Sheraton Abu Dhabi to close until November for complete refurbishment

The hotel first opened in 1979, becoming the third major-chain hotel in the capital

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The Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Corniche will close its doors on Tuesday for a complete refurbishment across all of its facilities, it has been announced.

The hotel will reopen on November 1.

A Dh50 million refurbishment was initially announced in 2019 and over the past two years, the rooms in one wing of the hotel were renovated as it remained open.

This year, however, the hotel's management has taken the decision to close the property entirely as the rest of the refurbishment is carried out on the other rooms, lobby, public areas, gym, Flavours restaurant and the spa.

“Following the successful renovation of Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Abu Dhabi and Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Al Ain, I’m happy to announce that a comprehensive refurbishment programme is currently underway at the Sheraton Hotel & Resort Abu Dhabi," said Khalid Anib, chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Hotels Company.

"All four hotels are some of the first internationally branded properties to be developed and operated in the emirate and currently are classified as the only heritage hotels by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Heritage Authority."

This extensive renovation programme, he says, not only aims to improve guests' comfort, but also respect guidelines set out by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to preserve historical elements of the properties.

The history of Sheraton Abu Dhabi

One of two Sheraton properties in the capital – the other located in Khalidiya – the five-star Corniche resort first opened in 1979, when it became only one of three major-chain hotels in Abu Dhabi at the time, alongside a Hilton and Le Meridien.

The media reported extensively on its construction, as adverts with the tagline “kiss a camel at the Sheraton” appeared around the city. A billboard counting down the days until it opened also became a topic of conversation around the capital.

The Dh120 million property took two years to build and Sheikh Ahmed Al Hamed, Information and Culture Minister, opened the hotel on December 10, 1979, with more than 200 rooms and 400 staff.

It also had a coffee shop, bowling alley and cocktail lounge, and prices started at Dh350 up to Dh1,500 for a presidential suite.

The hotel in 2021

Last year Flavours restaurant served kunafa at iftar. Courtesy Sheraton Abu Dhabi

Today, there are a total of 272 rooms, including three club floors and 17 suites. The hotel is also home to a number of other dining outlets, including Mexican spot El Sombrero, Italian restaurant La Mamma, The Tavern English Pub, Bravo Tapas Bar & Restaurant, which specialises in Spanish food, and alfresco venue B-Lounge.

In 2003, another Dh150m renovation was completed, which resulted in the introduction of new rooms and restaurants, including Cloud Nine cigar bar and Flavours international all-day dining spot.

More details of this new refurbishment will be announced in the coming months.