MIRFA Hotel saw a record 235 per cent increase in actual gross operations profit above budgeted figures for 2005, with the occupancy rate alone showing a gain of 7.8 per cent.
Part of the Danat Hotels & Resorts collection, the four-star property set on Abu Dhabi’s west coast has experienced a rise in business over the past year and according to general manager, Ali Salih, this year is set to yield similar results. Says Salih, “Abu Dhabi’s impressive growth in the hospitality industry will undoubtedly gain momentum in the coming year. Leisure and business tourism boosted Mirfa’s total actual revenue by 14 per cent in 2005 while the average room rate increased by 16 per cent. We fully expect 2006 to continue along these lines.”
Abu Dhabi diversified its offering by providing four and five-star accommodation in the growing tourism infrastructure. Mirfa Hotel continues to attract a large number of businesses and holidaymakers who prefer good rooms, meeting space and dining options without the hefty price tag of properties in Dubai.
The 50-room hotel is located 160 kilometres from the capital, offering a full range of complimentary leisure and recreation facilities for overnight guests. Access to the golf and putting greens, as well as two floodlit tennis courts, a volleyball court and fitness facilities are all included during their stay. A swimming pool, along with a climate-controlled child’s pool and play area, round up the activities for the whole family.
Sailh believes that with the boom in tourism and development, Arabia must protect its environment and native wildlife. He has overseen the hotel’s development in its landscape and nature preservation. While Abu Dhabi’s key speciality for the eco-tourist is geological in nature rather than biological – the ‘Desert Rose’ consists of crystalline clusters of gypsum and other salts formed from the evaporation of the inland sabkha flats – there exists the occasional oasis of flora and fauna for the lucky visitor to observe thanks to the careful conservation efforts of government departments, agricultural groups and tourism agencies.
“The past few decades have seen an extensive programme of agricultural extension which has ultimately benefited native flora and fauna to the region,” says Salih. “These areas are free from the pressures of hunting or overgrazing and several of the country’s endangered species have been released back into these environments to much success.”
The Arabian gazelle thrive on controlled reserves and plantations. Other native mammals, such as the Arabian red fox, jerboas, the common Cape hare and the timid sand cat can also be seen. Mirfa Hotel is another example of a safe haven for local bird and plant life. Set on an island, the hotel’s lush grounds are a natural haven for many indigenous species, and Salih has carefully documented the details of the seldom-seen varieties in a set of books for guests to enjoy during their visit to the property.