Abu Dhabi gains with hotel apartments at Fairmont Marina Residences

Luxury serviced apartments at Fairmont Marina Residences that offer owners added extras such as childcare, housekeeping and even a private chef, have gone on sale in Abu Dhabi. But how much this opulence will cost is unclear.
An artist rendering of the Fairmont Marina Residences in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
An artist rendering of the Fairmont Marina Residences in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Hotel apartments in what could be considered Abu Dhabi’s answer to Dubai’s Atlantis The Palm have gone on sale in the capital.

The 249 serviced apartments in Fairmont Marina Residences, a 39-storey Arabian themed skyscraper – that resembles the hotel located at the top of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah - will be the first Fairmont-branded hotel residences in the UAE

Developed by breakwater developer National Investment Corporation (NIC), the apartments, located next to Marina Mall on the Abu Dhabi breakwater, will form part of the 563- room Fairmont Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, due to open in 2016.

Currently visible from the approach road to Marina Mall as two rapidly growing construction towers, the resort – the second Fairmont hotel in the capital – promises to offer some pretty swanky à la carte services to its new residences including housekeeping, child care, grocery shopping and even a private chef on demand.

The apartments, only available for purchase by UAE nationals, will come fully furnished and will range in size from 100 square metres for a one-bedroom apartment to 300 sq metres for a four-bedroom apartment.

When asked how much this opulence would cost, however, NIC declined to comment.

NIC said the new Fairmont hotel will include all the top-notch services you would expect for hotel guests such as an infinity swimming pool, kids’ club, fitness centre, business centre, spa and nine restaurants and lounges including a panoramic lounge on top of the bridge between the hotel and residences.

And what’s more, all owners will be eligible for membership in the invitation-only tier of the company’s guest loyalty programme; this includes VIP status and access to benefits at Fairmont Raffles Hotels International properties worldwide from the Fairmont to Raffles and Swissôtel brands.

Last year Arabtec announced it had won the tender to build the Dh1.48 billion Dewan Architects-designed project.

“The initial interest in the Fairmont Marina Residences development has been tremendous among Abu Dhabi residents,” said a spokesman for NIC.“We anticipate strong demand for these luxury residences.”

q&a all part of the service

Lucy Barnard reveals more about the new serviced apartments at Fairmont Marina Residences.

What is a branded hotel residence?

These are usually apartments built next to a posh hotel which are available for sale to investors. The investors then get the choice of whether to live in the apartment, to rent it out privately or to put it into a so-called “leasing pool”. This is where the hotel management leases out the room as part of the hotel, providing all of the usual hotel services to whoever stays there.

Is this a popular concept in the UAE?

Yes, and it’s growing. According to Colliers International, the supply growth of serviced apartments in the UAE has outstripped hotels in recent years, with a compound annual growth rate of 14.3 per cent in the past 10 years, versus a 10.1 per cent growth in number of hotel rooms.

Why are they so sought after?

With fewer employees per room than a hotel, serviced apartments have a leaner operating model and can tap into the extended-stay corporate travel segment. It is also easier for serviced apartments to shift their focus from short-stay to long-stay guests during downturns. Last year, the occupancy rate at serviced apartments was an average of 82 per cent, up by 6.5 per cent year on year, with room rates at Dh433, increasing by 3.8 per cent on the previous year.

What are the risks of buying one?

Developers say that the costs of buying a serviced apartment tend to be around 15 to 20 per cent more expensive than buying an unserviced property.


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Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM


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