The Qasr Al Sarab five star retreat being built by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) is now rising out of Liwa desert.
It is being marketed as a desert retreat to the meetings and leisure sectors.
The property is being built by the South African-UAE joint venture ALEC Al Jaber, and international consultancy Turner & Townsend has been appointed project manager.
Qasr Al Sarab, which translates to mean Palace of the Mirage, is being built 7km from Liwa’s main Hamim Highway crossing and just 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Set amidst a backdrop of the Rub Al Khali’s towering dunes – some amongst the highest in the world – the luxury get-away will feature 140 guestrooms, spread between 10 low-rise blocks, 10 Royal Pavilion villas and 42 additional villas, a mix of one, two and three bedroom units, as well as a spa themed along the lines of the traditional Hammam healing baths.
To be managed by Thai hospitality operator Anantara, Qasr Al Sarab will be a showpiece in TDIC’s expanding development portfolio and a key element in widening Abu Dhabi’s business and leisure tourism offerings, according to a statement. “With the retaining walls which define the structure of the development now complete, the project is on course for its planned opening in September 2009,” said TDIC chief executive officer Lee Tabler.
“We have already embarked on international marketing of this singular destination to establish the resort’s unique MICE and leisure credentials. We intend Qasr Al Sarab to be the last word in elegance and opulence as well as providing a memorable desert experience.”
Working with Anantara, TDIC is planning to provide an ‘oasis experience’ alongside Qasr Al Sarab, complete with a water hole supplying traditional ‘Falaj’ irrigation systems.
The retreat will also feature an adjoining tented village where guests will be able to sample traditional desert pursuits such as falconry and camel riding. They will also be able to experience a range of tours and safaris leaving from a nearby excursion village.
“We envisage widespread appeal from the meetings industry for this singular destination which will have a banqueting and meetings hall with a capacity for 150 people. This will be a setting for the most memorable of corporate gatherings responding to increased global demand for imaginative venues,” said Tabler.
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