Visitors to the capital will soon be able to rock out as they check in now that plans to open a Hard Rock hotel in Abu Dhabi have been revived.Hard Rock, best known for its chain of cafes filled with music memorabilia featuring pop stars past and present, plans to open a 378-room luxury hotel on the Corniche, it announced yesterday. The hotel is slated to open in 2014.
The venue is being built by Aabar Properties, which is part of Aabar Investments. The deal marks Aabar's entry into the hospitality sector.
"Aabar Properties is committed to developing real estate opportunities that directly contribute to the long-term strategic development of Abu Dhabi," said Khalifa Al Mehairi, the acting chief executive of Aabar Properties.
Abu Dhabi is aiming to attract 7.9 million hotel guests a year by 2030, up from the 2.1 million guests the emirate attracted last year.
A wave of luxury hotels have opened in the emirate in recent months, including the Jumeirah Etihad Towers and Sofitel hotels along the Corniche. The Eastern Mangroves hotel, which is managed by Anantara, launched yesterday. Plans to open a Hard Rock hotel in Abu Dhabi, as well as one in Dubai, were originally announced in 2008.
There was a Hard Rock Cafe in Dubai, which opened in 1997, and then closed its doors in 2009. A new Hard Rock Cafe opened in Festival City in Dubai last November.
Some 7,000 rooms are scheduled to open in the capital over the next two years, research by Christie + Co, Mena, showed this week.
The Hard Rock hotel planned for Abu Dhabi is designed to include a number of restaurants, including a Hard Rock Cafe. It will also have 12,000 square feet of spa and fitness facilities. The hotel will also have events and business facilities, including a 5,200 square foot ballroom.
Hard Rock has 16 hotels worldwide in locations including Las Vegas, Bali, and Thailand.
"We are looking forward to collaborating with Aabar Properties to complete the design process, embarking upon the development and construction, and, upon completion, extremely excited to manage the day-to-day operations of Hard Rock Hotel Abu Dhabi," said Michael Shindler, the executive vice president of Hard Rock Hotels.from the national.