A host of upmarket hotel openings next year will help cement the reputation of Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island as a world-class tourist destination.
The island will also be home to what is claimed to be the world’s largest single concentration of premier cultural institutions, including Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Simon Venison, director of operations at Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), outlined the scale of the developments during World Travel Market, the premier global event for the travel industry.
“We are creating a totally unique destination, with the Guggenheim, Louvre and Zayed National Museum – iconic buildings and so close together that you can visit the museums and then lie on the beaches in the afternoon or see the Ferrari World theme park,” he said.
More than 1,600 hotel rooms and residences will open in Abu Dhabi next year, thanks to joint ventures between TDIC and its partners.
The St Regis brand will open its first Middle East property in quarter four of 2011 with the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, while the region’s first Rocco Forte hotel will open in Abu Dhabi city.
The city will also see the Westin Hotel & Spa Abu Dhabi and Eastern Mangroves Angsana Resort & Spa next year.
Abu Dhabi National Hotels will be opening Park Hyatt Saadiyat Island next year, next to the Saadiyat Beach Golf Course, opened in early 2010 and home to the Saadiyat Beach Classic.
Furthermore, in the Western Region, TDIC will introduce two lodges on Sir Bani Yas Island.
Additional openings are in the pipeline for Saadiyat Island which will see a Shangri-La resort in 2012 and Rotana in 2013.
Chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Hotels, Richard Riley, said Abu Dhabi can learn from the experience of Dubai and ensure its offering is different.
“We will grow exponentially, it is really starting to look up,” he told WTM.
It what is proving to be an exciting time for the United Arab Emirates, World Mobi has launched its new city guide to Abu Dhabi.
World Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the World Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
AbuDhabi.Mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.