The Mystery Of The Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi

The UAE can be a funny place sometimes. Construction in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi is seemingly endless, and often one has to wonder about the business sense behind some of the development.

When you look at hotel rates in the UAE, overall they’re as low as they’ve ever been. It used to be that hotel rates were just low in the summer, while nowadays they seem low year-round. Not only that, but I feel like most of the time when I stay at hotels in the UAE, I feel like I’m one of the few guests.

The UAE is hosting EXPO 2020, so I imagine a lot of construction is in preparation for that. At the same time, opening an endless number of hotels without sufficient demand just because there’s an EXPO seems like a not-great business plan.

Anyway, we’ve seen many hotels in the UAE open and then change management contracts shortly thereafter, seemingly due to poor performance. I remember staying at the St. Regis Dubai Polo Club, and it was eerily empty. There were at most a few other guests. Just weeks later the hotel left Marriott.


Former St. Regis Dubai Polo Club

Anyway, last year the Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi opened. I was excited about this hotel, since Hyatt’s two other options in Abu Dhabi are the Park Hyatt (which is on Saadiyat Island), and the Andaz (which is great for a quick overnight, but not great if visiting Abu Dhabi).

The Grand Hyatt, by comparison, has a great location in the city. I remember the hotel had considerable construction delays, but then again, that’s common with hotels.

Several readers contacted me pointing out that suddenly the Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi stopped accepting reservations. The hotel still shows up on hyatt.com, but no matter what date you try to book for, it shows no availability. This is the case since March 10, 2019.

I’ve tried to reach out to Hyatt for comment to figure out what’s going on, but haven’t heard back. I also called the hotel several times, but no one is answering anymore. I also emailed the hotel, and to my surprise, received a response from someone with the title “executive secretary.” Here’s the response:

We regret to inform that the hotel is currently not accommodating any booking for stay dates after 10th March 2019. We are working relentlessly on resolving this issue and we deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause you.

Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi

Initially when the hotel stopped accepting reservations on Hyatt’s site I figured that maybe they were already rebranding, but that email suggests it might be something else.

Does anyone know what’s going on here?! Gosh, I’m intrigued…

Comments

  1. Lucky can you find out what happened to the Sheraton in Palau? It was supposed to open this month and was a going to be a great option on an island with few choices, all of them subpar and breathtakingly expensive. It was showing up on Marriott and then in December it completely disappeared. I called Marriott to ask when it was bookable and the agent told me such a thing didn’t exist and they had no idea what I was talking about.

  2. I was trying to book this place for a stay over Thanksgiving but when I saw the “not accepting reservations” note I called and was told it was just sold out due to an event taking place at the hotel Nov. 28th-Dec 2nd. But that wouldn’t explain why it doesn’t take reservations at all anymore!

  3. I reached out to my Globalist concierge and sent her the link to this article. Maybe she knows something.

  4. Dubai is in a pretty deep recession right now. Big slowdown over there, which probably has something to do with the cheap room rates

  5. Maybe they should rethink the blockade against Qatar, it can’t help to have that missed out connecting traffic through UAE via QR.

  6. Mark P, the event at the end of November is the Abu Dhabi F1 GP. It is always busy at that time of year and expensive too.

  7. UAE is thriving right now, doing great attracting lots of tourists. They just have way too much supply for demand. They need to chill on the new hotels. Still, one of my favorite places in the world.

  8. Whatever is going on, the property and Hyatt have a duty to communicate with guests, which is not happening… I have a pre-paid reservation booked here soon; If we’re going to be walked I’d like to know in advance.

    Can’t wrap my head around this; The tight-lipped way the hotel is “handling” this seems so odd…

    Any other theories?

  9. I also have upcoming prepaid reservation soon. Nothing at all contact from abu dhabi hyatt so far.
    After reading this article, I tweeted hyatt Concierge thay said “I reached out the hotel and it seems like that they are just fully booked. No problem at that property.”

  10. @Brain — ‘Pre-stay service failure’ is actually now a thing. Overnight Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi suddenly became “fully booked”, for an ENTIRE year?…

    I would rather no answer from twitter than an insipid answer, wouldn’t you?

    —JRL

  11. @Justin Ross Lee
    Yep. you’re correct. Even though got answer from concierge, still icky.
    But , I have no option due to pre-paid booking until hotel announce for my booking.

  12. Don’t be surprised if their hotel/operating license has been revoked or is at jeopardy at the moment. The investment company who ownes the building is facing some legal issues atm.

  13. My globalist concierge replied to me and said she can’t see any bookings for the entire year going forward. She is perplexed and has no understanding as to why.

    Very bizarre.

  14. Eventually, I reached out the hotel directly over the phone. They never revealed what happened in side. What I am sure is that they are not in a operational condition. They ask for me to reallocate Andaz (they definetely said not availabe at Park hyatt) , I refuse it.
    I need to find out other property. What a nonsense!

  15. The hotel’s owner has experienced legal problems which have limited operating finance for the Grand Hyatt. Right now, they are trying to sell the hotel to another owner who can continue to finance the property whilst it is still in its early years. Hyatt are keeping quiet because they are hoping an ownership change happens quickly. Most staff have been relocated to other Hyatt’s nearby.

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