Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the organisation charged with developing the tourism assets of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), is currently progressing 15 projects in partnership with private investors, which will see up to 4,000 hotel rooms added to the UAE capital’s hospitality portfolio within the next three years. Addressing the Australian Business Group (ABIG) in Abu Dhabi, TDIC’s Chief Executive, Lee Tabler, said: ‘We have around 15 projects already under discussion and construction with investors and announcements will be made over the next few months.
‘In line with the Abu Dhabi Government’s strategy, our approach is driven by an overwhelming desire for sustainable developments of environmental stewardship.’
Tabler said TDIC has met with considerable success since its launch earlier this year with its flagship transformation of Saadiyat Island - the natural island lying just 500 metres offshore Abu Dhabi city.
‘Saadiyat, a major project of TDIC, is not our only project - we have announced a partnership for the landmark Emirates Pearl resort, which will be opposite the Emirates Palace and also have charged the Angsana brand of the award-winning Banyan Tree with running a boutique eco-resort in the Eastern mangroves area. Much more is to follow I can promise you as we work closely with private investors to scale up Abu Dhabi’s tourism offering,’ he said.
Tabler told ABIG delegates that regionwide individual and corporate investors are keen to enter Abu Dhabi’s emerging tourism and hospitality sectors perceiving them as having greater than ever investment returns.
‘Business is booming in Abu Dhabi. Try and get hotel accommodation in this city and you will quickly see what I mean. The emirate is now recording some of the world’s highest occupancy levels, according to a recent report by Deloittes - which, of course, means there’s opportunity ahead.
‘Tourism,’ said Tabler, ‘is being prioritised by the Abu Dhabi Government as part of its economic diversification strategy with ADTA targeting another 17,000 hotel rooms by 2015 to cope with its projection of three million tourists a year - an increase on the current one million visitors. The authority has approved investment packages for 4,000 new hotel rooms over the next three years.
‘As Abu Dhabi refines its approach to economic development it is particularly well positioned to maximise sustainable growth in the coming years.’
Tabler said Abu Dhabi had achieved much since the formation 18 months ago of the ADTA.
‘Things are really on the move. Abu Dhabi is blessed with many natural features, not least of which are its myriad of offshore islands and extensive coastline just waiting to be developed in an era when the world seems to be looking for new venues, new waterfront destinations,’ he added.
‘Abu Dhabi is indeed fortunate in these fabulous products of nature - rather than being forced into expensive land reclamation. These islands will see an incredible level of real estate activity over the next decade - producing world class destinations, resorts, marinas and much more besides.’
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