Page update - Oct 21, 2022
The Emirates Palace Hotel is one of the symbols of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the most expensive and luxurious hotel in the United Arab Emirates. At the time of its opening it was the most expensive hotel in the world, but now it has already lost the record. Now the Emirates Palace has also become a popular attraction and famous landmark. You can come there with an excursion. Or you can come on your own and see it for yourself, everyone is allowed inside.
In this review, we will look at the Emirates Palace from different angles. In the first part of the page, we will talk about the hotel itself - how much it cost, what the billions of dollars were spent on. In the second part, we will talk about what is interesting to see for an ordinary tourist. In the third part, we'll talk about rooms and prices.
- The construction cost 11 billion UAE dirhams (about USD 3 billion). The Emirates Palace hotel cost three times as much as the famous Burj Al-Arab in the Emirate of Dubai. Even the Burj Khalifa cost half as much;
- The Emirates Palace Hotel was built entirely with money from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and is now owned by the government. Kempinski Group is only responsible for operating the hotel, but does not own it;
- The design of the building is done in classical Arabic form and even with traditional Arabic architecture elements. There is a huge dome 260 feet (80 meters) tall in the center of the building. There are also 114 smaller domes and half-domes;
- As conceived by the designers of the project, the building colors should reflect the color shades of the Arabian Desert sands;
- The hotel has a total of 394 rooms - 302 standard and 92 suites. The rooms are quite modest in size. A standard one is 600 square feet (55 square meters), while the suites are 1200 and 1750 square feet (110 and 165 square meters). Frankly, you would expect something more from the most expensive hotel in the UAE;
- There are 6 rooms called "Ruler's Suite" on the top floor. These rooms are designed only for royalty and heads of state. Ordinary tourists and even world stars cannot get into these rooms, not for any money;
- Even at full occupancy, there are 6 staff members per guest;
- Marble from 13 countries covers 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 square meters) of surfaces in the hotel. The Emirates Palace has not beaten the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in terms of volume and cost of marble;
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- Some of the walls inside the hotel are covered with 22-carat gold. Gold covers 64,000 square feet (6,000 square meters) of surfaces. Six people are constantly engaged in cleaning these surfaces. 1.2 million dirhams (320 thousand US dollars) is spent annually only for the operation of this gold coating;
- The hotel has 1,000 chandeliers covered with Swarovski crystals. The largest such chandelier weighs 2.5 tons. These chandeliers are washed by a team of 10 people;
- In 2010, the lobby of the Emirates Palace Hotel was equipped with a huge 39.4-feet (12-meter) tall Christmas tree. The tree was decorated with golden garlands and other decorations. It became the most expensive decorated tree in the world so the result has entered into the Guinness Book of Records;
- The main conference room seats 1,100 visitors. In addition to it, the hotel has 40 conference rooms of different sizes and 6 large terraces for meetings;
- There are 2 SPAs, 2 helipads, a dance hall for 2,500 people, its own 0.8 mile (1.3 km) long beach, its own marina, and 14 restaurants;
- The beach has a 3.7-mile (6-kilometer) running or cycling track, two heated swimming pools, tennis courts, cricket ground, soccer and rugby fields.
Anyone can enter the Emirates Palace Hotel, as long as he/she is properly dressed. Read about the dress code in our review "Rules for tourists in the UAE".
You can walk through the gardens in front of the hotel, see the fountain in front of the entrance, and walk up the huge waterfall staircase. Inside the building, you can see the lobby and eat in several restaurants. The hotel is surrounded by 210 acres (85 hectares) of gardens and lawns.
The beach area, residential area, pool area and interior gardens are closed to outside visitors. To get into these areas, you have to make the room booking.
It's best to come in the evening, when the building's beautiful lights come on. You can take a cab and it will cost from 12 to 40 dirhams (AED), depending on the location of your hotel in Abu Dhabi. See our review "Taxis in the UAE" for the fares and our review "UAE Dirham" for the exchange rates.
You can also take buses 9, 34, 69. The bus stop is almost in front of the main entrance of the Emirates Palace. If any of these buses stop close to the hotel, take them for 2 dirhams only.
