Nakheel, Centara plan $136m Deira Islands resort

Dubai developer signs agreement with Thai hotel operator for 550-key project with waterpark


UAE-based master developer Nakheel and Thai hotel group Centara Hotels and Resorts have signed a joined venture agreement to build a $136 million, 550-room beachfront resort with a waterpark at the Deira Islands in Dubai.

Under the agreement, which was signed in Bangkok by Nakheel’s chairman Ali Rashid Lootah and Centara chairman Suthikiati Chirathivat earlier this week, the two companies will deliver an upscale resort on a prime stretch of beach on Deira Islands, Nakheel’s new, 15.3 sq km, tourism, leisure, retail and entertainment destination in Dubai.

A statement by Nakheel said its joint venture with Centara is the latest development in its aggressive expansion into Dubai’s hospitality sector and its second international joint venture for Deira Islands. The first, an 800-room, $245m all-inclusive resort and waterpark with Spain’s RIU Hotels & Resorts, was confirmed in February last year.

The first Centara establishment in the UAE, the new resort will cover an area of 295,900 sq ft and feature a waterpark, dining facilities, business centre, kids’ club, spa and fitness centre, among other facilities, the statement said. The resort is anticipated to have soft opening in 2019 and a grand opening in 2020.

“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,” said Lootah.

“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. We look forward to seeing this exciting project come to fruition by delivering a new and unique offering at Deira Islands.”

Centara’s Chirathivat added: “We are thrilled and proud to be partnering with Nakheel on this joint venture hotel investment that will see Centara Hotels & Resorts operate and manage a distinguished new resort in an exciting new destination. This partnership is a ground-breaking move for Centara as we continue to extend our upscale resort portfolio internationally. This is Centara’s first hotel in Dubai, and the UAE, and represents our arrival in a key gateway city in the Middle East.”

Centara Hotels & Resorts is part of Central Group, one of Thailand’s most prominent family-owned conglomerate holding companies that is involved in merchandising, real estate, retailing, hospitality and restaurants. Centara’s portfolio currently includes around 14,000 room keys across 65 hotels and resorts under six brands in the Asia, Indian Ocean, and Middle East regions.

Deira Islands, where Nakheel has already invested more than $816m in infrastructure work, coastal works and design services for a range of new projects, will add 40km to Dubai’s coastline, including 21km of beach. Nakheel recently completed a $40m access bridge to the islands, and has just released a tender for the construction of six marinas.


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