Spa News Dubai

Anantara set to open luxury hotel in Empty Quarter by year-end

The Bangkok-based Anantara Hotel Group, a subsidiary of hotel and leisure company Minor International Plc, will open its five star hotel Qasr Al Sarab in the Rub Al Khali desert on time by the end of the year.

Lee Tabler, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi's Tourism Investment & Development Company (TIDC), said at the Arabian Travel Market 2009 the hotel will open in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The Qasr Al Sarab is the first-ever five-star luxury hotel property built in the hot sands of the Rub Al Khali desert, Arabia's Empty Quarter. It is located in the Liwa Oasis in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and features 150 hotel rooms and 60 private villas, all built with a view of some of the world's highest sand dunes.

About 85 per cent of the resort is already ready, TIDC says. It will be accessible by road or by a 90-minute flight from Abu Dhabi airport to a hotel-owned private landing strip in the dunes. TIDC is the investor in the hotel project, Anantara is managing the resort.

The $176 million (Dh645 million) project, built by Al Jaber Group will also offer a luxury spa and hammam, opulent landscaping including hanging green gardens and a conference centre and is designed in Arabian style reflecting the local heritage, says Didier Tourneboeuf, who has been appointed general manager of Qasr Al Sarab recently.

Anantara opened its five-star resort on Sir Bani Yas Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi a few months ago. The island resort was put on the 2009 list of the world "hottest hotels" by Conde Nast Traveller.

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