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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Park Hyatt Saadiyat Island Hotel and Resort, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

First hotel build under way on the Island of Happiness
Park Hyatt Saadiyat Island Hotel and Resort has broken ground signalling the birth of a new luxury hotel destination in the Middle East. The man-made Saadiyat Island - or island of happiness - is situated just off the coast of Abu Dhabi and will soon be home to architecture from five Pritzker Prize winning architects. Park Hyatt will be the first hotel on the island, designed as a playground for the 'discerning traveller'.

The New York office of Perkins Eastman designed the 45,000 sq m resort for Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH). Situated on the shore, the bulk of the 314 guestrooms and suites are collated in the main hotel building, facing the two pools which separate the hotel from the private beach. A main dining room, specialty restaurant and bar, a beach restaurant, spa and meeting/banqueting facilities are all within the confines of the resort.

Materials used to create a feel of luxury appropriate to the Arabian sea include local stone, ceramics, and craftwork surrounded by lush indigenous landscape materials. All materials are sensitive to the environment with as many local materials used as possible, and many products made of recycled materials including the paving, tiles, and furniture, among others.

Reflecting the local culture was an important aspect of the design process: "The architecture of the hotel is a contemporary interpretation of Arabian style, with courtyards, reflecting pools, and screens. The simple forms of the architecture are highlighted with motifs found in the region, giving a sense of place while not mimicking the historic style or vocabulary," advised a spokesperson for Perkins Eastman. "A portion of the guestrooms are designed in small clusters around courtyards along the beach. These clusters are referred to as riads, which symbolize a small home in traditional culture. These guestrooms offer guests a unique accommodation within the resort, with a heightened sense of luxury and privacy."

Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Tadao Ando are contributing to the island's cultural district with a range of individual and inspirational centres under various stages of construction. Construction on the Park Hyatt is expected to complete within 18 months, welcoming its first guests by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

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