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A branded world

Dubai’s obsession with designer buildings continues as Italian designer Roberto Cavalli announces plans to make his mark on property.

August 20, 2008 1:19 by

Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli is the latest in a line of designers lending his name to a property in Dubai. Media reports say that the Fairmont Dubai hotel will soon house the two-storey Cavalli Club. The floors will be apparently be made of shiny black quartz with crystal dust, and curtains of Swarovski crystals will decorate the walls.

Due to open in November, the club will have an Italian restaurant, a lounge bar with a suspended platform, and a large room showcasing Cavalli’s jewelry, watches and accessories collections.

Branded properties have started to become synonymous with Dubai. Both Armani and Versace are to welcome visitors into their designer hotels next year.
In 2006, Armani signed a $1bn deal with Emaar to develop at least seven luxury hotels and three resorts. The Burj Dubai tower, the tallest building in the world, will also house an Armani hotel.

The Palazzo Versace, the design house’s second such venture in the world, will be located at the edge of Dubai Creek, and will include 215 suites, restaurants and a spa, all of which will be furnished with an exclusive line of products from the Versace Home Collection. Sunland, which forged a partnership with Emirates Investment Group for the Dubai development, has to buy every last napkin as well as pay a royalty fee to Versace for using the name. The project is worth Dh2.9bn.

In April this year, Kuwait-based property developer Abyaar teamed up with French fashion designer Christian Lacroix to establish a luxury residential tower overlooking Jumeirah beach in Dubai. Lacroix will provide the style and ambiance of the facade, interior and lobby of the 38-unit tower.

In June, Tatweer announced that Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab, would be developing signature hotels in the region, starting with a $163m hotel overlooking the Tiger Woods-designed golf course in Dubai. The boutique hotel will include 89 suites and 14 bungalows, a 10,000 sq ft swimming pool, and a spa.

Just last month, designer Karl Lagerfeld announced that he would design 80 homes on Dubai’s fashion island, the Isla Moda, being built on Nakheel’s the World.

Looks like Cavalli is joining a growing snowball of designers with property-planning ambitions.

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