By Louise Oakley
Hotels chief says move is 'significant milestone', Abu Dhabi property to open mid-2010.
Sir Rocco Forte on Wednesday said his planned foray into the Middle East hotel market was a "significant milestone" for his company.
During a visit to Abu Dhabi, he revealed design details of his new hotel in the Middle East, scheduled to open in the UAE capital in mid 2010.
The chairman and CEO of The Rocco Forte Collection said the opening of the 281-bedroom hotel would be “a significant milestone for the company”.
“We have spent twelve years building our luxury hotel business in Europe, and are now greatly excited about expanding into the Middle East,” said Forte in comments published by Hotelier Middle East.
The new-build property will be housed in a 12-floor curved structure designed by WS Atkins and Partners, he said.
Design highlights will include a Sky Bar, which will be suspended on the fifth floor of a 10-storey atrium, revealed Forte.
Guest bedrooms will be decorated in shades of green, yellow and terracotta with artwork from local artists and there will also be two 290 sq m presidential suites.
Food and beverage concepts will include a Brazilian poolside bar and a modern Chinese/Japanese restaurant, he added.
Forte has also partnered with renowned British chef and restaurateur Mark Hix, of The Ivy and Le Caprice fame, who will consult on the all-day dining restaurant.
Italian Michelin-starred chef Fulvio Pierangelini will advise on an a la carte Italian restaurant.
Leisure facilities will include a 2,000 sq m spa and 25m outdoor swimming pool.
To target the business and meetings market, the property will also have a dedicated meetings entrance, seven meeting rooms and a ballroom with capacity for 500-people seated, Fortes said.
The hotel is owned and being developed by Abu Dhabi-based Al Farida Investments.
The Rocco Forte Collection has three other properties planned for the Middle East and North Africa.
It is also developing a 146-bedroom property scheduled to open in Jeddah in autumn 2011; a 90 all-suite Golf, Spa & Villa Resort in Marrakech due to open in 2011 and a 275-bedroom property in Cairo, expected to be completed by 2013.
The company currently operates 13 luxury hotels in major cities across Europe.
Err... wasn't the Royal Meridien in Abu Dhabi once a Forte Grand!
It was once a Forte Grand â€” a completely different brand from the Rocco Forte Collection.
Dear Carol, please note Rocco Forte is a different chain of hotel which only has super luxury and stylish properties mainly in Europe. Forte Grand was different. For more info, please check on the net http://www.roccofortecollection.com Rgds