By Shane McGinley
Hyatt Capital Gate set to open its doors in Dec after fit-out glitches pushed back debut
Abu Dhabi’s Hyatt Capital Gate Hotel, located in the world’s furthest leaning manmade tower, its set to open its doors this month after construction delays pushed back launch date.
The hotel is part of the Capital Gate Tower, which was scheduled for handover two years ago.
The tower’s 18-degree lean- more than four times that of Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa – presented unusual design and fit-out challenges for its in-house hotel
“It is a very unique building so there were challenges in terms of the design,” Ashwini Kumar, the general manager of the hotel, told Arabian Business.
“Every day there was something to understand and learn and that takes time. We had to make sure everything was perfect and we didn’t want to make any changes. Now we are ready.”
The hotel is planning a soft launch on Dec 21 with a formal opening celebration early next year.
The Hyatt-branded property spans 18 to 33 floors of the Capital Gate Tower, to include 189 rooms and 22 suites.
Launch room rates will start at AED1,050 ($285), Kumar said.
“This is not a busy period in December. Abu Dhabi is traditionally a corporate market and the business comes back after the January 10,” he said.
The Capital Gate Tower, which holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s furthest leaning manmade tower, is owned and operated by Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company.
The tower will be directly linked to the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre, which hosted some 148 events in 2010. The building’s office space was opened to rent in April.
The Hyatt property will face stiff competition for guests as a wave of new hotels open their doors in the UAE capital in 2012. Four luxury properties launched in November, including Park Hyatt and Westin brands, and a further six new hotels are scheduled to launch in early 2012.
“It is good that all the known brands are coming together in such a short spell of time. I think to me the competition is healthy,” said Kumar. “A few years back we didn’t have many hotels and the market has changed and we all have to understand that.
“It is not going to be that easy to get that occupancy and profitability so everybody has to work hard to set a standard to get the repeat business share.”
The UAE plans to attract 15 million tourists by 2020 under efforts to diversify its petrodollar-driven economy. Abu Dhabi is spending billions on visitor attractions such as the Yas and Saadiyat Island developments, in a bid to establish itself as a global travel hub.
Abu Dhabi’s state tourism arm said in September that 1,347,782 guests had stayed in the city’s hotels and hotel apartments in the first eight months of the year, putting the emirate on track to reach its target of two million hotel guests in 2011.
Tourism currently accounts for 3.2 percent of the UAE capital’s GDP.
I would imagine those diagonal elevators were amongst the trickier "fit-out glitches"...
Very costly, highly inefficient and a pain to clean. When will it make a positive return for the owner?