Rosewood Hotels & Resorts opens in Abu Dhabi

As a huge fan of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, BC, I was fascinated to learn that the upscale Rosewood Hotels & Resorts® chain has just opened its first property in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Exterior of Rosewood Abu Dhabi
The Rosewood Abu Dhabi welcomed its first guest on May 1, 2013. Located on Al Maryah Island at the core of Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District between the prestigious Sowwah Square and the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, the Rosewood Abu Dhabi features 189 spacious guest rooms, 24-hour professional butler service, nine signature indoor and outdoor dining options and lounges, a swimming pool, complete fitness center, and the Sense spa. Its location will also allow direct access to The Galleria, a new retail and dining destination scheduled to open in August.

Rosewood employs what the company calls a “Sense of Place® philosophy,” which means each property is designed to reflect its locale. For example, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is designed in a style that harkens back to Canada in the Roaring ‘20s and features local and First Nations art throughout. For the Rosewood Abu Dhabi, it means design features that are modern, yet uniquely Arabic, according to the company’s press materials. Design elements feature materials including Italian marble, American walnut tables and custom, hand-blown chandeliers from the Czech Republic.

“How are Italian marble and American tables ‘uniquely Arabic’?” you ask.

Guest room
Think of the Arabian Peninsula’s long history of trade. Think of merchants on camelback, carrying their wares along The Silk Road, which ran through present-day Iran, just across the Strait of Hormuz that joins the Gulf of Oman to the Persian Gulf. Recall that early Arab sea trade routes went through those very same waters. Think of the Perfume Route of early Biblical times, the Incense Route and others, and the initial incongruity quickly fades.

Abu Dhabi is the UAE’s capital and second-largest city, with slightly fewer than one million residents. Dubai, about 150 kilometers north along the coast of the Persian Gulf, has a population of about 2.1 million.

Luxurious guest bath
Abu Dhabi is home to important financial institutions such as the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the corporate headquarters of many companies and numerous multinational corporations. Yas Island, about 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi, is the site of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which is run on the Yas Marina Circuit designed by Hermann Tilke, a German engineer and auto racer who has designed numerous Formula One racing circuits.

Year-round sunshine, pristine beaches, spectacular sand dunes and a vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere await, but so days that are even hotter than Phoenix.

According to, the average high temperatures in Abu Dhabi in June are 106°F, 108°F in July and 109°F in August. Average highs in Phoenix during those same months are 105°F, 107°F, and 106°F respectively.

Getting there

While Emirates is aggressivelyexpanding its service from the United States, Emirates does not serve Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) directly, though it does offer complimentary shuttle service from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Visitors can fly directly into AUH on Ethiad Airways, which serves several major U.S. cities, or can drive, or take a bus, taxi, or limousine from Dubai.

Through August 31, guests at the Rosewood Abu Dhabi can take advantage of introductory opening rates and 20% savings on food and beverages. As of this writing, a Deluxe room with a King bed can be booked for AED 850 (United Arab Emirates Dirham) per night, or about US$232 at the current exchange rate. And if 47 square meters isn’t sufficient, larger rooms are also available.

Bon voyage!

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Photos courtesy Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
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