Region’s first Angsana Resort set for Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is to be the home of the Middle East’s first resort, spa and residences operated by Angsana Resorts & Spa, a sub-brand of Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  June 14, 2006

Abu Dhabi is to be the home of the Middle East’s first resort, spa and residences operated by Angsana Resorts & Spa, a sub-brand of Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts. The properties will be part of a US $110 million eco-spa resort that will transform 140,000 m² of land in the capital’s eastern mangroves area and will be operational within three years. “We have been looking for the right opportunity to enter into the Middle East, and Abu Dhabi in particular, for a long time. The emirate’s [tourism] development strategy is carefully thought out and socially responsible,” explained Bernold Schroeder, senior vice president and managing director of hotel operations for Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts. “We have tried to select an area that would not be negatively affected by the development. Being and eco-friendly destination is a key part of Abu Dhabi’s tourism development strategy and, on a fact-finding mission to Abu Dhabi’s mangroves district, we quickly realised that the setting is totally in keeping with Angsana’s commitment to delivering destinations of privacy and tranquillity,” Schroeder added. The development of the Angsana properties will be handled by the recently launched Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), an independent public joint stock company empowered to manage the tourism investment zones of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and to develop the real estate assets that support ADTA’s mission of assisting UAE economic diversification through tourism development. The Angsana properties will include a five-star resort and spa with around 100 rooms, a 50-berth marina and 18 stilted water villas. There will be 100 apartments, which will make up the Angsana Residences and be serviced by the main resort. Elevated wooden trails throughout the resort will connect the various buildings. “These trails will give guests access to the magnificence of the eastern mangroves and its abundance of aquatic and bird life,” said Lee Tabler, CEO of TDIC. In order to protect the ecosystem of the area, an in-depth environmental impact study is being carried out before building work begins. “We will strive to minimise any environmental destruction caused by this project, but the mangroves are an area of astounding natural beauty and we want to show this off — very few people even realise that the mangroves in Abu Dhabi exist,” said Schroeder. News of the Angsana property comes hard on the heels of the launch of TDIC’s Saadiyat Island flagship project — the development of a 27km² natural island, 500m off the shore of Abu Dhabi, into a strategic international tourism destination. “We have recently received intense interest in Saadiyat Island from major developers, and we expect to be able to announce significant business deals that will impact on the pace of the island’s transformation in the not-too-distant future,” said Ahmed Hussein, chief operating officer, TDIC. “Saadiyat Island and the Angsana properties in Abu Dhabi are the first of a growing portfolio of projects that will fall under TDIC’s remit and these will play key roles in delivering on Abu Dhabi’s international tourism ambitions to add 17,000 hotel rooms and boost visitor numbers to more than three million by 2015,” Hussein added.

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