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Abu Dhabi takes spotlight at WTM ahead of Formula 1 Etihad Grand Prix

Abu Dhabi takes spotlight at WTM ahead of Formula 1 Etihad Grand Prix

A host of new five-star hotels and resorts – managed by some of the biggest brand names in the world entering Abu Dhabi for the first time - has characterised the emirate’s promotion at World Travel Market 2011.

Among the 23-strong Abu Dhabi delegation, led by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), are a range of new properties and twice as many new-to-market products.

“It is a whole new picture with fresh products being launched by our established players and a vibrant, ready-to-do-business approach by our newly-opened and about-to-open stakeholders,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, international promotions manager, ADTA.

“There is great business to be done in Abu Dhabi which has a powerful line up of world-class events in the coming months.”

Included in Abu Dhabi’s World Travel Market line up is Abu Dhabi National Hotels, (ADNH),  which is readying to open two outstanding properties – one on the signature Saadiyat Island destination, the other in the fashionable ‘Between The Bridges’ area.

First up will be the group’s Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villa, an exclusive sanctuary for discerning business and leisure travellers on a nine-kilometre stretch of environmentally protected beach on Saadiyat Island.

The resort is next to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, minutes from the city’s prime business district, the Abu Dhabi Corniche, and 25 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The hotel’s 306 spacious rooms, suites and private villas are generously sized and have exceptional views of Saadiyat Beach, the golf club or the hotel gardens; each features a separate balcony or terrace.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas presents a wide selection of authentic cuisine from different parts of the world complemented by unrestricted views of Saadiyat Beach and the beautifully landscaped hotel gardens.

The luxurious Atarmia Spa spread over two levels offers exclusive privacy for both ladies and gentlemen.

The day spa features an extensive range of services and unique beauty and health treatments based on ingredients steeped in Arabia’s aromatic and opulent history as well as an exclusive swimming-pool and relaxation area.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas has a diverse range of meeting facilities to cater an exclusive board meeting to large conferences and social gatherings. 

The hotel’s meeting space includes the UAE’s first residential-style event facility The Residence.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas

Also due out of the ADNH portfolio The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal which will feature 447 luxurious guestrooms and suites as well as 85 villas.

The hotel will also feature The Ritz-Carlton Club, a private floor accessible only by elevator key offering five complimentary food and beverage presentations throughout the day with dedicated concierge service.

Inspired by 15th to early 17th century Renaissance architecture and the urban planning of the city of Venice, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal will have: one and two-bedroom villas, complete with private plunge pools, outdoor terraces and butler service; a rooftop terrace, two poolside bars and a lobby lounge and bar, all of which offer guests a great selection of drinks and bite-sized meals.

There will also be a spa with its own separate entrance with 20 private treatment rooms as well as a fully-quipped fitness centre, outdoor tennis courts and other heat and water experiences.

Flexible meeting space will include a 1,500-square metre ballroom that is divisible by three, along with an additional 11 meeting rooms.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal

Meanwhile Abu Dhabi’s iconic stalwart the uber-luxurious Emirates Palace will be showcasing it new additions – Breeze Lounge - a trendy new venue, the city’s latest outdoor party spot and first beach bar to add to clients itineraries.

Accommodating up to 150 guests, Breeze Lounge is open to visitors and hotel guests, offering refreshing drinks and tasty tapas and is open from October till the summer season, every Thursday from sunset till 23:00.

Guests can enjoy lounge music from a resident DJ while soaking in great Arabian Gulf views across an exclusive 1.3 kilometre of private beach, take a walk by the nearby pool or admire the majestic Emirates Palace illuminated by night.

Also at Emirates Palace, the award-winning Hakkasan restaurant has a new stylish and cozy terrace, capable of seating 64 people.

The terrace has stunning city views and conveys an oasis charm achieved through rustic wooden structures surrounded by water.

Emirates Palace is already recognised as the United Arab Emirate’s Leading Resort by the prestigious World Travel Awards.

Emirates Palace will welcome the new Breeze Lounge

Also new to Abu Dhabi’s line-up is the towering Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche, the French luxury hotel operator’s entry into the emirate, which will open its doors in February.

Part of the five-building Capital Plaza complex, the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche enjoys pride of place on the eastern tip of the capital’s pristine Corniche beachfront - one of the emirate’s prestigious districts and right in the hustle and bustle of Abu Dhabi’s city’s downtown precinct.

Guests at the art deco-inspired Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche will have panoramic city and sea views overlooking the picturesque Lulu Island, as well as Mina Zayed Port and Dhow Harbour – home to the hundreds of traditional wooden fishing boats.

Inside the elegantly configured five-star property, 282 rooms and suites will boast the latest technology and marry contemporary French design with heavy oriental influences.

The Sofitel’s guestrooms include 48 suites and 57 rooms offering exclusive access to the Club Millesime Lounge, which covers the hotel’s top two floors.

Every room comes with the chain’s ‘My Bed’ promise – a fantastic service that allows guests to personalise their mattress and pillow selection, while customised butler services and in-room spa treatments extend the royal treatment.

