By Louise Oakley
Abu Dhabi National Hotels CEO says he is 'pushing very hard' to open AED1.5bn property soon
Abu Dhabi National Hotels is targeting an end of 2011 opening date for The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, CEO Richard Riley has said.
“I will be pushing very hard to get it open before the end of the year, that’s what we’re doing, I’m not going to nail it down but the bottom line is we feel we’re very, very close and we just hope if everything will stay on schedule that we’ll be able to pull it off,” said Riley in comments published by Hotelier Middle East on Monday.
ADNH is investing AED1.5 billion in the property, which is located on a 230,000 sq m site.
The hotel features a total of 532 rooms of a minimum size of 52 sq m and has been designed by American architecture firm Otak with interiors by SFA Design.
The property was previously signed as a JW Marriott, but Riley spearheaded the transition to Ritz-Carlton — Marriott’s top luxury brand — because of the quality of the product.
“It was a natural migration but it was very difficult to do because of the fact that it was signed as a JW Marriott,” he said.
“It was a natural migration but it was very difficult to do because of the fact that it was signed as a JW Marriott,” said Riley.
“To migrate a management agreement, although it’s partner companies, is a very different approach and it took us seven months to go through every detail of the management agreement and make the adjustments and do the deal and work back and forth and it was a very big challenge."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.