The developer of Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, is to push back construction of several planned hotels in an effort to make the multibillion-dollar project commercially viable, according to the company’s chief executive.
However the company is sticking with its master plans of building a total of 29 hotels across the island, albeit over a longer time frame.
“We’re really rationalising the roll-out of our hotel developments,” said James Pringle, the acting chief executive of TDIC in an interview with Abu Dhabi’s The National.
“We were going to open bang, bang, bang, the Mandarin [Oriental], St Regis, a number of hotels. The original plan from two years or three years ago was just to build everything at once,” he added.
Instead of opening everything in rapid succession the hotel with be more gradually rolled out so that the project can be “modulated in line with the global market, in line with global economic realities, so I think TDIC today is much more commercially focused,” Pringle added.
“TDIC is funding most of our hotel development through commercial funding, and we have to be a commercial developer. And as we look at the roll-out of Saadiyat, there are commercial imperatives of doing that in a commercially responsible and sustainable way. It doesn’t do the industry any good if you throw eight hotels into the market at once.”
The overall Saadiyat development will cost more than US$25 billion, and will include branches of the Guggenheim and Louvre museums, as well as golf courses, beaches and housing developments.
This autumn see TDIC opening its luxury St Regis resort, along with a Park Hyatt hotel, being built by Abu Dhabi National Hotels.
The development timetables for hotels including the planned Mandarin Oriental “have all been extended out anywhere from 12 to 18 to 24 months”, Pringle added. “We’re looking at phasing those, and we haven’t set any finite dates for those yet.”
Elsewhere in Abu Dhabi, TDIC is aiming to open the Westin hotel at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club later this year, and the Anantara Eastern Mangroves resort in January.