A 39-storey Arabian-themed arched skyscraper hotel is set to rise on Abu Dhabi’s coastline after the UAE-based Arabtec was awarded the Dh1 billion (US$272.2m) construction contract.
Arabtec said yesterday that it would build the Dewan Architects-designed linked twin towers Fairmont hotel on the Abu Dhabi breakwater close to Marina Mall within 30 months.
In a statement posted on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) yesterday, Dubai’s biggest listed contractor said it had been chosen by the breakwater developer National Investment Corporation, which also owns Marina Mall, to construct the 178,000 square metre project of 563 hotel rooms and 249 serviced apartments. The scheme will also include 13 restaurants and cafes and 1,394 parking spaces.
“The hotel will be one of the most luxurious hotels in Abu Dhabi by 2016,” Abdullah Al Saadi, the managing director of the National Investment Corporation, promised yesterday. “Our expectations are based on facts that derive from the hotel’s unique design that will constitute an architectural addition for Abu Dhabi.”
Arabtec said the mega contract would include constructing the hotel and apartments, maintaining the project for a year and overseeing its electro-mechanical works for two years after completion.
Shares in the contractor rose 2 per cent in early trading to Dh2.99 before settling back down to end the day flat, compared with a 0.5 per cent decline on the DFM as a whole.
The Fairmont deal follows other high-value recent contract wins in Abu Dhabi for Arabtec, a company in which the Abu Dhabi Government-backed investment company Aabar Investments last year increased its stake to 21.6 per cent.
Last month, the contractor was finally awarded the Dh2.4bn contract to build the long-delayed Louvre art gallery on Saadiyat Island in the capital. And last June it formally signed a Dh10.8bn contract with the joint venture partners TAV and Consolidated Contractors Company to construct the new Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Last week, the company said that it was moving some of its staff from its Dubai headquarters to the capital to accommodate its increasing number of projects in Abu Dhabi.
“Undoubtedly, granting the contract to develop the Fairmont hotel project will add significantly to the company’s portfolio and record in the UAE,” said Hasan Abdulla Ismaik, the managing director of Arabtec. “We would like to emphasise Arabtec’s ability to complete the project, leaving its recognised architectural signature that will make the hotel and apartment towers a landmark in Abu Dhabi.”
According to figures compiled by Jones Lang LaSalle, about 1,700 hotel rooms opened in the capital last year and another 7,200 are set to open by 2015. These also include the Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood Sowwah Square and St Regis Nation Towers.
The increased number of hotel rooms pushed occupancy rates in the capital down by 4 percentage points to 61 per cent last year and average daily room rates fell 7 per cent to Dh558, the agent reported.