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Abu Dhabi's first Ritz Carlton to open late 2011

The waterfront hotel will be the first Ritz Carlton in Abu Dhabi

The hotel is expected to open late 2011.
The hotel is expected to open late 2011.

Opening of the Ritz Carlton Grand Canal hotel in Abu Dhabi, the first Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Emirate, has been put back from April this year until late 2011.

Owner Abu Dhabi National Hotels Company (ADNH) awarded the main construction contract to Dubai-based contractor Habtoor Leighton for a price of $175 million back in 2007.

On completion, the overall $389 million, 220,000m2 project, overlooking the Grand Canal at the foot of Abu Dhabi island, will feature a 10-storey main building (or ten stately buildings arranged in a crescent formation) with 447 rooms.

This is in addition to conference facilities, a ballroom, restaurants and bars, a marine village, underground garages and utilities, a 3,000m2 spa, furnished apartments and 85 VIP chalets that resemble offshore “floating houses.”

Designed by Otak International, the project is inspired by the 15th to early 17th century Renaissance architecture and the urban planning of the city of Venice.

“We are delighted to be bringing The Ritz-Carlton renowned levels of hospitality to the power capital of the UAE,” Ritz-Carlton President and COO Herve Humler said, after finalising an agreement with ADNH to operate the hotel this week.

“The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal hotel will be a welcome landmark, and together with the owning company Abu Dhabi National Hotels, we will create a prestigious luxury hotel that will be the highlight of the new waterfront development.”

The news comes shortly after reports that ADNH prematurely announced Ritz Carlton would be the operator, before a formal agreement and only when a memorandum of understanding had been signed.

Following the official announcement this week, ADNH Chairman Salem Mohamed Athaith Al Ameri said: “Our partnership with a world-class hospitality group such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel company solidifies our plans for ADNH’s growth and reinforces our concrete development strategy.

“We also believe that this progress is an additional foundation to build on and support the momentous programme initiated by the government of Abu Dhabi to serve the tourism industry of the capital and the UAE as a whole.”

ADNH is a publicly-listed company which owns major hotels in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai.

Last year, it saw profits decline to AED304.9m from AED432.9m in 2009, an oversupplied market having forced down room rates and occupancy levels.

The hotel will be the Ritz Carlton’s third hotel in the UAE, (the other two hotels located in Dubai), and it's first in Abu Dhabi.

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