New projects to draw tourists to Abu Dhabi
With the opening of new and exciting Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the mid-field terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport, as well as a host of other tourism projects in the capital, the up-coming supply of 2,400 new hotel rooms next year will be adjusted.
“I am not worried,” said Nehme Darwiche, the chief executive officer of Jannah Hotels and resorts, an Abu Dhabi based hospitality company. The hotel operating company operates six properties, three each in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and has 1,094 hotel rooms under its belt.
According to the Abu Dhabi Hotel Market Summary report by JLL, released ahead of The Hotel Show Dubai 2016, 200 rooms are due in the second quarter of 2016 with the soft opening of the Four Seasons on Al Maryah Island in May, and an additional 2,200 rooms are forecast to be added to the market by the end of the year.
Darwiche told Khaleej Times that Abu Dhabi is expecting a big inflow off high-end tourism, following the Louvre Abu Dhabi opening, and the completion of other tourism attractions currently under construction. The hotelier said that “Abu Dhabi plans carefully.”
The new room supply is very well calculated, and it will eat up the new tourism traffic, he added. He added that the mid-field terminal is slated for inauguration next year, and will be used for new flight services, and expansion on the transit front, which means more tourism arrivals into Abu Dhabi. The capital has seen an impressive growth in tourism, receiving 4.1 million tourists last year, up 18 per cent on the previous year.
The JLL report also predicts hotel room supply in Abu Dhabi to reach almost 26,000 rooms by the end of 2019. The year-on-year growth in tourist arrivals has continued, with an 11 per cent increase in hotel guests for May 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.
New hotel openings anticipated for the emirate by the end of 2016 include the Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Residences Emirates Pearl; Gloria Downtown Hotel; and Bab Al Qasr. The 677-key Bab Al Qasr will open in Q3, 2016. Set on the waters of the Arabian Peninsula and overlooking the Presidential Palace, Bab al Qasr will offer a new luxury landmark on Abu Dhabi’s ever changing skyline. Born from a partnership between UAE and Morocco, it will provide a truly unique Middle Eastern experience.
Francois Kassab, chief operating officer of Millennium & Copthorne Middle East and Africa, said: “Our first hotel in the region was in Abu Dhabi back in 2002, and as the emirate has grown so has our regional presence. With over 27 properties in the region and three properties in the UAE capital, we are very excited to be adding a flagship property to our UAE portfolio.”
Bab Al Qasr will be the first hotel to open as part of ‘The Biltmore Collection’, hotels described by Kassab as: “Historic urban gems and contemporary classics, each with its own unique story and designed to enhance every aspect of the guests experience by reflecting the location’s culture, history and geography in an authentic and meaningful way.”
Millennium & Copthorne will present more on the new property as part of ‘The next frontier: a look at the new hotel brands entering the market’ panel discussion at the fourth annual Vision Conference, Dubai 2016.