Dubai to get Dh100b tourism and leisure complex

The world's longest hotel strip will soon stand over 139 million square feet in Dubailand as part of a Dh100 billion tourist and leisure resort in Dubai, project developers say.

Gulf News

Dubai: A Dubai company will build the world's longest hotel strip as part of a Dh100 billion tourist and leisure resort in the city, its developers said yesterday.

Unveiled by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the project will be spread over 139 million square feet in Dubailand.

It will feature a cluster of 31 hotels offering more than 29,000 rooms and 100 theatres presenting live cultural shows.

Tatweer, a unit of Dubai Holding and builders of the project, said it will boast the world's largest concentration of leading hotels and help Dubai cope with the 15 million tourists it hopes to attract by 2010.

Called Bawadi, the project will nearly double the current number of hotel rooms in Dubai through several themed hotels and also develop entertainment centres, shopping malls, theatres, restaurants and convention centres.

"Tourism as an industry plays a major part in the economic development of this country and this project was instructed to be developed by Shaikh Mohammad about a year ago," Tatweer's chief executive Saeed Al Muntafiq told reporters after the inauguration.

The giant project, set up after extensive research of the dynamics of the tourism industry, will also boost tourism dependent industries.

The centrepiece of Bawadi will be the world's largest hotel, Asia-Asia, which alone will provide 6,500 rooms, combining 5,100 four star and an additional 1,400 five star rooms.

Asia-Asia will be a part of the first phase of development, which includes spending of Dh12 billion by Tatweer in hotel and infrastructure, and will be completed by 2010.

Of the total investment needed, Tatweer will spend Dh30 billion in developing hotels and another Dh10 billion on infrastructure that will be raised through its own private equity and debt. The rest is expected to come from investors.