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Hilton Plans a Waldorf-Astoria Resort For Dubai (But They Won't Let Us See)

October 19, 2011 at 9:50 AM | by | ()

Hilton just announced that a 324-room resort on Palm Jumeirah in Dubai will become a Waldorf Astoria Resort by the end of 2013. Hilton is teaming up with Al Habtoor Group, who had originally bought the land but ran into major delays when the economy went down the drain in 2008, affecting all imminent Dubai properites.

Not only is Al Habtoor now re-starting construction on the $272 million resort, they are funding the entire project out of their own pocket. Apparently, the city's banks are so hard-pressed that receiving funding is virtually impossible. Al Habtoor also told Arabian Business that it is working on "other projects, which we are going to announce soon."

Click below to see a (not very visible) artist's rendering of the upcoming resort.

Judging from this grainy, out-of-focus photograph of an artist's rendering, the re-designed property will have a concave shape (a la Bellagio), two tennis courts, and some pretty trees. And probably a whole bunch of other stuff we couldn't infer from the picture.

Meanwhile, Hilton will also be taking over two other Al Habtoor properties: the 195-room Habtoor Grand (soon to be the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand) and the 183-room Metropolitan Palace (soon to be the Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace), both due to re-launch in early 2012.

According to Hilton Worldwide CEO Christopher Nassetta, Dubai, the UAE and the Middle East in general have "tremendous economic fundamentals." They must be referring to the city's highly-publicized recent visits by fashion icons Eva Longoria and Kim Kardashian. (Though evidently, those fundamentals weren't quite "tremendous" enough to support Kim's dreams of creating a hotel brand of her very own.)

But still. We're excited that Hilton's excited. This news comes almost a year after Waldorf-Astoria announced the addition of two new hotels in Berlin and Panama. And just six months after the opening of Waldorf-Astoria's London Syon Park. Now, we'll just have to wait and see if any what kinds of interminable delays haunt this ambitious project.

[Photo: Smye-Holland]

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