Abu Dhabi The Eastern Mangroves complex in Abu Dhabi, which consists of a five-star hotel, several residential buildings, a retail centre and a 30-berth marina, is expected to be ready for full operations by the end of this year, the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) announced Tuesday.
The project, which is developed by the TDIC, stretches along 1.2 km of Abu Dhabi's eastern mangroves overlooking the capital's skyline, with easy access to the city centre via Al Salaam Street.
Construction started in 2009. The TDIC has not revealed the size of its investment.
The hotel, which is the Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara, and the first phase of the residential component, will be completed in June, and the retail area and remaining residential buildings will be finished in the fourth quarter of this year.
The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, which will be managed by Anantara, has 222 keys, in addition to a spa, ballroom and three main restaurants.
Michel Koopman, Director of Operations Middle East for Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and General Manager, Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara, told Gulf News during a media tour yesterday that he is not concerned about the launch of the hotel being in the middle of the summer or at a time the rest of the project is still undergoing construction.
"Look at Emirates Palace, it's in the middle of construction right now," Koopman said. "I think it's just exciting to see it happening... It's going to be a very corporate government hotel because we're very close to the government buildings and a lot of the Abu Dhabi ministries are sitting in our backyard," he said.
Asked about occupancy rates, Koopman said that he expects the hotel to be in the early 40s for the first seven months.
"This is really about the quality, not the quantity. It's about positioning and the quality of the restaurants and the spa. For me, it's a hotel for a pampering weekend. It's not a hotel for big tours or big MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitins] events. It's not that.
"Our focus is on the quality of the experience and the long-term positioning of the hotel. Our focus is not to fill it up, but to make sure that we have the right clientele in," Koopman said.
The residential component of Eastern Mangroves consists of The Residences and The Promenade Apartments.
The two make up a total of 220 residential units, including studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom, and four-bedroom apartments and two penthouses. Of those only 48 are three bedroom apartments, and two four-bedroom penthouses.
Residents will also have access to a swimming pool, a gym and the hotel's facilities.
The units at the Residences will be available for lease after Cityscape Abu Dhabi, (a real estate exhibition) which takes place next week and during which the TDIC will start to take bookings.
The residential buildings for the four-bedroom apartments and two penthouses are expected to be ready at the end of June with tenants being able to move in in August, said Joseph Rentfro, Senior Director of Hospitality Development at the TDIC.
"The marina slips will be ready with the hotel opening. We'll obviously hold the rest and bring them online with the Marina building when it opens in November or December," Rentfro said.
The Marina building is one of two buildings that make up the Promenade Apartments which are a total of 170 units.
"All openings will be between June and December of this year," he said. Leasing rates are expected to be finalised in May, Rentfro added.