Abu Dhabi's first Rosewood Hotel and the first to be opened on Mubadala's ambitious Al Maryah Island is set to open on May 1, the company revealed yesterday.
Speaking exclusively to The National, Ali Eid AlMheiri, the executive director of Mubadala Real Estate and Infrastructure, said that the 189-room five-star hotel would stage a grand opening next month.
According to the hotel chain's website, room rates start at Dh850 (US$230) a night. A block of 200 serviced apartments operated by the hotel will also come to the market in the coming weeks.
The news, which comes on the eve of the Cityscape Abu Dhabi property show, marks the next significant phase of Mubadala's Dh4 billion Sowwah Square project, which the strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government has been developing for the past six years.
The development aspires to become a new financial centre for the capital along the lines of Canary Wharf in London or La Défense in Paris.
Mubadala said that it had leased 92 per cent of the office space at its 40,000-square metre Al Silla office tower and its 45,000-square metre Al Maqam office tower was 82 per cent let at rents which averaged about Dh1,800 per square metre.
"We had to get people to come and appreciate the towers," Mr AlMheiri said. "At first people said our office space was too expensive compared with the other buildings in Abu Dhabi, but now there is an understanding why the rents are above average for Abu Dhabi space."
Mr AlMheiri said that Mubadala was likely to start leasing the 98,000 square metres in the scheme's remaining two office blocks by the end of the year and the company was already in discussions with parties about taking space in them.
However, despite the high occupancy rates on paper, some key tenants have still not moved in. Most notably the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, which was slated to have moved from its headquarters on Hamdan Street to a new purpose-built block on the scheme more than a year ago, has still to take up residence.
Mr AlMheiri added that Mubadala was currently marketing 16 plots of land on Al Maryah Island to property developers. In December the company sold four plots to the retail specialist Gulf Related, a joint venture with US counterpart Related. Four more have been sold to the Taiwanese developer Far Glory for a mixed use residential, hotel and office scheme and National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Al Hilal Bank have taken a plot each.
Mubadala declined to say how much the plots cost to purchase.
"We have had very strong interest from a lot of people," Mr AlMheiri said. "But we have a very strict process for finding partners. We need to see what they will bring to the project. We would like to have the best partners in the whole world so we can build a skyline like the best of Hong Kong, New York and London."