Abu Dhabi, UAE—Saadiyat Island, one of the most ambitious development projects in the entire Middle East has taken another step forward after Tourism Development & Investment Company recently sold a large plot of land to a developer, for a new hospitality project. TDIC is an independent public joint stock company in which the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority is the only shareholder. The new owner of the 22.4-acre land lot on the development hotbed, Bin Otaiba Investment Group, has plans to develop a new five-star resort.
With a deadline already set for 2015, the hotel will take shape in what is to become Abu Dhabi’s cultural center. The 366-key facility will instantly become a fixture in the Saadiyat Beach District once it opens, with a planned guest amenity package including a spa, state-of-the-art gym, conference facilities that will be able to hold up to 800 people, sand-bottom swimming pool, an array of gardens, water features and other leisure enhancements. The developer’s mission statement was summed up by the chairman of the Bin Otaiba Investment Group, Khalaf bin Ahmad Al Otaiba: “Our promise to our customers is guaranteed excellence, luxury and innovation and the new five-star hotel we are developing will reflect these high standards, especially since it will be positioned among TDIC’s distinctive world-class cultural, leisure, hospitality developments on Saadiyat. “
Saadiyat Island currently has a wide variety of developments in the pipeline including the largest Guggenheim museum in the world that would feature modern and contemporary art in a Frank Gehry-designed facility, the Zayed National Museum; a Louvre museum is also in development although it has suffered a number of deadline changes. NYU will open a campus on the low-lying island, while other education and cultural fixtures will include a new performing arts center and a Zaha Hadid-designed concert hall. The residential component of the master-planned island will hold around 145,000 residents. Mobility from the island to Abu Dhabi will be ensured via a large motorway. Other developments on Saadiyat include an 18-hole golf course designed by Gary Player, an office park, an array of boutique hotels, and various other commercial and retail developments.