Dubai: JW Marriott Marquis Dubai - the 355-metre hotel located along Shaikh Zayed Road near Safa Park and a few blocks away from the world's tallest tower Burj Khalifa - is set to open in the fourth quarter of this year.

Developed and owned by the Emirates Group, the 1,608-room JW Marriott Marquis Dubai will hold the world's tallest all-hotel tower replacing the 72-storey Rose Reyhaan Rotana hotel on the Shaikh Zayed Road.

The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai will open in two phases, with the first section featuring 804 rooms and numerous restaurants and lounges. At a height of 355 metres, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is the tallest dedicated hotel building in the world and is just 26 metres shorter than the Empire State Building in New York.

Rupprecht Queitsch, general manager, told Gulf News that the second phase - the second tower will be opened a year after the first one.

"With Emirates's strong network of destinations from where it carries passengers, I'm sure there will be some synergy with us," he said when asked about how he's going to fill all these rooms.

In addition to serving the luxury business traveler, the hotel is targeting the lucrative and increasingly important MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) market, which currently does not have a hotel of sufficient scale to host such large groups.

To give this market some context, the United States' MICE segment, which will be one of the key targets of the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai team, contributes $106 billion to that country's GDP - higher than automotive manufacturing ($78 billion), performing arts/spectator sports/museums ($71 billion) and information and data processing services ($76 billion).

Dubai's excellent air service, especially with the emerging BRIC economies, are expected to create further opportunity. Nasser Saidi, chief economist for the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), has already noted the growth in Chinese firms coming to Dubai to set up a hub to access the African markets, and China is becoming an increasingly important export partner for the UAE. In the first quarter of 2011, for example, China exported AED10.68bn worth of goods to Dubai and was the emirate's second biggest export partner during that period.

"The potential to cater for the growing needs of the global business community is huge and we believe the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is uniquely placed in that regard," said Rupprecht Queitsch, general manager.

"The hotel will fill a long identified gap in the market where groups, meetings and conventions of up to 1,000 people can meet, sleep and dine under one roof, in one location. There are businesses of this size choosing various cities around the world in which to meet, but until now, Dubai has not had a single location of this size to accommodate this type of group. In simple terms, we will establish Dubai on the global conference market landscape.

"As for general business, Dubai is perfectly positioned, with its proximity to huge growth markets such as India and the fact it has literally billions of people within a five-hour flight range. What those business travelers are looking for is a hotel that has everything they could possibly need under one roof and we truly believe this iconic new property will set a new standard in business hotels, not just in the region but globally," Queitsch added.

As proof of that, along with more than 5,000 sq m of event space, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai will also have nine restaurants and five lounges, along with a world-class spa, health club and two ballrooms.

In addition to this, it is set to reveal a number of innovative features incorporating the latest technology, with the aim of providing a unique environment for guests that reflects its positioning as an iconic and pioneering business hotel.

The Marquis endorsement is reserved for iconic properties in the Marriott International portfolio, defined by their scale, grandeur and location.

The new JW Marriott in Dubai will be the first JW branded property outside of North America (after the JW Marriott Marquis Miami) and sends a strong signal about how Marriott International views Dubai's growing importance and global influence.