|Middle East and North Africa Business
Report, Amman, JordanMcClatchy-Tribune Business News
Dec. 4, 2006 - IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR), international leaders in the development of premier mixed-use hotel and tourism resort projects, announces one of the largest projects on The Palm Jumeirah's Crescent -- Kingdom of Sheba. The resort covers 141,500 sq. metres in a prime location on The Crescent of The Palm Jumeirah, adjacent to the renowned Atlantis development.
Talal Jassim Al-Bahar, Chairman and Managing Director of IFA HR, said "This is by far our most ambitious resort development to date. Following in the footsteps of our successful projects in Dubai with over 1,800 units sold in the past three years, the Kingdom of Sheba is certain to become a significant landmark in our international portfolio."
Al-Bahar added "The Fairmont Palm Residence, the last development we announced on The Palm Jumeirah, is already 90% sold out. The Kingdom of Sheba will be the final opportunity for investors to buy into IFA Hotels & Resorts' developments on The Palm Jumeirah."
The Kingdom of Sheba will be managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (Fairmont) and will consist of five separate and unique elements, each strongly influenced by classic Arab architecture -- Residences, Hotel, Private Residence Club, Vacation Club and a Souq (Retail Plaza). The combined value of the resort is in excess of US$1 billion and will be completed by mid 2010.
The appointment reinforces Fairmont as one of the leading luxury operators within the region and further strengthens the relationship between the two companies, which have partnered on developments in South Africa and Kenya in addition to the projects in Dubai.
Werner Burger, President & COO of IFA HR, said "The destination is unlike any other that we have been involved in. The Crescent is one of the most unique and desirable geographical areas of The Palm Jumeirah, with full sea views. Our resort will reflect the history and grandeur of Arab architecture, complementing the natural beauty of the Crescent's environment. The Kingdom of Sheba will be designed for people who expect the highest standards in resort life luxury."
The residential component, Balqis Residence, consists of 300 residences -- villas, town houses, penthouses and apartments. Prices range from US$1 million to over US$7 million for private beach villas and luxury penthouses. All residences are sea facing with views of the Arabian Gulf or the white sandy beaches. Residents will have access to a shared private beach club, a selection of boutique dining areas, health and fitness facilities, communal pools, meeting areas as well as other upscale amenities.
The additional unique aspects of this resort are that residents' benefits are not restricted to the Crescent alone. Owners will have preference and access to all other IFA HR and Fairmont products and services on the Palm Jumeirah including The Palm Golden Mile retail area, planned to be the premium shopping address in Dubai with 220 of the world's most upscale outlets.
For the health conscious, a health club will have special exchange agreements with the other Fairmont managed health and sport clubs on The Palm Jumeirah.
The Fairmont Kingdom of Sheba, a hotel of 550 keys, will feature extensive conference facilities, outdoor leisure amenities including a private beach and pool complex, a sports club, children's activity centre and a Willow Stream Spa. The luxury five-star property will join other Fairmont hotels, resorts and vacation ownership homes including London's Savoy, The Fairmont San Francisco and the Fairmont Monte Carlo in offering warm and welcoming hospitality. The Fairmont Kingdom of Sheba will provide services throughout the resort, ensuring guests will enjoy the highest standards.
Fairmont Heritage Place, Kingdom of Sheba (FHP) is a private residence club with 50 individual luxury duplex apartments with sea views, some of which have private terrace pools. This unique investment product is sold on a fractional basis, which entitles members an ownership interest in the property. Residents will have access to a private clubhouse, swimming pools and private beach access. FHP offers all the pleasures and rewards of owning a spectacular vacation property without the concerns of maintaining a traditional second home. As an added benefit, members can trade their FHP time with other Fairmont Heritage Place properties or Fairmont hotels worldwide.
Fairmont Vacation Club, Kingdom of Sheba is the first purpose-built Vacation Club in Dubai and will offer 100 units, in two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom configurations. The advantage to participation in the Vacation Club is that all IFA HR properties become networked across the globe. Members can exchange their time with all other properties, for business or pleasure, from Portugal to Lebanon, South Africa to Tanzania.
The Kingdom of Sheba will also feature an exclusive Souq (Retail Plaza), giving visitors and residents access to myriad boutiques and restaurants. In addition, a continuous walkway will not only link the hotel, residential and retail elements, but also all the other projects on the Crescent.
Al-Bahar concluded: "We are delighted to announce this luxury mixed use resort and expect the highest demand for this product to surpass our expectations soon after launching. We see the Kingdom of Sheba as our commitment to the expansion of our portfolio on The Palm Jumeirah where IFA Hotels & Resorts is the biggest investor developing a total of 3,000 keys, valued at over US$2. 5 billion. The unique architectural flavour and design of the Kingdom of Sheba will set a new standard in luxury and world class amenities. This is truly the jewel of our Dubai investments".
Copyright (c) 2006, Middle East and North Africa Business Report, Amman, Jordan
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