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Movenpick Hotels and Resorts is planning to open a total of 21 hotels and resorts in the Middle East region, including 17 in the next three years according to Toufic Tamim, VP Sales and Marketing for Movenpick in the Middle East.
The hotels, all of which were signed during the boom time for the Middle East, will be opening at a challenging time for hoteliers with average rates down some 40 percent in Dubai, but for travellers, the openings represent outstanding value for money.
Tamim admitted that forecasts for the hotels had been revised since the initial development decision was taken several years ago, but also pointed out that total engineering costs have gone down over the last 18 months as other projects have been cancelled, and he believed that the properties could still be profitable both for Movenpick and the owners.
Already open is Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, a contemporary upscale five-star hotel with 294 rooms and suites located over 19 floors with three restaurants including The Talk, which offers international cuisine, a built in sushi bar and a poolside lounge complete with cabanas and DJ station, as well as The West Beach Bistro, a casual gastro bar atmosphere, and The Falls lobby lounge. Overlooking the infinity pool is a modern gym and spa, while the Melrose ballroom, a business centre and break out conference rooms all on the first floor make this a business traveller's hotel which will also welcome those mixing business and leisure trips.
Also suitable for business travellers is the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, whose central gate is larger than the Arc de Triomphe. The 396-room hotel is inspired, or at least named after the 14th century Arabian explorer Ibn Battuta, and will open this summer featuring 30 suites with 10 different interior themes including China and Thailand in the east, India, the Ottoman empire, Ancient Egypt, and the Russian empire, amongst others. The hotel is centred around a lobby hall (Al Bahou) with its 88 eastern-style lanterns, and there are a total of eight restaurants, a lap pool and a well-equipped gym. What makes it particularly interesting is that it is located south of the traditional heart of Dubai along the coast towards the Jebel Al Free Zone and the new Al Maktoum International Airport, with Abu Dhabi only some 40 minutes drive away.
Movenpick Hotel Deira as the name suggests is in the heart of the old Dubai. This 216-room hotel also opens in October, and has a rooftop pool, gym and three restaurants. For leisure travellers, there is the Asian-inspired Royal Amwaj Resort & Spa on The Palm Jumeirah which has Dubai's first water villas, a spa that respects its Balinese heritage and offers an all-inclusive rate. The 293-room, six-restaurant resort offers transfers by boat from Dubai Creek to the mouth of a two kilometre private lagoon, around which a bulk of the rooms and suites sit.
The 18 water villas on stilts, and 15 further villas with beach front locations all have panoramic windows and air-conditioning, some with chilled, private pools and all with access to a stand-alone spa island with 25 treatment rooms.The all-inclusive package will offer three tier options, from dining in Royal Amwaj only, to dining in more than 30 outlets across all four cluster properties - the Royal Amwaj, plus the Mövenpick Hotel Deira, Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel and the Oceana Hotel & Spa, located on the "trunk" of the Palm Jumeirah opposite the Golden Mile Shopping Boulevard, opening 2011.
Other openings include further properties in Dubai including apartments, four new hotels in Abu Dhabi and a resort in Ajman, as well as slated openings in India, Ghana, Turkey and Singapore. The spate of openings will take Movenpick over 100 hotels worldwide, and the company will be looking at the feasibility of introducing a rewards programme for travellers towards the end of the year.