Where in South Asia is Emaar’s first hotel coming up?

By Sheena Amos

DUBAI 6 September 2017: Emaar Hospitality Group has announced its expansion to South Asia with a hotel management contract to operate Address Madivaru Maldives Resort + Spa, a picturesque beachfront resort set in a private island in the Indian Ocean, only 20 minutes by seaplane from Male International Airport.

The expansion to the Indian Ocean archipelago underlines the international growth plans of Emaar Hospitality Group, which now has 29 upcoming hotel projects in the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and now, Maldives. The group currently has 11 operational hotels and three serviced residences in Dubai, its home-market.

Scheduled to be operational in 2020, Address Madivaru is part of the 2.42 sq km Ethere Madivaru Private Island, owned by Adam Abdul Gafoor, Chairman of Finolhu Investment. The resort spans an area of 75,000 sqm, with its design and contours defined by the vast coastline. Billed to be a spectacular vacation destination, the hotel project includes 80 beach and over-water villas including selected units for sale.

Features include a Spa and Water Sports Island offering diving, surfing and a host of leisure pursuits, as well as water villas and presidential suites. Amenities include floating restaurants and lounges, over-water fitness facilities, swimming pools, and children’s play areas.

The developer of the project, Finolhu Investment already has a strong footprint in the Maldivian tourism sector, especially through cruise and yachting business.

Address Madivaru will be one of the closest from the international airport with most luxury resorts a flying time of 30 to 45 minutes away. It will further support the Maldivian tourism industry, which recorded a growth in tourist arrivals by 4.2 per cent in 2016,1 buoyed by the Visit Maldives Year campaign, and reported a growth of 5.8 per cent from January to May 2017.

While Europe serves as the largest market with 44.7 per cent share in tourist numbers in 2016, visitors from the Middle East have grown from 1.5 per cent in 2009 to 4 per cent in 2016. Saudi Arabia was one of the top 10 source markets last year. The focus of the government on infrastructure development has benefited the tourism industry, and the completion of the international airport expansion next year is expected to further boost the sector. All major airlines in the UAE offer connectivity to Maldives.

Address Madivaru is the 21st hotel project under Address Hotels + Resorts. Upcoming international projects under the brand are: Jabal Omar Address Makkah in Saudi Arabia; Address Marassi Golf Resort + Spa and Address Marassi Beach Resort in Egypt; Address Istanbul and Address Residences Emaar Square Istanbul in Turkey; and Address Marassi Al Bahrain.