Elsewhere, the stunning 425-square-metre Royal Suite - on the 35th floor – is quite literally fit for a king or queen.

For the more business-minded guests, the hotel boasts a gigantic conference and convention centre that covers nearly 2,600metres.

Completely serviced by independent access, the facility caters for all types of gathering - from 15-person meeting rooms to a grand ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests.

Additionally, six meeting rooms and three board rooms are classed as ‘daylight’ options.

The Sofitel So Spa & So Fit centre features a full range of equipment and facilities, including five treatment rooms (solo or duo), two hammams with private bath, scrub and deep relaxation room, as well as a dry sauna and steam room.

A swimming pool and whirlpool can also be found on the roof of the podium.

Abu Dhabi is renowned for its diverse, world-class dining options and the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche adds to the banquet.

In fact, with a multitude of cuisine types and stylish places to grab a drink or two, the hotel looks likely to establish itself as one of the city’s hottest haunts.

New to Abu Dhabi’s line-up is the recently-opened, five-star The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa which is next to the renowned Abu Dhabi Golf Course, home to the annual PGA European Tour Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

Just five kilometres from Abu Dhabi International Airport, this urban retreat is focussed on the outdoors and natural surroundings.

All guestrooms feature the Westin Heavenly furnishings and amenities and are facing the golf course with private balconies.

The 172 premium rooms and suites include 12 Junior Suites, six Suites and one Presidential Suite and two rooms for the disabled.

Facilities include a lap pool and a selection of indoor and outdoor dining outlets, headlined by a specialty Moroccan Restaurant.

Over on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s entertainment hub developed by pavilion sharer Aldar Properties PJSC, the area’s flagship property has been re-branded from The Yas Hotel to the Yas Viceroy as it has become a member of the Viceroy Hotels and Resorts portfolio.

The first Viceroy Hotel in the Middle East, Yas Viceroy now offers signature service, unique dining concepts and a refurbished lobby.

The upgrade lobby is complimented with new branding, an expanded greeting area as well as improved concierge facilities to ensure guests a swift and seamless check-in process.

The hotel has also re-introduced the executive club suites with benefits that include complimentary access to the executive lounge and private check-in and checkout, among other amenities.

Underscoring the excellence of Viceroy’s signature cuisine, the menus at Noodle Bar and Angar, two of the hotel’s 12 contemporary restaurants, have been refreshed and additional enhancement will be forthcoming with new culinary concepts that will elevate the guest dining experience.

“Over the next 12 months our guests will see both cosmetic and service changes to Yas Viceroy designed to ensure that what is already an icon of Abu Dhabi becomes a standard bearer for hospitality in the region,” said Heiner Werdeling, general manager, Yas Viceroy.

St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

Another leading brand name to enter Abu Dhabi’s hospitality scene and present in the WTM pavilion is St. Regis with the new The St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.

The hotel’s air of mystique is created by thoughtful Mediterranean architecture and a contemporary interior design, which is further enhanced by an intelligent use of natural products and elements.

This calming ambience flows through the food and beverage outlets that provide sumptuous meals and refreshing drinks all the way to one of the region’s largest function facilities.

The resort boasts lavish yet intimate spaces with superior rooms, universal access rooms, suites and magnificent Royal Suites overlooking either Saadiyat’s pristine beach or the impressive Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, designed by the golfing legend, Gary Player and fringing a pristine white beach so sublime that Hawksbill turtles nest there and bottlenose dolphins are often seen playing from the shoreline.

Connoisseurs of fine food will be truly engaged by the choice of restaurants.

From the premier New York Steak House to the allure of beach side fish cuisine to the seductive Asian restaurant surrounded by shimmering waters.

Abu Dhabi Entertainment

While the emirate is abuzz with new hospitality brand names and openings, it is also energised by a packed fourth quarter 2012 events programme.

The line up includes the third Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from November 11th-13th to be followed the same month by the third edition of Abu Dhabi Art.

The annual boutique platform for modern and contemporary art is to be held in the UAE World Expo pavilion and drew over two million visitors to Shanghai last year.

Nationwide celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates in December are also expected to be a highlight, while the Mubadala World Tennis Championship gets the ball rolling on the global tennis season.

The highly-anticipated New Year hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet for a two-week carnival-style stopover will end the year.

“It is going to be action all the way in Abu Dhabi over the coming three months,” said Al Nuami.

Yas Viceroy will welcome the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

First off the grid will be the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

An emirate-wide activation of the event is moving into top gear. The downtown Corniche beach will stage the high octane, week-long Yasalam festival of free movies, concerts, and performances for the entire family.

At Yas Marina Circuit, F1 ticket holders will revel in a full spectrum of support races and a wide variety of entertainment in the track Oases.

Three-day ticket holders have the added benefit of a pit-lane walk in the build up to the race.

As in previous years, some of the world’s top acts will perform nightly in the Yas Arena exclusively for Grand Prix ticket holders, courtesy of FLASH Entertainment.

Britney Spears will headline the opening night concert with music legend Paul McCartney bringing the curtain down on the closing night concert.