Centara resort in Dubai to open in 2020

The family-centric resort will feature a waterpark, multiple restaurants, including indoor, alfresco and rooftop options, kids’ clubs, a spa and diverse family entertainment options.
Updated 31 July 2018
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Centara resort in Dubai to open in 2020

Centara Hotels & Resorts, a Thai hotel group, and Nakheel, a UAE-based master developer, have cemented their 500 million dirham ($136 million) joint venture with a construction contract worth 290.5 million dirham to build a 601-room beachfront resort at Dubai’s Deira Islands. The new property, Centara Deira Islands Beach Resort Dubai, is the company’s first in the UAE and will open in 2020. 

The resort is expected to significantly boost the emirate’s four-star accommodations — the fastest-growing hotel segment in 2017 with a 10 percent growth rate — in line with the increase in popularity of Dubai as a tourism hotspot.

Thirayuth Chirathivat, Centara’s CEO, said: “This is Centara’s first hotel in Dubai, and the UAE, and signifies our presence in a major gateway city in the Middle East. This signing ceremony marks a profound milestone of expansion for Centara as we continue to extend our upscale resort portfolio internationally. We are very pleased to have reached this new milestone in our joint venture with Nakheel. With the expertise from a regional leader in development like Nakheel and Centara’s record of delivering and inspiring extraordinary guest experiences, Centara Deira Islands Beach Resort Dubai will represent a one-of-a-kind resort that gives our guests fond moments for years to come. We look forward to opening Centara Deira Islands Beach Resort Dubai in 2020.”

The contract was signed in Dubai during a ceremony led by Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah. 

Lootah said: “Nakheel continues to play a pivotal role in shaping and diversifying Dubai’s tourism offering with a 27 billion dirham hospitality and retail expansion that supports our government’s vision. The joint venture with Centara underlines our commitment to working with trusted international brands to bring new hospitality concepts to Dubai, and today’s crucial milestone brings this exciting new resort ever closer. I look forward to delivering one of Dubai’s most sought-after destinations for travelers from all over the world.”

Centara entered the Middle East market with the opening of Centara Muscat Hotel last year, and has additional imminent openings in other Gulf states.


Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Updated 19 March 2019
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Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Annual horology exhibition Salon des Grandes Complications (SDGC) is returning to Saudi Arabia for the third year in a row, with shows in both Jeddah and Riyadh. The event will showcase the latest masterpieces from some of the most celebrated watchmakers in history. The fine watchmaking exhibition will kick off in Jeddah at the Hilton Hotel April 8-11, and then move to Al-Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh April 15-18.

Salon des Grandes Complications debuted in Dubai in 2014, later branching out to Saudi Arabia due to high demand and the appreciation of exceptional timepieces in the Kingdom. 

Saudi Arabia is a key Middle Eastern market for watchmakers — last year saw a year-on-year increase in the import of Swiss watches by 6 percent, and this figure is only expected to increase with the introduction of new policies. 

The capital city of Riyadh is home to over 10,000 watch collectors while Jeddah on the other hand, is Saudi Arabia’s commercial hub, with almost as many horological aficionados estimated to live there. 

Designed to offer a platform for Maisons and enthusiasts to convene, Salon des Grandes Complications creates opportunities for knowledge to be exchanged and collectors to discover — often for the first time in the region — limited editions, the newest launches and unique rarities. 

Among the international brands that will be present at the 2019 edition are Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Fabergé, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Harry Winston, Montblanc, Rudis Sylva, TAG Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and Zenith. 

With the introduction of several new brands, there will be a more diversified display of timepieces, from innovative novelties to classic creations, grand complications and high jewelry timepieces. Also new to this year’s edition will be a private majlis (a gathering place for social events), where special talks will be hosted by various brands and experts will share their personal insights into modern day horology. 

SDGC has successfully attracted over 80 international Swiss, German and Italian brands during the past five years.

The event will be held alongside the 10th annual Jewellery Salon 2019, a well-established jewelry exhibition in the Kingdom.

SDGC 2019 will be held in partnership with Bentley Motors and with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Saudi Arabia.

The event will be open free of charge to all professional visitors from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.