By Louise Birchall
German firm reportedly withdraws from deal to operate its first property in the GCC
Germany’s Oetker Collection has formally withdrawn from a contract to operate Hotel Le Bristol Abu Dhabi, which was due to open in the second half of 2013.
Hotel Le Bristol Abu Dhabi, developed by Abu Dhabi-based National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels (NCTH), would have been the luxury hotelier’s first hotel in the GCC.
“Oetker Collection and the National Corporation for Tourism and Hotels (NCTH) have decided not to proceed anymore with their joint efforts to build Hotel Le Bristol Abu Dhabi and to operate it as part of the Oetker Collection,” the group’s VP sales and marketing Alain Briere said in a statement to CPP-Luxury.com.
“After an intensive analysis both parties came to the conclusion that their initial plans for the hotel, which already date back to February 2009, cannot be executed to an extent necessary to make the project a long-term success,” the statement added.
Oetker Collection and NCTH both declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Hotelier Middle East.
The Abu Dhabi hotel was inspired by Oetker’s famed Hotel Le Bristol Paris, and was the vision of NCTH chairman HE Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
“He came and stayed in our hotel Le Bristol and said ‘this is what I want’. They wanted to replicate that kind of luxury,” Oetker Collection SVP for development — Middle East and Africa Samir Daqqaq told Hotelier Middle East in July 2012.
Oetker Collection — renowned for its niche portfolio of individual, grand hotels, including Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden — opened its first property outside of Europe, the Palais Namaskar in Marrakech in Morocco, in April 2012.
The group said last year it was looking at other areas for expansion in the Middle East region.
“We are looking at Oman, we’re looking at Doha, of course, Dubai is definitely on the radar screen big time,” Daqqaq said.
And yet the Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal Abu Dhabi is full and a great success... seems it can be done!