Marina 101
The Marina 101 stands tall at 425 metres in one of the most prestigious locations at Dubai Marina. Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: Efforts to find a buyer for the 34-storey hotel component at the Marina 101 skyscraper in Dubai Marina finally seem to have made some progress. A bid is likely to be submitted by a group of investors for the hotel part, with the figure likely to be around Dh129 million, according to sources.

The hotel had been put up for auction for some time now – but well down from the Dh360 million the seller had originally put it up for last year. In recent weeks, the minimum asking bid was slashed multiple times and is now at the Dh129 mark. Market sources say there had been other potential bidders interested in owning a hotel at one of Dubai Marina’s most prominent locations, and that they were waiting for the seller to bring the bid value down.

Finally, one consortium had stepped forward. “We are interested in the project and the possibilities we could derive from it,” said a source close to the group. “It is up to the seller to signal whether they are serious about going ahead with the deal.”

Marina 101 has had a troubled history through these last 15 years. Launched as one of the tallest towers around, the Dh1 billion project kept hitting long delays. The latest hit happened in 2019 when, at the 97 per cent plus mark, construction stalled after yet another cash payment issue.

Push from RERA

Dubai’s real estate authorities are definitely pushing for a sale of the hotel component to go through, at the soonest. This could be one reason why the seller kept the project up for auction through the last few weeks, slashing their bids to elicit some interest.

“This is probably the only project in town that is actually seeing a price slash, despite it being at one of the most exclusive of locations,” said the source. “Dubai Land Department and RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) want this project to be completed and investors rewarded for their patience.”

Hotel needs a buyer
The hotel part of the Marina 101 was initially meant to be operated by the Hard Rock brand. A deal was struck, but nothing came of it after construction got mired in sundry cashflow issues.
The Marina 101 is quite an impressive structure, at 425 metres high and which puts it among the Top 50 tallest buildings in the world.

Will the new bid finally see the hotel part getting sold through the auction? The seller is one of the lenders to Sheffield Real Estate, who launched the tower project in 2005.

"We have made the bid and now it is up to the seller to come back and say whether they are interested or not," said a source.

Heading for the finish-line

The Dh1 billion development, originally launched by Sheffield Real Estate, is making slow and steady progress to reach the 100 per cent mark. Funds were released from the escrow, and which could mean that those investors who have apartments and penthouses in the other 30 storeys will finally get their units in the near future.

“If the hotel gets sold and the rest of the project is complete, the Marina 101 saga will finally have come to an end,” said a property owner there. “Some of the property owners have waited for more than 10 years, and they are finally getting what they bought into.”