-Komal Desai

30th June 2009, mila Mumbai ko its first ever icon “The Bandra-Worli Sea Link” and now to add to its essence aaya a new gem to the city, “AB CELESTIAL” country’s first luxurious floating hotel also called a floatel that in many terms boosts the luxury tourism in India. This floatel was thrown open for the public at Bandra jetty on Wednesday.

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), partnered with WB International Consultants and AB Hospitality, will be running the service to boost tourism in the state. According to the officials, the vessel AB Celestial jo bani aur bheji gayi hai all the way from USA shuru hogi from the harbor at the Maharashtra Maritime Board’s jetty at Bandra under the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The floatel will also give a stunning 360 degree view of the city and the Sea Link jo log dekhte hi reh jaaye. AB Celestial is a professional state of art, a three tier luxury dining floatel with a sky deck, two galleys, and will have two multi-cuisine restaurants, including a club lounge equipped with a 24-hour coffee shop. The overall capacity of the floatel is focused at accommodating minimum of 660 guests distributed between its four tiers.

State tourism minister  inaugurated the floatel. He said, “The floatel concept was conceived and spearheaded by Maharashtra state government with numerous government bodies involved in making this a reality and a jewel in the crown of Maharashtra. Maharashtra receives maximum number of foreign tourists in India, besides many domestic affluent tourists. This floatel will certainly become a huge attraction for the tourists.” Chief Secretary J.S. Saharia, Sumit Mullick, additional CS, Manju Bhende, Bollywood actor Kavita Verma, Fashion Designer Amy Billimoria and more were present at the event.

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