Thai spa gurus to manage two Abu Dhabi hotels

An artist’s impression of the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab retreat planned in Liwa

THE Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has appointed Thai hospitality operator Anantara Resorts & Spas to manage the boutique Desert Islands Resort & Spa, which will be the centre piece of the unique Sir Bani Yas island experience, as well as the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab retreat, planned for the Liwa desert in Arabia’s Empty Quarter (Rub Al-Khali).

The two will be the first Anantara managed hotels in the emirate.
“Anantara has established an exceptional reputation within Abu Dhabi for the operation of its ultra-deluxe spa at the seven-star Emirates Palace Hotel,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, managing director, TDIC and director general of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). “It will now bring its internationally-renowned reputation for delivering distinct experiences immersed in culture, heritage and natural beauty to these truly unique resorts.”
The 64 room Desert Islands Resort & Spa, which is scheduled for a soft opening in the second quarter of next year, will be central to the opening up of Sir Bani Yas, a former Royal eco resort which lies eight kilometres off Abu Dhabi’s western coastline. Sir Bani Yas is the largest of eight islands which, together with an onshore gate, will ultimately make up the multi experiential Desert Islands destination.
 “Starting the second quarter of this year, guests at the Desert Islands Resort & Spa, will have access to this inspirational island with its unique wildlife herds, including some previously threatened breeds which were successfully bred in captivity under the directive of the late UAE president and prRuler of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” said Lee Tabler, CEO of TDIC.
“Sir Bani Yas has been something of a closely kept secret which will now be attainable by resort guests and a select number of day visitors.”
Hotel guests will have access to the planned Sir Bani Yas Arabian National Park – one of the world’s largest island nature reserves – which will have a phased opening from the second quarter of this year.