More money doesn’t hurt

Abdulla K.M. Al Romaithi, managing director of the Abu-Dhabi based National Corporation for Tourism and Hotels (NCT&H) defends the emirate's tourism development.

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By  John Irish Published  June 2, 2004

The sky’s the limit when it comes to Abu Dhabi’s tourism potential, so says Abdulla K.M. Al Romaithi, managing director of the Abu-Dhabi based National Corporation for Tourism and Hotels (NCT&H). Speaking to Arabian Business, the hotel chief confirmed his company would be opening two new hotels within the next three to four months. A deluxe 120-room boutique resort is scheduled to open at the Al Raha corniche and a 120-room $55 million resort will open near near the Sir Bani Yas wildlife island reserve, almost 240km away from Abu-Dhabi. “I think the Raha beach resort will be the most luxurious 245 villas in the United Arab Emirates...so far,” says Al Romaithi. This area north of Abu Dhabi is widely considered one of the most beautiful and untouched parts of the UAE with clear waters and deserts cascading into the sea. However, with several new hotels planned in the area and Abu Dhabi set to increase expenditure on the hospitality sector, questions have been asked on whether the emirate really needs comprehensive tourism development. “It doesn’t hurt to make more money does it?” says Al Rothaimi. “The government has the longest shores in the Emirates, the most beautiful islands in the Gulf and wonderful deserts, so I want people to come and enjoy it. At the end of the day it will add to the country’s GDP and income, which is vital as this is a long term plan,” he adds. The company’s eight hotel portfolio includes the four star Mirfa and Mafraq hotels, the Dhafra Beach Hotel and the Liwa Hotel in the oasis of the same name. The five star Danat Resort Jebel Dhanna, with 109 rooms, is set to soft open in late summer. Meanwhile, NCT&H confirmed it was set to invest abroad. The group is taking a 15% stake of the Hilton Rabat in Morocco.

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