Emaar names CEO for Armani job

Emaar Properties has announced the appointment of Robert Riley as the new CEO of Emaar Hotels & Resorts.

He will drive the ambitious development of Armani branded hotels and resorts that will open around the world.

“Robert brings with him a wealth of real estate acquisition and development experience, specifically focused on the hospitality industry,” said Emaar chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar.

The chairman added: “Under his 10-year tenure at Mandarin Oriental, Robert led the Group beyond its then Asian regional focus to being a truly global luxury hospitality brand. In addition, in his previous roles as CEO for groups such as Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts and Crown Limited, he led the strategic restructuring of the business, with great success.

“We are confident that with his professional background and awareness of what works in the real estate market today, Robert will be able to achieve the aspirations of the shareholders of Emaar, and to deliver the best in hospitality services,” added Alabbar.

During his 10 years as CEO of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Robert drove the expansion of the company internationally and doubled the size of the company.

For the past two years, Robert has been at the helm of Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts and has successfully completed the task of restructuring the organization.

It may be recalled that Giorgio Armani and Emaar Hotels & Resorts announced in May, 2005 the formal contractual agreement between the two companies for the development of a unique international collection of ‘Armani Hotels and Resorts’.

While the original agreement had agreed plans to open at least seven luxury hotels and three vacation resorts within the next ten years backed by an investment of over $1 billion, Emaar is currently planning to triple the plans to develop up to 30 hotels and resorts with an investment outlay of $3 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Giorgio Armani has awarded a long term license to Emaar Hotel & Resorts for the operation of a collection of luxury hotels and resorts, whereby Emaar will be fully responsible for real estate, construction, management and operations, with Giorgio Armani overseeing all aspects of content, design and style, including interiors and amenities, incorporating the various Armani fashion, furnishings and beauty collections.

Emaar Properties has established a wholly-owned subsidiary, the Emaar Hotels and Resorts, along with a separate management company exclusively dedicated to the management and operations of the Armani Hotel and Resort collection.

Giorgio Armani has also established an Armani Hotels and Resorts division at its headquarters in Milan, which has been actively developing the design concepts under the close supervision of Giorgio Armani that will define the look and feel of the hotels and resorts.

The first hotel is expected to be opened in 2008 in Milan.

The second hotel is already under construction being part of EMAAR Properties’ Burj Dubai development, which when completed will be the world’s tallest residential and commercial building.

The Armani Hotel Dubai will include 160 guest rooms and suites, restaurants and a spa, covering more than 40,000 square metres.

Alongside the hotel, the Burj Dubai will offer 144 luxury residential apartments all designed by Giorgio Armani and fully furnished with a specially designed line of products from the Armani Casa home furnishings collection.

The tower is the centerpiece of a new 160 hectare community adjacent to The Dubai Mall.

The Armani Group is one of the leading fashion and luxury goods groups in the world today with 4,600 direct employees and 13 factories.

It designs, manufactures, distributes and retails fashion and lifestyle products including apparel, accessories, eyewear, watches, jewellery, home interiors, fragrances and cosmetics under a range of brand names: Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, AJ | Armani Jeans, A/X Armani Exchange, Armani Junior and Armani Casa.

The Group’s exclusive retail network currently comprises: 59 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 11 Armani Collezioni stores, 122 Emporio Armani stores, 71 A/X Armani Exchange stores, 13 AJ | Armani Jeans stores, 6 Armani Junior stores, 1 Giorgio Armani Accessories store and 17 Armani Casa stores in 37 countries.

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