The Al Bateen district of Abu Dhabi, the oldest occupied area of the UAE capital city, is to be redeveloped at a cost of AED 1.6 bln. (approx. 276 mln.) to include a signature waterfront destination with a luxury five-star hotel complex.
On Photo: The redeveloped Al Bateen district
The 54,000 m² site will be known as the Al Bateen Wharf and will include a San Francisco-style Fishermen's Marina and the Al Bateen Wharf Hotel.
The 400-room hotel will also have a serviced residential wing with 200 apartments. It will be developed by the UAE's multi-disciplined Belbadi Enterprises in partnership with Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the project's master developer and the company which manages and develops the tourism assets of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).
"This project signals the rejuvenation of Al Bateen with the development characterized by sensitivity to the long-standing fishing and boat-building traditions of the area," said His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, ADTA and TDIC Chairman.
"We have also taken into account public access to the new wharf maintaining the heritage of Al Bateen as a prime waterfront destination for all."
Master planned by Singapore's award-winning Surbana Corporation Pte Ltd, and renowned for its holistic approach to urbanscapes, the Fishermen's Marina will include berths for 285 fishing boats, 38 racing dhows and will retain the Bateen shipyard which has remained unchanged for years and showcases the ancient skills of Arabian dhow building. The dry-stack facility will have a maximum capacity for 200 boats. Hydraulic lifts are provided for each of the racing dhow berths in order to lift the boats out of the water after each race.
The marina will have a maintenance shed, which will incorporate modern facilities for use by the existing fishermen, and there will be a community centre with its own Majlis and retail outlets for fishing equipment. In addition, water and electricity connections will be provided to ensure high standards of service. Convenient fuelling facilities are also being made available for all the boats in the marina. There will also be an active public boardwalk complete with a range of waterfront shopping, restaurants and cafés. The boardwalk will be dotted with environmentally-sensitive lighting.
The USA's Otak architectural practice has been appointed lead architect for the twin-tower Al Bateen Wharf Hotel. Otak's designs for the Al Bateen Wharf recently earned a People's Choice Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Oregon.
"This will be a luxurious property that takes advantage of the marina setting and will reflect the strong sea-faring heritage of Al Bateen," said Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Badi, Chairman, Belbadi Enterprises. "The hotel is being designed with a nautical theme offering spectacular Arabian Gulf views."
The Al Bateen Wharf Hotel will incorporate the latest in sustainable design features with energy-efficient solar screening, eco-friendly landscaping, passive cooling through shading and airflow, fritted glass with integrated solar cells and a transparent 'sail like' veil which will transform the shape of the building a