British singer Leona Lewis and fashion designer Donna Karan were among the famous faces that greeted guests at the hotel’s opening celebration that took place on February 27, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Supplanting the Rose Rayhaan by Rotana hotel -- which also happens to be in Dubai and measures 1,093 feet -- the newly opened resort garnered the Guinness World Record title as the “World’s Tallest Hotel” at 72 stories and 1,164 feet, 85 feet short of the Empire State Building. The 684-room hotel -- which took seven years to complete and is also equipped with 120 suites and 24 conference rooms -- offered a festive spectacle with masked stilt walkers, dancers with fire and a headline act by Lewis for more than 1,200 VIPs.
The hotel’s accoutrements include ten restaurants, including Izakaya, Tong Thai, Prime 68 La Farina and Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef to be awarded a Michelin Star. Amenities also include four bars, two lounges, two ballrooms and the 4,000 square-meter Saray Spa and Health Club.
Virgin Radio’s Simon Heng and Dubai’s premiere TV presenter Diala Makki hosted the event, and world-renowned painter Jean Pierre Blanchard did wonders with a blank canvas, as guests --including local singing sensation Salha and the Million Dollar Band and Dubai television personality DJ Bliss -- enjoyed food from the hotel’s signature restaurants and drinks from cocktail bar Vault. Other performances included Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser of classical pop group, 2CELLOS.
JW is the luxury arm of Marriott International with 59 JW Marriots around the world and plans to expand to 79 properties in 28 countries by 2015.