Roya turns the key for UAE project development jobs

Developer and project manager Roya International is involved in a number of major projects in the UAE. Zoe Naylor talks to managing director, Ahmed Ramadan, about its latest offshore offering in Abu Dhabi, and the Media One tower in Dubai.

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By  Zoe Naylor Published  May 6, 2006

|~|120int200.gif|~|Ramadan is customer-focused: “We want to make full use of our service methodology to make sure our clientele are well taken care of.”|~|What is Roya International and what does it do?

Established in 1998, Roya International is focused on the hotel, leisure and tourism industries. From management solutions to concept development and ad hoc projects, Roya’s international experience, coupled with local knowledge, has already achieved results for an expanding range of owners and investors.

Projects include concept development, hotel project turnkey solutions, operational audits, hotel asset management and project localisation.

Roya International also acts as client representative, as is the case with Al Jaber Group. In these situations, Roya becomes responsible for all aspects of a project, from concept to construction, and finally, management.

What is the ‘Between the Bridges’ project in Abu Dhabi?

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and the Al Jaber Group are in partnership on the project. The complex will comprise a five-star hotel, luxury villas, executive apartments and a fully serviced retail and spa facility. The first phase is earmarked for completion in February 2007.

The US $218 million (AED800 million) project was named ‘Between the Bridges’ because it lies on a 900m stretch between the Al-Maqtaa and Al Musafah bridges, which both lead onto Abu Dhabi island.

The centre piece of the project is the hotel with seven floors and 220 rooms, a pool deck overlooking the beach with seven water front groynes jetting out to sea. Executive apartments ranging from studios to four-bedroom living spaces with a communal swimming pool facility are also under construction and set for completion by December 2007.

The facility is designed for business executives and families. Four, five and seven bedroom villas are also in the works along with gardens and private swimming pools.

Surrounded by 21,000m2 of gardens, the property will be crisscrossed with canals navigated by water taxis to transport visitors around the complex. Leading from the central canal is the three-floor spa. Elsewhere, terraces overlook the sea, and there are recreation areas, a gym and a swimming pool adjoined by a state-of-the-art conference facility, along with 10,000m2 of retail space.

What will the development mean for Abu Dhabi? Will it bolster the tourism sector in the emirate?

Between the Bridges is a unique development that will add some scope to the range of leisure, hotel and residential projects in Abu Dhabi. We are not the biggest, the tallest or the widest project; that is not our goal. Instead, we want to make full use of our unique location, design and landscaping concept and service methodology to make sure the clientele are well taken care of.

What stage is the project currently at?

The project is currently under construction and the first phase is due for completion by February 2007. Roya International is acting as client representative and development manager; the master planning work is being conducted by North Point; and KEO is the design development consultant.

What does your Media One project involve?

Media One, located at the main entrance of the Dubai Media City opposite Dubai Marina, is an $81 million, 40-floor mixed-use property with a built up area of 75,371m2 comprising a hotel and commercial office space.

Ten of the 40 floors will consist of a 370-room hotel with six restaurants, a gym, swimming pool, a business centre and one floor made up of high-end meeting rooms fully equipped with the latest technologies.

The hotel comprises standard rooms, junior and executive suites, four restaurants, a lounge bar and retail space on the ground floor.

Offices at Media One are on the upper levels of the building from the 21st to the 40th floors. Parking is available on one basement floor, and seven podiums are custom built for business executives to utilise. The offices can be accessed through a separate entrance on the ground floor.

How will the development cater for the population of Media City?

Media One will direct its service to cater for its immediate population at Dubai Media City as well as the nearby communities. Top-notch technology access and connectivity are a given, and high speed wireless is accessible in all public areas of the hotel.

Who else is involved in the construction?

Roya International is acting as client representative and development manager, with Dewan Architects and Engineers as consultant. Jung Brannen Associates is the concept architect, and BG&E Engineers is the structural designer. Ian Banham & Associates is the MEP designer, DPA is lighting consultant and Al Jaber Grinaker-LTA is the contractor.

Do you think the standard of construction in Abu Dhabi differs from that in Dubai?

The standards do differ in certain regulatory respects. However quality and specifications are almost identical.||**||

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