Abu Dhabi’s Nurai Island Resort Shuts Down Temporarily



Skift Take

Nurai Island’s website states all villas are “sold out” indefinitely.

Nurai Island was the gem of Abu Dhabi hospitality, a favorite among the rich and a featured location on the Real Housewives of Dubai. Now it says it is shutting down temporarily – though it’s unclear when it will reopen.

The company says it is being refurbished. “In our pursuit of providing an unparalleled luxury experience, Nurai Island Hotel will temporarily close from Monday, 1 April 2024,” a Nurai Island spokesperson told Skift via email. “This scheduled closure forms part of an exciting transformation project for the hotel, in line with development plans to both elevate Nurai Island Hotel’s global appeal and enrich each guest’s experience. Upon reopening, a host of exciting new services, facilities, and amenities will await guests on the island.”

The company did not address when it would potentially reopen. Nurai Island’s website does not note the temporary closing and says all villas are “sold out” indefinitely. Skift’s attempts to reach the reservations line by phone were unsuccessful.

What is Nurai Island?

Nurai Island was bought in 2022 by Aldar, one of the UAE’s largest investment and real estate corporations. It had a net profit of $1.19 billion in 2023. The group is best known as the developer of Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and many of the assets on it.

The private island is a development of 11 beachfront estates, 12 water villas and one boutique hotel of 32 beach villas and 15 beach houses. It was launched in 2008 and opened in 2015 by a local firm called Zaya.

When Aldar bought Nurai, it also acquired two nearby islands, which it planned to develop in the future.

A Look at Aldar’s Hotels

In Aldar’s full-year 2023 earnings call in February, Aldar’s CFO told investors they can expect to see a “disruption to income” in the group’s owned hotels as it goes ahead with some “major transformations.”

Faisal Falaknaz, the group CFO and sustainability officer said: “The hospitality portfolio, which has done extremely well. We are planning a major transformation repositioning of those assets. So we will have some disruption to income on the hospitality portfolio. Otherwise, it’s business as usual, and the portfolio continues to perform extremely well.”

Aldar owns the following hotels:

  • W Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Radisson Blu at Yas Plaza, Abu Dhabi
  • Crowne Plaza at Yas Plaza, Abu Dhabi
  • Rotana at Yas Plaza, Abu Dhabi
  • Anantara Eastern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi
  • Nurai Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
  • Rixos Bab Al Bahr Resort, Ras Al Khaimah
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah

In 2022, Aldar also bought the Rixos and DoubleTree by Hilton in Ras Al Khaimah.

Aldar acquired Rixos Bab Al Bahr – 715 keys – for $210 million. As part of the Rixos Bab Al Bahr transaction, Aldar Investment also secured the development rights for an additional 250,000 square feet of gross floor area for residential and commercial use.

The DoubleTree By Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island was bought for $220 million, with an adjacent beachfront development plot included in that price.

In terms of profit share, hospitality is Aldar’s smallest chunk but still made a $34.4 million profit in 2023.



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