Nakheel inks $136 million deal with Thai hotel group

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Dubai: Nakheel and Centara Hotels and Resorts signed a joint venture agreement yesterday to build a 550-capacity, $136 million (Dh500 million) waterfront property on Deira Island, WAM news agency reported.

The resort, set to include a waterpark, pairs the Dubai-based developer with the Thai hotel group for the first time, and will reportedly open in 2020.

Inking the JV in Bangkok, Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah, and Centara chairman Suthikiati Chirathivat announced that they would deliver an upscale resort on a stretch of beach on Deira Islands, Nakheel’s new tourism hub.

Nakheel’s joint venture with Centara is the latest development in the company’s expansion into Dubai’s hospitality sector and its second international joint venture for Deira Islands. The first, an 800-room, $245 million (Dh900 million) all-inclusive resort and waterpark with Spain’s RIU Hotels & Resorts, was confirmed in February 2016.

Hotelier Middle East reported last year that the resort would be completed in 2018, However, WAM has stated that “the resort is anticipated to have a soft opening in 2019 and its grand opening in 2020.”

The announcement marks Centara’s first foray into the UAE market.

The new resort will cover an area of 295,900 sq.ft., with features including a waterpark, dining facilities, business centre, children’s club, spa and fitness centre.

Ali Rashid Lootah said, “Our joint venture with Centara cements our commitment to partnering with successful, reputable international hotel brands to bring new tourism concepts to Dubai in line with the Government of Dubai’s tourism vision. Today’s signing is a key milestone in hospitality expansion, and the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership between Nakheel and one of Thailand’s biggest, most popular hotel operators.”

Suthikiati Chirathivat said, “This is Centara’s first hotel in Dubai, and the UAE, and represents our arrival in a key gateway city in the Middle East. As we look forward to an even stronger and meaningful business partnership with Nakheel in the near future, we believe that Centara Deira Island Beach Resort Dubai will offer unforgettable holiday experiences to guests through our unique Centara hospitality and service.”