel -- demolished.
The rest of the complex is designed as a 'lifestyle experience,' Al Habtoor says, with a luxury spa and multiple restaurants and banqueting facilities, including more than one Michelin star holder.
In a bid to give Las Vegas a run for its money, the attraction will also include a huge theater designed to attract the world's top performances from the likes of Broadway and Vegas, complete with a hydraulic central stage, water features and movable floors.
A designer shopping arcade and sports academy will top off the project, Al Habtoor says, while 37,000 square meters of gardens will also be included.
Although the project isn't likely to get underway until later this year and won't be complete until 2015, concerns have already been raised about the effect of the extra rooms on the Dubai hotel scene, where supply already far outstrips demand.
There are a total of 13,349 rooms under construction already in Dubai, according to STR Global.