By Andy Sambidge
Phase one of Hilton Al Hamra Golf & Beach Resort project set for completion in Q1 2013
Hotel giant Hilton Worldwide said on Saturday it has started a AED100m ($27.2m) renovation of its Al Hamra Golf & Beach Resort.
The US-headquartered operator said work has begun on the main building, starting with the guest rooms, restaurants and bars as well as the spa and fitness centre.
After the renovation which is set to be completed in the first quarter of 2013, the hotel will offer 266 new-look rooms and villas.
Mohab Ghali, country manager Ras Al Khaimah, said: "We are excited to include Hilton Al Hamra Golf & Beach Resort to the growing portfolio of Hilton properties in RAK and as such, the hotel will maintain its unique identity but incorporate the style, standards and world-class service that guests around the world expect from Hilton Hotels & Resorts."
He said the hotel will keep its Arabic fort-style villas but the extensive renovation will enhance and update facilities.
It will feature eight food and beverage outlets including an all-day dining restaurant and three specialty restaurants, in addition to a lobby lounge and three bars.
Recreational facilities will include an executive lounge, private beach, water sports facilities, swimming pools, kids club, mini-golf facilities, tennis courts and a health club and spa.
During the renovation, the Don Camillo restaurant and Scirocco Bar will be closed while the fitness centre will be partially relocated and the kids club will not be available.
Phase 2 of the renovation which will include the villa buildings will commence in the second quarter of 2013.
Last year, Hilton signed a deal to take over operation of the government-owned Al Hamra Fort Hotel in Ras Al Khaimah.
The northern emirate, whose GDP comprises 1.5 percent of the UAE’s economy, hopes to see tourism revenues account for 20 percent of its income by 2021, by positioning itself as a lower-cost destination to its glitzy neighbour, Dubai.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.