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UAE Introduces its Own Classification for ‘Five Star-Plus’ Hotels

Leave it to the United Arab Emirates to come up with a hotel class distinction that is even more luxurious than five-star. Known as “five-star-plus” hotels, the distinction was created for Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace.

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Photo courtesy of Emirates Palace/ Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

As the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi explained: “[A 5-star plus hotel is] a 5-star hotel which provides an experience that clearly exceeds five-star expectations through an ultra-luxurious infrastructure, impeccable standards, and a service delivery that caters to requirements of guests in a personalized, anticipatory and warm manner.”

To qualify for this classification, certain criteria must be met, including having a minimum of two presidential suites, a helipad situated no less than five kilometers away from the property, maintaining high staff-to-guest ratios, and providing a limousine service. As of February 2023, the Emirates Palace has officially transformed into a Mandarin Oriental hotel. In 2020, the Mandarin Oriental took over the management of this iconic Abu Dhabi establishment from Kempinski. Presently known as the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi, this luxurious hotel offers extravagant amenities such as 24-carat gold coffees, a gold vending machine in the lobby, and an impressive display of 114 intricately designed gold domes. Opening its doors to the public in 2005, the palace boasts 394 rooms and a stunning 1.3 km beach.

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