Work begins on $245m Dar Al Handasah-designed Deira Islands resort

Nakheel and Spanish hospitality giant, RIU Hotels & Resorts (RIU), have started the development of their AED900 million ($245 million), 800-room joint venture resort and waterpark at Dubai’s Deira Islands.

The partners said in a statement that they have appointed international consultants Dar Al Handasah to oversee design, engineering and construction supervision of resort – the first all-inclusive 4-star concept in Dubai and RIU’s first property in the GCC.

Nakheel and RIU signed their joint venture agreement in Palma, Mallorca, in February this year. A construction tender is expected to be released by the end of 2016, with anticipated completion in the third quarter of 2019.

Set on a 3.4 million square foot plot at Deira Islands, the sprawling resort – one of the biggest in Dubai in terms of rooms – will boast four swimming pools, a kids’ club, spa and fitness centre. Dining facilities include an all-day restaurant, a speciality restaurant, four beach eateries and an evening dining area with a stage for live shows and entertainment.

There will also be a waterpark occupying 10 per cent of the overall area.

RIU has more than 100 hotels, with around 45,000 rooms between them, in 19 countries. Together, these welcome over four million guests a year. RIU is one of the Caribbean’s most popular hotel chains and Spain’s largest in terms of revenue.

Infrastructure and coastal works are well under way at Deira Islands, which will add 40 km, including 21 km of beachfront, to Dubai’s coastline. Nakheel is also developing Deira Mall and Deira Islands Night Souk, among other new attractions at the 15.3 sq km waterfront development.