Abu Dhabi to build ‘Happy Island’

Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon

THE Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) is set to transform the 27sqkm natural Sadiyat Island into an  inter-national tourism destination at a cost of Dh4 billion ($1 billion)  The mixed-use development will be overseen by the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC).

“Saadiyat’s transformation is a key proposition in Abu Dhabi’s strategy of increasing tourism to the emirate from one million currently to three million by 2015 – a projected annual growth rate of 11.3 per cent,” said Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of both ADTA and TDIC.
Saadiyat Island, which translates from Arabic into Island of Happiness, will be developed in three phases from 2006-2018. It will be home to 150,000 residents and major development parcels are being offered to UAE and GCC investors on a freehold basis, with non-GCC investors being offered 99-year leases or 50-year renewable leases, said Sheikh Sultan.
The island will have 19 km of white, sandy beach, two golf courses, 29 hotels with over 7,000 rooms, including an iconic seven-star property, three marinas with berthing for 1,000 vessels, over 8,000 private villas, over 38,000 apartments and eight iconic ‘string of pearl’ architectural landmarks with museums, a concert hall, art gallery and major cultural offerings.