Ritz-Carlton to join Abu Dhabi's other luxury openings later this year

Ritz Carlton is to open a new hotel in Abu Dhabi later this year, it confirmed over the weekend, shifting attention away from its two properties in Dubai and towards Abu Dhabi, regarded by many as the Middle East's next tourism hotspot.

The luxury hotel chain is to build its first Abu Dhabi property overlooking the Grand Canal in the capital of the UAE, offering 447 guest rooms "inspired by the urban planning of the city of Venice."

It will consist of ten buildings arranged in a crescent formation at the foot of the complex's 1,600 square meter pool, likely to be the largest in the country (although dwarfed by the enormous 80,000 square meter San Alfonso del Mar pool in Algarrobo, Chile).

There will also be 85 freestanding one and two bedroom villas, each with private butlers and outdoor terraces which look out onto the resort's Renaissance architecture.

Eating options are set to include Italian, Middle Eastern and Asian restaurants, as well as a steak and seafood outlet, rooftop terrace, poolside bars and a lobby lounge.

Covering 54 acres, the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal is likely to be one of Abu Dhabi's landmark properties, although it will have plenty of new competition as it tries to catch the attention of Abu Dhabi's wealthy tourists.

Later this year, Park Hyatt will open its latest property on Saadiyat Island, an "exclusive sanctuary" set on a nine-kilometer beach, which offers 270 rooms with private balconies and stunning views over the gulf.

Fellow luxury chain St Regis will also open its doors on Saadiyat Island towards the end of this year, adding 380 rooms, eight restaurants, a luxury spa and several gourmet restaurants.

http://www.ritz-carlton.com

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