We aren’t sure how much direct input golf megastar Tiger Woods actually had in the deal-making. But Tiger Woods Dubai, a super-luxurious residential golf community that’s set to open to 2010, will be the site of a new restaurant from three-Michelin-star French chef Guy Savoy. This signature restaurant will be located on the roof of the 580-acre development’s The Hotel, whose 90 suites and 14 bungalows range in size from a low of 1,600 square feet up to 9,500 square feet.
Savoy has taken his culinary show on the road before, transplanting many of the key elements of his flagship restaurant in Paris to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He’s up for the challenge of making a similar move to the Middle East.
“I feel privileged for the opportunity to have my first restaurant in the region at the Tiger Woods Dubai,” he says. “I am excited at the prospect of being in such a vibrant and strategic city, and I look forward to adding to Dubai’s growing reputation as a gastronomic hub.”
Didn’t know that Dubai was a gastronomic hub? We didn’t either, but the backers of this mega-project say they will spare no expense to bring in the ingredients and personnel Savoy will need to produce the level of food the clientele will expect at Tiger Woods Dubai.
Carved out of raw desert, Tiger Woods Dubai touts that it will offer the world’s first Tiger Woods-designed golf course, the par 72 Al Ruwaya. Surrounding the course will be 22 palaces, 75 mansions and, at the low end, 100 luxury villas. Keeping it all green will require four million gallons of desalinated water each day. The golf course will offer membership to non-real estate owners, but only 50 golf-only memberships will be available.
Add it all up and it seems like Guy Savoy will be catering to an exceptionally narrow, although presumably well-heeled, customer base. List prices on the villas, for example, are in the $10-$11 million range, while the palaces go for three times that or more. News reports indicate that Tiger Woods received in the neighborhood of $25 million for his participation in the project.
That’s if they ever finish it. Tiger Woods Dubai is a joint venture between Tiger Woods Design and Tatweer, a part of Dubai Holding. Dubai Holding is controlled by the government of Dubai, with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, personally owning 99.76 percent of Dubai Holding. Tatweer announced earlier this summer that the opening had been pushed back from 2009 to 2010 due to fallout from the global economic crisis.
We hope it works out, for Guy and Tiger’s sake. But in the meantime, it’s at least a little bit comforting to learn that even the super-rich who spend money at places like this one haven’t been immune to economic downturn.