After a delay of several years, ground may soon be broken for two new luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi. The properties are to be the result of a partnership between India’s Oberoi Group and real estate developer Aldar. After the firms signed a deal in 2007 for two hotels in Abu Dhabi, the projects were put on hold due to the global financial crisis. Now, discussions about the properties in Yas Island and Al Raha Beach have been resumed.
“As the market is now more buoyant, we are re-engaging with Aldar to bring the Oberoi experience to the emirate,” said Oberoi Group’s executive chairman, PRS Oberoi.
The Oberoi hotels were not the only developments to be stymied by the financial crash of 2008. Other projects that were delayed or abandoned include The Lagoons, The World, Palm Deira, Palm Jebel Ali, The Waterfront, The Shangri-La and The Dancing Towers.
John Podaras, a partner at Dubai-based consultancy Hotel Development Resources, said that this time around, developers are “proceeding at a much more studied and careful pace, trying to keep pace with the general demand growth in the city.”
Podaras noted that development projects are subject to more stringent financial scrutiny these days. “New hotel investment is unlikely to reach the pre-crisis frenzy as investors, and more importantly sources of finance, are being considerably more cautious, backed by much more strict guidelines from the Central Bank,” he continued.
Oberoi Group already has a year-old property in Dubai’s Business Bay. The company expects to open its second hotel in the country- a beach resort in Ajman called Oberoi Al Zorah- late next year. The Oberoi Al Zorah will feature 115 guest rooms, an 18-hole golf course, luxury apartments and retail space.
Photo of Oberai Dubai courtesy of Oberoi Hotels.