Dubai-based hotel group Jumeirah International is to build a multi-million-dollar spa resort that will open in the first six months of 2004, the group's managing director said in comments published Wednesday, May 2.
"Madinat Jumeirah" will comprise a hotel designed in the style of a Gulf Arab summer palace surrounded by villas set in 200,000 square meters (2.15 million square feet) of landscaped gardens, Gerald Lawless said.
The resort, to be built around a system of interconnected waterways, will also have "the Middle East's largest and most versatile spa" and more than 20 restaurants and cafes. Lawless said the group wanted to re-create the feel of an Arab souk by the sea.
Jumeirah International operates Burj Al-Arab, the dhow sail-shaped hotel built on land reclaimed from the sea, the wave-like Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Emirates Towers, the world's tallest hotel.
The announcement came as developers unveiled plans for a giant palm tree-shaped resort island to be built off the emirate on land reclaimed from the sea, adding 120 kilometers (75 miles) of sandy beaches.
Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum said Tuesday that tourism to the Emirates will grow six fold within the next decade and revealed that more mega projects were in the pipeline.
With oil resources running out, Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has launched a multi-billion dollar tourism drive in an effort to establish itself as the Gulf's leisure hub. It has focused on resorts and shopping, and succeeded in attracting 2.5 million tourists in 2000. — (AFP, Dubai)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)