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Thu 28 Apr 2011 04:27 PM

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Rocco Forte to open first Middle East hotel in Abu Dhabi

$163m hotel opening marks the first of four properties to be opened in next three years

Rocco Forte to open first Middle East hotel in Abu Dhabi
Hotel owner Sir Rocco Forte. (Getty Images)

Forte, the European luxury hotel brand, said Thursday that its delayed $163m property
in Abu Dhabi will open its doors in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The 281-room
hotel, Rocco Forte’s first in the MENA region, will kickstart an expansion plan
that will see the firm launch three properties across the region over the next
three years.

“Abu Dhabi
is fast emerging as a hub for the Middle East,” said chairman Rocco Forte in a statement.
“We’re confident that our flagship hotel in the emirate will set the tone for
our planned expansion in the Middle East.”

The launch
date will put the Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi in direct competition with other resorts set to
launch in the quarter, including Saadiyat Island’s St Regis Hotel and Park

figures for the emirate, however, suggest demand is keeping pace with supply. The
city saw a 24 percent surge in hotel revenues to $120.5m in February, according
to Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority data, with 175,309 guests staying in the UAE
capital during the month.

Rocco Forte
operates 13 properties in Europe and its planned pipeline includes hotels in
Marrakech and Jeddah.

Despite the
recent political unrest in Egypt, the group is to press ahead with plans to
develop two properties in the Arab World’s most populous country. A 275-room
property in Cairo and a 82-room property in Luxor are both scheduled to launch
in 2014.

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