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Published: December 6th 2009
What brought us from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi.......
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, and is the largest and richest of the seven Emirate states. It has a population of approx. one million, with an 80% expat population. Its origins are in a nomadic desert community with pearl diving and date plantations. However all that changed with the discovery of oil, and it developed into a city of skyscrapers and luxury shopping malls.
Tourism now seems to be the direction for its future and the development of "Yas Island", as the Formula One Grand Prix circuit, with its accompanying hotels, leisure precincts and future residential sites are what brought us here.
Also, the development of "Saadiyat Island" which is 500m from central Abu Dhabi, is an exciting project underway. It will be Abu Dhabi's cultural precinct, housing many galleries and museums, including "The Louvre Abu Dhabi", designed by Jean Nouvel, and "The Guggenheim Museum", designed by Frank Gehry......these projecst are under construction and due for the first stage of completion in approx 2014...
Paul and his team of architects & interior designers, at ML Design, were the lead consultants for the Yas Island
Rotana and Centro Hotels. As UAE manager for ML Design, Paul and all his team have been kept extremely busy delivering this project from the ground up in a two year period.
Yas Island has been developed from the desert sands up....A flat sandscape, has seen the construction of The Yas Marina Circuit , for the Formula One Grand Prix, a two year fast tracked project. Not only were the race track and Grandstands complete for the race on Nov 1, but also the six hotels in the Golf Plaza, including Rotana & Centro, which are nearby the circuit. The Yas Hotel & Marina were also developed at this time, with the Links Golf course still nearing completion. The Ferrari Theme park, is still under construction, but was partially complete to host the international concerts for the 4 day Grand Prix, a stunning location.
The Yas Rotana and Centro Hotels are close by the circuit and nearby to the Yas Marina Hotel and Yacht Club. Both hotels were fully booked for their openings in late Oct in time for the formula One Grand Prix.
Yas Rotana Hotel is a 4 star hotel with 281 king-rooms &
27 suites. It is a contemporary, international hotel with superb restaurants, including "The Blue Grill" and "Rangoli" Indian restaurant. There is a stunning outdoor pool area with pool-bar and luxurious lounges, gym, massage/spa centre, executive Business Centre and function rooms and a large ballroom which links the two hotels.
Yas Centro Hotel is a 3 star hotel, but with the feel of a 4 star. It is very stylish and contemporary, and is designed as modern business hotel. It has 259 rooms, pool, gym, bar/dining and business centres. The hotels are 10 minutes from Abu Dhabi International airport, 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi on the new Saadiyat freeway, and 45 minutes from Dubai.
It has been a very exciting project to be involved with...
Here are some photos of the completed hotels, and a few of the earlier construction days showing the desert environment and extreme summer heat they were built in.
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