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07 December 2023

The ultimate in hotel luxury

By Maha Obeid



Offering unparalleled exclusivity and opulent luxury, the Palace Grand Suite at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi last month received the prize for the World’s Leading Suite at the 14th Annual World Travel Awards.


Held at the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa on the island of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, the World Travel Awards acknowledge and celebrate excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry. They are voted on by travel professionals from 167,000 travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organisations in more than 160 countries.


There are 16 palace suites at Emirates Palace and they are located in the centre of the palace section, under the huge dome, whereas the remaining suites are located in the east and west wings of the hotel.


Priced at Dh42,000 per night, not including taxes, they offer a lavish area for entertaining and accommodation. The 680 square metre suite contains three bedrooms, a reception area, a living room and dining room.


Justin Timberlake, who was in Abu Dhabi last month for a concert, stayed in a palace suite. They have also been home to a range of politicians and dignitaries including former United States President Bill Clinton, Princes Charles and Andrew, former US First Lady Laura Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


Emirates Palace General Manager Noel Massoud says the beauty of the suite is that it contains three separate quarters for guests. Each bedroom has its own sitting room and private balcony overlooking the Arab Gulf. The bathrooms are marble and are stocked with Hermes products. As with all the suites, a 24-hour butler service is available. At the palace suites, located on the sixth and seventh floors, there are always butlers hovering around to take care of the VIPs.


“They are there at your service, whatever you need they have to make sure you get it, from your laundry to your food, to ordering your food for you, so you don’t have to call room service,” he said.


According to Massoud, Emirates Palace has been styled and decorated in with arabesque designs.


“When you talk about Emirates Palace, you are talking about the whole colour scheme. It’s based on two things – it’s coming out of the desert and using the royal colours – brown, beige, gold, a little bit of maroon and a little bit of blue,” added Massoud.


The palace suite also hosts heads of states and monarchs, such as King Abdullah II of Jordan, who comes to the UAE to visit President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi; so it is lavishly decorated to suit royalty.


The entrance hall is adorned with soft hues of gold and silver under Swarovski crystal chandeliers. The plush living room is decorated in delicate yellow or blue silks and Daum crystal masterpieces from France.


Since its launch in February 2005, Emirates Palace has become known internationally as an exclusive luxury hotel.


Massoud believes it has become an icon and a landmark.


“Most of our clients come to stay at the Emirates Palace and their itinerary is to come to Abu Dhabi to stay at this hotel and go back.”


According to Massoud, more than 40 per cent of the hotel’s guests are leisure travellers from Europe, the Gulf Co-operation Council countries and Russia.


The average stay of these guests is more than four nights and they just want to savour the leisure, dining and relaxation aspects of the luxury property.


“It’s a brand on its own and people want to experience the hotel,” Massoud said.