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May 19, 2009

Anantara to launch desert resort

Abu Dhabi is eagerly anticipating the launch of its first luxury desert resort when the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab opens at the end of year in the Empty Quarter.


Made famous by British explorer Wilfred Thesiger who crossed it in the 1940s, the Rub al Khali, or Empty Quarter, is the largest expanse of uninterrupted desert in the world, spilling across four Arab states.


The Anantara Qasr Al Sarab will be the first resort to be set amongst the towering and awe-inspiring sand dunes of Rub al Khali. Located about 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi city, the resort has been designed in the style of the ancient forts of Abu Dhabi’s western region (Al Gharbia). Architectural authenticity has been ensured through collaboration with the UAE’s Zayed University and has resulted in a design where heritage preservation permeates the minutest detail.


The resort will be the second property for Anantara in Abu Dhabi. Last year the company launched the Desert Islands Resort & Spa on Sir Bani Yas Island.


“The Middle East has always been an important part of our business. With the opening of the Desert Islands Resort & Spa last year and the launching of the second hotel Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Resort & Spa in the last quarter of this year, it shows that the Anantara brand is very serious about expanding in the Middle East and has a lot to offer its clients, in terms of customised and luxurious services, facilities and activities,” said Marielle Morin, area director of sales & marketing, Anantara Group of Hotels, Resorts & Spas.


Anantara Qasr Al Sarab will be fully geared up to welcome business and incentive groups. The hotel will boast extensive conference, meeting and banqueting facilities as well as a business centre with WiFi internet access. The resort will be accessible by road and air. A private 500-metre airstrip is being developed to fly visitors to the hotel.


For adventure seekers there will be a raft of experiences on offer. Guests will have the opportunity to sleep under the stars in a Bedouin tent and then head out in the morning to watch the sunrise. Activities will include exploring the rugged terrain by dune bike, 4X4, or by camel. Lessons in falconry will also be on offer.

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