At Dubai's newest hotel, an elevator ride is a journey in itself. The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai officially opened Wednesday as the world's tallest hotel.
Granted the official record from the Guinness Book of World Records, the latest icon in Dubai's skyline is made up of two towers standing 72 stories, 1,164 feet. Only one tower is currently open; the second is slated to open in 2014.
It's the first of the Marquis brand of JW Marriotts -- "reserved only for the most iconic properties within the Marriott International portfolio," according to the company -- to be built outside North America.
The hotel adds nine restaurants and five bars and lounges to the dining and nightlife options in the city.
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While dwarfed by the Burj Khalifa, currently Dubai's and the world's tallest manmade structure at 2,723 feet, it's the tallest building entirely dedicated to a hotel.
Still, it's not the world's highest hotel.
That title goes to the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong, which occupies the top floors of the 1,601-foot-tall International Commerce Center.
The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai hopes to tap into the MICE market (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), a segment that in the United States is worth about $106 billion, according to JW Marriott.
"The hotel will fill a long identified gap in the market where groups, meetings and conventions of up to 1,000 people can meet, sleep and dine under one roof," said Rupprecht Queitsch, general manager of the new property. "Until now, Dubai has not had a single location of this size to accommodate this type of group."
On the 71st and 72nd floors, the Vault Lounge offers panoramic views of the city.