Banyan Tree pulls out of Abu Dhabi resort project

Hotel operator says it had different vision to TDIC, the owner of Eastern Mangroves scheme
Eastern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi.
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 04 May 2011 06:45 PM

Singapore-listed hotel operator Banyan Tree said on Wednesday it will no longer be managing a planned resort at the Eastern Mangroves development in Abu Dhabi.

Luca Deplano, the company’s vice president of marketing, said the group has pulled out of plans to operate the Angsana-branded resort following disagreements between the owner and operator over how to develop the project.

Eastern Mangroves, owned by Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development Investment Company, will be an integrated
resort, marina, retail and residential destination that provides a
luxury escape from Abu Dhabi city.

The hotel is due to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2011, with residences to follow in the first quarter of 2012.

“The Angsana was Eastern Mangroves and the owner is TDIC and we decided in a very friendly way not to proceed with the project," said Deplano in comments published by Hotelier Middle East.

“Mostly the reason was that we have different visions of how to evolve that project. For the Angsana brand, the integration with the surrounding environment is still very, very important. The feel of an eco resort is very important,” added Deplano.

“We feel that as part of the Banyan Tree and Angsana experience you need to connect with the surrounding environment. We felt that TDIC had different ideas of how to develop the project so we realised that this was not going to work. So we decided in very friendly terms to [cancel the contract,” he told the website.

Deplano added that Banyan Tree was looking at other opportunities with TDIC.

He said the group was in a period of “tremendous growth” that included the Middle East with projects underway in Oman and Jordan.

“We are planning to double the number of resorts across Banyan Tree and Angsana by 2014, so two and a half years from today,” said Deplano.

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