New world’s tallest building planned for Saudi Arabia

Less than two years after the Burj Khalifa opened in Dubai, Saudi Arabia‘s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has announced a new world’s tallest building to be built on the Red Sea resort town of Jeddah. The Saudi building is planned to be 172 meters (564 feet) taller than the Burj and will stand at 1,000 meters or 3,281 feet. It will be part of the $20 billion “megadevelopment” Kingdom City and will house luxury condos, offices, and of course, a hotel. The prince has signed a $1.23 billion deal with the Bin Laden Group, the largest construction firm in Saudi Arabia and unaffiliated with Osama Bin Laden, to complete the new tallest building in five years.

Last month, Gadling explored the 2,717 foot Burj Khalifa. Gadling and Huffington Post blogger Melanie Nayer was one of the first guests at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong earlier this year, currently the highest hotel in the world. Check out our gallery below of the world’s tallest buildings.


Image of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa by Flickr user Jason Rodman.

Chinese get serious about tallest hotel – plan to clone Dubai Burj Khalifa

If you can’t beat them, copy them – consider that the logic behind the news yesterday that the Chinese have hired a Saudi construction firm to build what could become the next tallest hotel in the world. Its inspiration? The 2,716ft tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai of course.

The Beijing tower is currently well into the planning phase and will be situated at the end of Chang Avenue, right across from Tiananmen Square.

This all comes a mere three weeks after another Chinese hotel tried to claim the fame when they announced a new hotel to be built in Shanghai. As with most of these “tallest”, not that many details were revealed, and the final height, number of hotel floors and completion date were not published. But with an estimated construction price of $1.3bn, you can assume it’ll be absolutely mindblowingly tall.

%Gallery-81382%Just how tall is this building? Check out this video shot from the top:

[Photo of Burj Khalifa from AP/Getty Images]

Gucci sues over branded hotel in Dubai

Things are getting catty on the catwalk. Elisabetta Gucci’s plans to open a global chain of hotels under the Gucci name may be blocked by the luxury fashion company. Seems Gucci – the goods – doesn’t want any affiliation with Gucci – the hotel.

“Gucci wants to make clear that it has no relationship to Elisabetta Gucci Hotels and that it is not involved in any project whatsoever with Elisabetta Gucci Hotels,” the company said in the e-mail, obtained by Bloomberg news. “If necessary, Gucci will take any needful step to protect its rights.”

Elisabetta Gucci, daughter of late fashion mogul Paolo Gucci, plans to open an 87-suite property in Dubai’s Media World district by the end of 2010, as Gadling previously reported. The Dubai hotel will be first of 40 planned Branded EG Hotels by Elisabetta Gucci.

The EG Hotels by Elisabetta Gucci is set to open only a few months after the famed opening of the Armani Group’s Armani Hotel Dubai in Burj Khalifa. According to Bloomberg, EB Hotels is counting on drastically lower hotel rates than those charged at Armani Hotel, in an effort to increase travelers. Daily rates at the Elisabetta Gucci’s hotel would start at 1,500 dirhams ($408) compared with 4,000 dirhams per night at Armani.


Gucci to launch new hotel in Dubai

As is the case in the fashion world, when one designer makes a statement the others will follow.

Enter: Italian fashion icon Gucci, who will launch its own hotel chain in Dubai, only a few months after the opening of Giorgio Armani’s hotel in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

Lorens Ziller, the managing director for Elisabetta Gucci Hotels says the first ever Gucci hotel will open in Dubai’s Media City by the end of the year. While construction has yet to begin on the hotel, plans are already in place to design the 87-suite hotel with the help of Elisabetta Gucci, daughter of designer Paolo Gucci. The Elisabetta Gucci website also states the hotel will offer 24-hour room service, a cigar club, a spa, fitness center and pool.

According to reports, Gucci also plans hotels in Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Oman and China.

Luxury travel and fashion unite inside the Armani Hotel Dubai

Cities often serve as a mecca for fashion trends. From New York City to Milan to Paris, fashion knows no limits when it comes cat-walking down the boulevard. Each new season boasts a new must-have fabric, cut or hemline, but there’s more to fashion than what you wear. While most bank accounts can’t justify the $1,000 gladiator sandals or an Alexander McQueen ostrich feather dress (starting price at around $10,000), many travelers will make a case for spending money on vacations. Thankfully, as more fashion designers are expanding their brands and offerings, the travel industry is reaping the rewards.

The Armani Hotel, built inside the world’s tallest building, gives new meaning to the term ‘high-fashion’. Italian designer Giorgio Armani dug deep into the fashion treasure trove for its new hotel in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and created an experience fit for a fashion icon and his followers. In addition to the eight on-site restaurants, the hotel features an exclusive Armani boutique, an Armani Dolci (candy shop) and an Armani Fiori (flower shop). The hotel also houses the world’s highest mosque, and swimming pool and spa. The 160 rooms in the Armani Hotel Dubai are designed in earth tones and accented in creme colors.

A glimpse at the hotel’s website offers descriptions of the various rooms:

Armani classic: The classic rooms are 70 square meter-bedrooms (approximately 753 square feet) in the center of the tower.
Armani executive: Located on levels 5 and 6 of Burj Khalifa, the rooms are slightly bigger at 85 square meters (914 square feet) and offers views of The Dubai Fountain.
Armani signature: Personally designed by Giorgio Armani, these suites are a spacious 235 square meters (2,529 square feet) and are located on Levels 38 and 39.Armani suites: Located across all floors, Armani Suites range from 70 to 95 square meters (approximately 700- to 1000-square feet) and are located across all the tower wings.
Armani studio: The bedrooms are 45 square meters (484 square feet) located on all floors and next to the elevators.
Armani premier: Located on all floors, the Armani Premiere rooms cover 95 square meter and are designed by Giorgio Armani.
Armani ambassador: These capacious suites, located on levels 5 and 6, are 150 square meters (approximately 1,600 square feet).
Armani Dubai suite: The Armani Dubai Suite is one of its kind with 390 square meters (over 4,000 square feet) of space and elegance and designed by Giorgio Armani.

In a press release at the grand unveiling yesterday Armani said, “Yesterday when I arrived and saw the hotel, I felt really emotional… After five years of working on this project, I finally saw how it all came to life. Working with me is not always easy, I think everyone here would agree because my standards are very high.”

The hotel is a collaboration between Armani and Emaar Properties, but it’s not the last we’ll see of the Armani hotels. Milan, Marrakesh, Paris, New York City, Tokyo and Shanghai are also on the hotel horizon.

So, what’s all this fashion cost? Certainly more than a pair of shoes, but less than a designer dress.

A standard room in the hotel starts at around 4,000 dirhams ($1,089 USD) a night, while the suites ring in around 40,000 dirhams (approximately $10,000 USD). A table at the the hotel’s Prive lounge and nightclub, which is home to the world’s largest LCD screen, will cost at least 3,000 dirhams (approximately $800 USD).

Is it worth it? I’d bet my gladiators on it.