Run the world: Beyonce Launches US$100,000-a-night Dubai Luxury Resort


The American singer is reported to have charged US$24 million to perform for a VIP audience at the opening of the US$1.5 billion Atlantis The Royal in Dubai

Guests will have to pay an average of US$1,000 a night to stay in one of its rooms, with the top suite going for US$100,000 a night

In November 2008, Dubai’s first Atlantis hotel opened to much fanfare – a US$5 million firework display, A-list guests from around the world and a performance by pop star Kylie Minogue. Twelve months later, the emirate declared it was on the brink of default after accumulating a mountain of debt to transform the city into a business and trading hub.

Fourteen years on, Atlantis The Royal – just a short stroll away from the original resort – is set to open this weekend along with much of the same extravagance. Beyoncé will perform to a VIP audience for a reported US$24 million and fireworks will light up the sky above the city’s famous artificial tree-shaped island of Palm Jumeirah.

Dubai and Kerzner International will be hoping that the landmark opening of the ultra-luxurious hotel, which cost about US$1.5 billion to build, does not signal the top for the emirate that has been booming since it emerged as a safe haven during the pandemic, escaping much of the geopolitical and economic uncertainty elsewhere in the world.

“Dubai is in a significantly stronger position now than in 2009,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. “There is fundamental tightness in the real-estate market, the UAE has introduced regulations to reduce systemic risks and the tourism sector is broader, with more people globally discovering Dubai after its strong handling of the pandemic.”

If there were any concerns over the timing of the opening, the resort’s opulence does not show them. The hotel, made up of what appear to be interlocking Lego blocks, includes 44 suites with their own infinity pools, as well as one on the 22nd floor, a fire-breathing fountain show, celebrity chef restaurants and the world’s largest jellyfish aquarium. The 231 ultra-luxury residences in the building have already been sold.

Guests will have to pay an average of US$1,000 a night to stay in one of its rooms. The hotel also has more than 100 exclusive suites, with the top suite going for US$100,000 a night.

“We are very optimistic on travel and extremely bullish on luxury,” Kerzner CEO Philippe Zuber said in an interview from the hotel lobby that is dominated by a huge silver sculpture and lined with floor to ceiling fish tanks. “We believe in those areas, people will not compromise. We understand that the market may face some recessions and might have some challenges, but the appetite to travel, the appetite to be together and to have qualitative vacations – that will not stop.”

Atlantis The Royal is opening as Dubai cashes in on an influx of newcomers to the city including Russians looking to protect their wealth, Israeli investors, cryptocurrency millionaires, and hedge fund executives after the city eased social restrictions and liberalised laws to consolidate its position as the region’s pre-eminent business centre. The result is one of the world’s biggest luxury housing booms and a record year for residential prices and number of deals.

“None of us got a crystal ball, but seeing how the market has changed since 2008, Dubai is a totally different place now. It’s not so transient,” said Helen Tatham, head of prime residential sales and leasing at property broker Savills. “I don’t think we are totally resilient to recession. It could cause a few ripples in our market but there’s no way Dubai is as sensitive as it was in 2008.”

The turnaround has been spectacular. Just over a decade ago, the city’s property market collapsed after an era of outlandish construction and soaring prices abruptly ended, leaving many individuals and money managers unable to recoup their money. The emirate went on to stave off bankruptcy largely due to a US$20 billion bailout from oil-rich neighbour Abu Dhabi.

Since then, Dubai has introduced a raft of measures to ensure that there isn’t a repeat. Many government entities have restructured billions of dollars of debt with lenders – some a number of times. The emirate has also sold shares in state-owned firms to raise funds and is preparing to post its first budget surplus since 2019 when planned spending will increase less than projected revenue.

Source: scmp.com

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