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The new hotel group was created by a group of investors in Dubai, making its first and likely flagship location no surprise, and right at home among the city’s eclectic and expensive hotel options.
Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures is lending its name to four Hollywood-themed towers in Dubai that will comprise a hotel, apartments and shops and cost about $1 billion to build.
Damac Properties Co., a developer based in Dubai, will oversee and finance the construction of the properties in the Burj Khalifa area, Damac Managing Director Ziad El Chaar said in a telephone interview today. Paramount Hotels & Resorts will help design the buildings and manage them after they’re completed at the end of 2015.
“We believe valuations in the market will continue to increase, especially in branded real estate,” Chaar said. “Anything carries a risk, but we are confident in our belief in our brand, in the Paramount brand and the Burj Khalifa area.”
Hotels in Dubai have among the highest revenue per available room in the world, even as supply continues to come into the market, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. The Persian Gulf sheikhdom with the world’s biggest shopping mall and tallest building, the Burj Khalifa tower, attracted 9.3 million tourists in 2011. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said yesterday it would move its headquarters to Dubai from White Plains, New York, for a month until April 5.
Damac will finance the project with cash, proceeds from the sale of the units and possibly bank loans once the project is further under way, Chaar said. Damac will seek to sell the apartments for a price similar to the average in the Burj Khalifa, currently about 2,750 dirhams ($749) per square meter, he said.
Paramount Hotels and Resorts, created by a group of investors in Dubai last year, has a license from Paramount Pictures to build a chain of branded hotels and homes. In May, the company said it plans to open as many as 50 Hollywood- and California-themed luxury hotels worldwide.
The four towers in Dubai, which will be called Damac Towers, will have a screening room, gyms, swimming pools and stores selling Paramount merchandise, according to a statement from Damac. They will be more than 250 meters (820 feet) tall, according to the statement. Paramount Hotels will help design digital signs, lighting and customer service.
Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom, was the studio responsible for such film classics as “The Godfather,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Titanic,” according to the statement.
With assistance from Zainab Fattah in Dubai. Editor: Andrew Blackman and Jeff St.Onge.
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