Q International Capital Trading (ICT) is building what promises to be the tallest hotel tower in Abu Dhabi. Can you tell us more about this project and what it means for the emirate’s growth as a tourist destination?
A Yes, in line with the phenomenal economic expansion that is taking place in Abu Dhabi, where we expect to double the number of tourists in the next five years, ICT began construction of the tallest hotel in Abu Dhabi in June. The firm believes that the tower will be a landmark development and an enduring symbol of Abu Dhabi’s economic progress.
This project is one of our flagship undertakings, among others in the offing. The development is situated on Abu Dhabi’s pristine South Corniche and is being positioned to offer ultra-luxury hospitality with exclusive high-end residential lofts and luxury retail. Our hotel will provide several hundred ultra-luxury rooms and serviced apartments to cater to exponential growth in the hospitality sector.
While the real estate market is flourishing and expanding in Abu Dhabi, a good measure of such developments is in harmony with the cultural tourism concept. For example, the steps taken to construct the Guggenheim Museum and Louvre speak for themselves. In addition, the various other projects aimed at using the natural waterfronts add value to tourist attractions in the form of water-based theme events.
Q What are your other major projects and plans?
A Our other major projects could be classified into two broad categories, those in the construction phase and those in the planning and design phases. In the construction phase, there are a number of projects consisting of retail mixes, class A offices, luxury apartments and hotels. In the planning and design phases, ICT has several mixed-use development projects, luxury condominiums, villas, recreational amenities, hotels and resorts in some of the most sought-after, prime locations in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
Q How would you describe ICT’s vision?
A At ICT, we endeavour to look beyond the norm. Our vision encompasses all the dimensions that fall within the domain of our operations. This is our claim to distinction that we will jealously guard and focus on in translating into meaningful results for our shareholders and Abu Dhabi.
In furtherance of our vision, we manage a uniquely diversified real estate portfolio locally, regionally and globally. ICT is also exploring regional and global business development and investment opportunities in sectors other than real estate.
Q How does this vision fit in with the Abu Dhabi 2030 growth vision of the Abu Dhabi government?
A Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, the growth vision of the Abu Dhabi government, is an immense undertaking connecting all sectors of our economy: commerce, tourism, industry and the social outlook of Abu Dhabi. Through our development contribution, ICT is already participating in a meaningful way in that distinguished vision. We are determined to play a robust and constructive role in furthering Plan Abu Dhabi 2030.
Q From the investor perspective, what are Abu Dhabi’s key competitive advantages in relation to other locations in the region?
A Today, Abu Dhabi is one of the most exciting cities in the world for people to live in, invest in and work in. Global investors look at physical and human infrastructure, ease of setting up and doing business, and political and economic stability when making prudent investment decisions. Today, Abu Dhabi ranks as one of the top global destinations in that regard, thus giving comfort to any prospective global investor, not only in terms of capital gains and profitable results but also in terms of the confidence that their investment is protected.