A Luxury resort on one of Dubai’s tree-shaped islands is close to selling for $280 million as the city lures back wealthy expats and tourists

The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Nikada—Getty Images

Anantara The Palm Dubai, a luxurious resort on one of the city’s famous artificial tree-shaped islands, is close to being sold for 1.1 billion dirhams ($280 million), according to people familiar with the matter.

The hotel’s owner, United Arab Emirates-based developer Seven Tides, is working with Grant Thornton LLP on the potential sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. 

The Anantara resort boasts 400 meters (1,312 feet) of private beach overlooking the Arabian Sea and a series of waterways in between almost 300 rooms and villas. Discussions are ongoing and there’s no certainty a deal will go ahead, the people said, who didn’t identify the potential buyer.

Representatives for Seven Tides said no one was available to comment, while Grant Thornton declined to comment.

The talks come amid a tourism boom in Dubai that started as the city emerged as a safe haven during the pandemic and has since lured in scores of wealthy expatriates and tourists. Hotel occupancy rates in the emirate averaged about 83% in the year through March, while the average daily rate during the first quarter reached 783.8 dirhams ($213.45), according to real estate adviser CBRE Group Inc. 

“Beach properties’ performance improved very rapidly after the pandemic and that’s driving considerable interest in the few hotels available to investors,” Taimur Khan, CBRE’s head of research, said in an interview. “This is an opportune time for asset owners to exit as valuations look attractive with the strongest market we’ve had in years.”

Investors expect that Dubai’s visitor numbers could rise even further as they still haven’t returned to 2019 levels, he said.

“There is very little supply coming into the market within the top segment,” Khan said. “Also few sites remain where a developer is able to build a beach front five-star hotel.”

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