Wasl to build new district for Expo 2020 hospitality staff

Wasl Asset Management Group (Wasl) is to build a new community in the Warsan district of Dubai which will be used to house hospitality staff.

The firm said that the Warsan project, near International City, will house 26 buildings comprising a built-up area of 2.6 million square feet including 3,866 residential units.

These will include 3,380 shared rooms, 360 studio apartments and 126 one-bed units. Alongside the accommodation buildings, the 160,000-square-foot site will also have swimming pools, a health club and sports courts for activities such as handball and basketball. Infrastructure work at the site has already begun and the project is due to be completed in October 2020, the same month that Dubai’s Expo is due to start.

Wasl said the Warsan project is being built as part of its preparations for Expo 2020 to deliver much-needed accommodation for hospitality staff.

The firm will have a substantial requirement for hospitality staff for its own sites. It is building several three and four-star hotels throughout the city, but is also progressing three major new hotel projects.

Hesham Al Qassim, the chief executive of Wasl Asset Management, said: “Dubai is preparing itself to receive an estimated 25 million unique visitors by rejuvenating the city’s fabric and enhancing its hospitality offering, but we at Wasl are also striving to cater to hotel staff by providing them with ample accommodation. This is of vital importance for the success of Expo 2020, and we are pleased to be addressing this segment of the market.”

Last month, it appointed Arabtec as contractor to build the 63-storey Wasl Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road, which will contain a Mandarin Oriental Hotel with 257 guest rooms, suites and serviced apartments.

In March, it said it had signed a deal with MGM Resorts to open a 26-acre resort at a waterfront site in Jumeirah that will contain an MGM Hotel, MGM-branded residences and a Bellagio Hotel, and it is building a Hyatt Centric hotel with 217 rooms and 116 apartments on Palm Jumeirah.

A report commissioned by conference organiser dmg events last October stated that 71,000 new hotel and apartment rooms are being built in the run-up to Expo 2020, which will bring the total to about 164,000. Yet despite the increase in supply, Dubai’s hotel market continues to outperform most other regional markets.

The latest Mena Hotel Benchmark Survey for April, published last week by big four accountancy firm EY, said that Dubai experienced an 18.7 per cent year-on-year increase in revenues per available room to US$273 per night.

“Dubai also saw the highest occupancy in April at 88 per cent and the highest average room rate of $310,” said EY’s Mena head of transaction real estate, Yousef Wahbah.

mfahy@thenational.ae

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