DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A luxury hotel crafted by designer Giorgio Armani opened Tuesday as the first landmark tenant in the world's tallest skyscraper, hoping to entice the wealthy Gulf region's image-conscious big spenders with Italian runway style.
The 160-room Armani Hotel Dubai is a welcome bit of good news for Dubai's leaders after the troubled debut of the more than half-mile-high (828-meter-high) Burj Khalifa in January. An elevator malfunction forced a two-month closure of the spire's observation deck — the only part of the tower open to the public.
The Italian designer was on hand for Tuesday's opening ceremony, which was delayed a week because of the travel chaos caused by the Icelandic volcano. He said his goal was to build a comfortable and stylish hotel that would leave an impression.
"I wanted something very important, something to be remembered," Armani said, dressed in a dark T-shirt and white trousers. "Something not just for the present, but beyond."