There are several other places of interest in the area, which is handy. See the map with sights and location of bus stops.
Upon entering the lobby, look up, it is above the lobby that the main dome is 260 feet (80 meters) tall. Its inner surface is covered in gold. You will have marble of the most expensive varieties under your feet. The walls are covered with gold. The chandeliers of Swarovski crystals, we already mentioned, are around.
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The main attraction for tourists inside is to stop at the Le Cafe coffee shop and order the Palace Cappuccino. It's a coffee with 24-carat (999 proof) gold sprinkles. It is served on a silver tray with dates and chocolate (or macaron). A rose is given to the ladies together with the coffee.
The price of the golden coffee is 75 dirhams.
In addition to the famous coffee, there are other dishes with gold. A piece of PALACE CAKE for AED 92, ICE GOLD ice cream for AED 75, MATCHA GOLD LATTE for AED 60.
Royal Afternoon Tea is served from 2 pm till 6 pm. You can have a sandwich with salmon and 24-carat gold with tea.
The price is 485 dirhams for two people.
Le Cafe is open from 7 am to midnight.
When the Emirates Palace hotel first opened in 2005, the price for the simplest room was from USD 750 per night. Occupancy was low and the administration began to curb their appetite. The price went down to USD 650, then USD 600 and so on. Now 2022 and the standard price for a simple Coral room is USD 300-350 in the summer season or USD 450-500 in the winter season.
Prices have not yet been reduced further, but the hotel has begun to arrange promotions, seasonal discounts and the like. Now it is possible to "catch" a price of USD 200-250 per night. That is, a couple of days at the Emirates Palace can well afford the average tourist.
Booking promotions include stricter terms: only breakfast or no food, 100% advance payment when booking, cancellation and refunds are not possible, change of room type and accommodation is not possible. If you are ready for these terms, then catch the low price tag.
A good price can be caught during Ramadan, when the tourist flow to the UAE is reduced. Read our review "Ramadan in the UAE".
Big discounts can be found in summer when the flow of tourists decreases due to the heat. Read our review "Weather in the UAE".
And one more tip! Often there is a promotion for only one booking site. That is, only this site gives promotional prices, and the other sites give the standard price. Of course, searching through all the sites is long and tedious so use aggregator sites, which collect the best prices from different places.
The Emirates Palace has three types of regular rooms, all the same size 600 sqf (55 sqm). The list starts with the cheapest: Coral Room - garden view, Pearl Room - partial sea view, Diamond Room - sea view. The Khaleej Suite of 1200 sqf (110 sqm) and Deluxe Khaleej Suite of 1750 sqf (165 sqm).
Please note! If you want to stay in Khaleej Suite with children, look at the beds in each room. Some rooms have only one bed, so you can't sleep there if you have children. Some rooms have three beds, and the price does not affect it.
Attention! In the Emirate of Sharjah there is a hotel with a similar name "Emirates Palace Hotel Suites". Naturally, it is a different hotel at a completely different price. Be careful not to confuse these hotels.
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Each room has carpets, comfortable beds, and marble bathrooms. All devices and features in the room can be controlled with a special iPad. HD TVs with 150 channels, free movies, and free WiFi.
The hotel has staff talking in a hundred languages, which is already nice.
The Emirates Palace has its own private beach length of 0.8 mile (1.3 kilometers), of course, crowds of people there never happen. On the beach, you can ride a camel, sit in a Bedouin tent and drink tea or coffee.
There are two heated pools. The first is large, with Jacuzzi pools next to it. The second pool is a whole water maze with two children's slides. For children there is a children's club, where animators work.
The hotel guests can rent bicycles for free. You can play tennis, billiards, table tennis, and go to the fitness center. All these services are included in the price.
Is it worth the money? It is up to you to decide. We want to note that in the UAE, there are more expensive hotels, but with a much smaller set of services.
- Read our review "Burj Al Arab" about the second famous luxury hotel in the UAE;
Have a great vacation in Abu Dhabi, and read our interesting pages about the UAE (see the pages list below).
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