The First Group is about another year away from opening the 365-metre high CIEL Tower in Dubai Marina, which will be the world’s tallest hotel-only structure Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Lofty heights are back in fashion in Dubai’s real estate space.

The developer Binghatti last week confirmed it has set sights on creating the world’s tallest all-residential skyscraper in Business Bay, in alliance with luxury watch label Jacob & Co.. The height of the proposed structure has not been revealed, but what it sure will be doing is go past the Central Park tower’s height and claim the record for itself.

But it’s not with residential alone that Dubai’s next set of towers plan to set new highs. The First Group is about another year away from opening the 365-metre high CIEL Tower in Dubai Marina, which will be the world’s tallest hotel-only structure. (The differentiation is important because Burj Khalifa remains the tallest building by some stretch, but split between hotel, residential and offices.)

Dubai already plays host to some of the world’s tallest hotel buildings, including the tallest as of now in the form of Gevora on Shaikh Zayed Road. Plus, the world’s second tallest, in the form of JW Marriott Marquis.

So, is the city and future guests ready for more of the tall?

Ask Faisal Durrani, Partner and Head of Middle East Research at the consultancy Knight Frank, and he is in no doubt. "The emirate's lofty ambitions have delivered one of the world's most striking skylines. With ever taller buildings vying for pole position in the skyline, it is no surprise that the best hotel room views often command a premium, with skyline and sea views often the most highly sought."

Dubai's tall buildings are ‘undoubtedly part of the city's global appeal’. Such attractions have helped to make it one of the most visited cities, with hotel occupancies routinely among the highest in the world. This ‘despite Dubai boasting over 140,000 hotel keys – more than London or New York – and a further 30,000 keys planned’, Durrani added.

Dubai already knows quite a bit about building nothing-but-spectacular hotels and creating a sustained buzz around them. As evidence, there is the Burj Al Arab, which is the second most Instagrammed building in the city (after Burj Khalifa).

The average daily room rates in the city is currently at about Dh700 per square foot. Super-luxury low-rise beach resorts such as the Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Bvlgari hotels in Jumeirah command rates 8-10 times the city average. This highlights that height and views may influence overnight rates, but the brand, location and features are critical.

Existing super-tall

  • Gevora Hotel - 356 meters
  • SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences - 335.5 meters
  • Rose Rayhaan by Rotana Dubai - 333 meters
  • JW Marriott Marquis - 355 meters
  • Burj Al Arab - 321 meters
  • Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel - 309 meters
  • Jumeirah Living Marina Gate - 224.3 meters

Multiple super-tall hotel properties form a coveted vertical landscape in Dubai. These include the Gevora Hotel, JW Marriott Marquis, SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences, Rose Rayhaan by Rotana Dubai, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Living Marina Gate, and Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, just to name a few.

Trevor Hardwick, Chief Operating Officer at Select Group says, "In densely populated areas - or areas where views are sought after and land is limited - vertical structures can provide all guests with the benefits of beautiful vistas."

Select Group’s Jumeirah Living Marina Gate has maintained high occupancy rates since launch. A ‘self-contained community’ ensures guests have the privacy they seek and with unencumbered access to Dubai Marina.

Currently, these are the tallest hotel structures in Dubai (and among the world):

Gevora Hotel: Set in the Trade Center area at Sheikh Zayed Road, the 75-storey structure is 356 meter high and with 528 rooms. The four-star hotel has a shimmering gold facade and a matching gold lattice roof forming a pointed tip. It has on the rooftop the Highest View lounge, recognized as the highest located restaurant in the Middle East, perched 280 metres above ground. Image Credit: Al Attar Properties
Ciel, world's tallest hotel to be
The CIEL Hotel, under construction in Dubai Marina, when opened in 2024, will beat Gevora's current record, standing tall at 365 metres, with 82 floors, once completed. Image Credit: The First Group
JW Marriott Marquis: Located beside Dubai Water Canal, the twin-tower hotel takes its design inspiration from the date palm. The 72-storey structures top up at 355 meters and offers 1,608 guest rooms and suites. Image Credit: Shutterstock
sls hotel and residences3
SLS Hotels & Residences: In Downtown Dubai, the 75-storey tower takes its design inspiration from the oriel, a distinct element of mid-century classic architecture. The 946 units are split between 254 hotel rooms, 371 residences and 321 hotel apartments. There is a Privilege hotel lounge and nightlife venue with the region's highest two Infinity pools and a Sky Lobby on the 71st floor. Image Credit: Supplied
Stock Burj Al Arab Dubai
Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah: This 7-star, Arabian dhow sail shaped hotel is 321 meter high with a helipad near the roof, at 210 metres above ground. Image Credit: WAM

A true global icon, it houses one of the world's tallest grand atriums, a man-made beach, an Infinity pool, and a terrace with two swimming pools and venues for spectacular dining options. Guests can use a shuttle service or arrive at the hotel in a Rolls-Royce or helicopter.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel: Located near Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), this 309-meter-tall, 54-storey twin tower hotel is a much sought-after hotel skyscraper. Both towers connect by a two-storey retail Boulevard, and the landscape and winding pathways on the edge of the complex give a unique essence to the hardscape. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives