Dubai: Al Futtaim Carillion, Carillion’s joint venture in the UAE, has been awarded a £110 million contract by Aabar Properties to build a five-star Hard Rock Hotel in Abu Dhabi, according to a statement by Carillion on Wednesday.
Carillion is a support services company based in the UK. It has a joint venture with Al Futtaim Group, which owns Dubai Festival City. The mall features a Hard Rock Café, which is owned by Hard Rock Middle East, a group of private investors.
The 378 room hotel will feature restaurants, entertainment and meeting facilities, according to the statement. It will be the first Hard Rock hotel in the Middle East, the statement added.
Construction of the hotel, which will be located in the capital’s corniche, is set to start this month and will be completed by the first quarter of 2017, as per the statement.
“I expect demand [for the hotel] to come from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and international markets,” Peter Goddard, managing director of TRI Hospitality, said.
He pointed out that the Hard Rock Hotel could lead to longer stays in the emirate and improve occupancy levels during the weekend.
The hotel will diversify Abu Dhabi’s hospitality offering, according to Chiheb Ben Mahmoud, head of hotels and hospitality group for the Middle East and Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle.
“[It will] strengthen Abu Dhabi’s marketing strategy aiming at positioning Abu Dhabi as a ‘happening’ destination,” he said.
He added that the hotel’s “concept and brand fits well with Abu Dhabi leisure and entertainment scene, with its high profile sporting events, international music concerts [and] art shows.”
Construction of the hotel, which will be located in the capital’s Corniche, is set to start this month and will be completed by the first quarter of 2017, as per the statement.
Occupancy in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments reached 71 per cent last year, with over 2.8 million guests checking in, marking an 18 per cent increase over 2012, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA).
“The announcement of the contract award comes at a time where Abu Dhabi hospitality market showed signs of adjusted recovery,” Ben Mahmoud said.
Abu Dhabi had almost 8.8 million guest nights in 2013, up 26 per cent compared to 2012, and an 18 per cent rise in total revenue to reach Dh5.48 billion.
India is Abu Dhabi’s top international source market, with 175,929 guests in 2013, followed by the UK with 162,973 guests and Germany with 119,590 guests.