x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

June opening set for Eastern Mangroves resort

The Eastern Mangroves resort, a hotel and residential complex set alongside Abu Dhabi's mangroves, is to start opening in phases from June, its developer says.

The Eastern Mangroves resort is located along Al Salam Street and backs on to the mangroves. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
The Eastern Mangroves resort is located along Al Salam Street and backs on to the mangroves. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National

A luxury resort set alongside Abu Dhabi's lush mangroves is set to open its doors to guests in the next three months.

The Eastern Mangroves resort, a hotel and residential complex, is to start opening in phases from June, its developer said yesterday.

The first part to launch will be the five-star Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, which is being managed by the Thai operator Anantara.

This is due to be followed by the first phase of the residential element in August, and the remaining homes, a 30-berth marina, and a retail area with restaurants, by the end of the year.

"We believe this is set to become a major hospitality and residential destination in Abu Dhabi," said Nabil Al Kendi, the chief development officer at the Tourism and Development Investment Company (TDIC). The development is located along Al Salam Street and backs on to the mangroves.

The plan is to lease all the homes rather than sell them, although the situation would be evaluated depending on demand, said TDIC, which plans to start leasing homes this month. Rents are expected to start from about Dh80,000 (US$21,780) a year for a studio.

"You cannot compare it to anything else available in the market today," said Bassem Terkawi, the senior director of strategic communications at TDIC.

"We want to see what the market response is. If we receive demand from people who want to buy, we may consider that. We believe there is a big appetite for high-end residential offering in the city."

The residential component is made up of 50 residences and 170 flats. The 222-room hotel, when it opens in June, will join a host of luxury properties that have opened in Abu Dhabi recently, including the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, a Rocco Forte hotel, and the Park Hyatt resort on Saadiyat Island.

But the management remains confident despite the competition.

"I'm not concerned at all," said Michel Koopman, the general manager of the Eastern Mangroves& Spa and the director of operations Middle East for Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas.

The hotel was originally planned to open under Banyan Tree's Angsana brand, but Banyan Tree and TDIC said last April they had reached an amicable mutual agreement to cancel the management contract for the resort. Banyan Tree said it had wanted the project to be more of an "eco-resort". Anantara announced in June that it was taking over the management contract. It will have about 220 employees when it opens.

Anantara already manages two resorts in Abu Dhabi for TDIC: the Qasr Al Sarab desert resort in the Western Region; and the Desert Islands Resort & Spa on Sir Bani Yas Island.

rbundhun@thenational.ae

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