Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Emirates Palace: 7 Stars For Abu Dhabi!

In my last post I covered the magnificent Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, the world's first 7-Star hotel and Dubai's first Iconic Mega Project. The Burj Al Arab is not the only 7-Star hotel however....there is one more....the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. I guess Abu Dhabi saw how popular the Burj Al Arab had become and decided they needed their own 7-Star Wonder. At a cost of $3.8Billion the Emirates Palace was designed to become a landmark for the Middle East and the entire world. Mission Accomplished! Emirates Palace is a breathtaking Arabian Palace redefining the concept of a luxury hotel....and giving the Burj Al Arab some real competition for world's most luxurious hotel!

Emirates Palace is located on a 1.3 km stretch of Abu Dhabi's beautiful sandy beach and was formerly known as Bani Yas Palace but the Government of Abu Dhabi has renamed it Emirates Palace to reflect the significance of the project for the UAE in general and in particular for Abu Dhabi, which has become a world-class financial and conference destination. Emirates Palace opened in November 2005 and has been a primary hotel choice for Royalty, Presidents, Billionaire Businessmen, Celebrities and GCC Summits!

Emirates Palace has the most luxurious rooms and suites you will find anywhere in the world, and according to them:

'Each of the exceptional rooms and suites provide guests with uncompromising indulgence. These include 302 Grand rooms, 40 splendid Khaleej & Khaleej Deluxe suites, 4 Royal Khaleej suites, 16 three-bedroom Palace suites divisible into a total of 48 one-bedroom individual suites.

'Inside every room & suite, the decor is a masterful blend of Arabian regal splendor and the latest technology. Decoration includes acres of gold leaf and the finest marble. The guest is given command of all room & suite appliances including lights, air conditioning & in room entertainment systems via a touch screen hand held control.'

The architecture and design of Emirates Palace is unequalled anywhere in the world in my opinion and includes:

- 114 domes, of which the Grand Atrium dome is higher than the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome,

- 1,002 Swarovski crystal chandeliers, including some of the world's largest,

- 6,000 square meters of interior covered in 22-carat gold leaf,

- Over one million square feet of the world's finest marble imported from Italy, Spain, China, and India,

- 200 fountains spread throughout 600 acres of exotic grounds,

- 1.3 km long private beach,

- The Emirates Palace Archway, covered in Italian stone, and bigger than the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and containing a museum,

- 128 kitchens and pantries,

- 140 elevators,

- 2 helipads.

Emirates Palace is also the official Guest Palace for the Government of Abu Dhabi, with 22 three-bedroom suites capable of hosting as many heads of state and their entourages. The highest floor has six Rulers' Suites, which are off-limits to all except members of the Royal Families of the UAE.

The Conference and Banqueting Center at Emirates Palace is the most opulent and technologically advanced meeting facility in all of the Middle East and offers:

> State of the art auditorium accommodating 1100 guests,

> A luxurious Grand Ballroom divisible into three sections: total seating capacity of 2,400 guests,

> A range of over 40 meeting rooms with different setups & capacity,

> High-tech Media Center and Business Center,

> Outdoor function space of over 10,000 sqm providing a magnificent al fresco setting for cocktail receptions and dinners.

Emirates Palace offers a wide variety of leisure and recreational facilities including: Anantara Spa which offers rejuventating treatments of all kinds, Fitness Suites offering personal training and aerobics classes, an "extreme sports" Energy Zone area, Blue Dolphin Diving Center offering scuba diving lessons, tennis courts and private tennis lessons, a private beach and two swimming pools, boutiques of all kinds, etc.

Naturally you will experience some of the finest dining in the world at the restaurants of Emirates Palace: Le Vendôme Brasserie, Sayad, Mezzaluna, Al Majlis & Caviar Bar, Cascades, Diwan L'Auberge, Anar Restaurant and Las Brisas. You can also dine in your room and experience what Emirates Palace calls "The Palace Ceremony." This is one ceremony I would like to experience! The hotel even offers genuine Albino Caviar...at about $30,000 a pound!

All of this luxury does not come cheap. Today, May 20, 2008, hotel rates for a Pearl Room are about $1,100/night - a Khaleej one bedroom Suite is about $2,700/night - Palace Grand Suite $7,000/night - Two Bedroom Palace Suite about $10,000/night - 3 Bedroom Palace Grand Suite about $14,000/night. These rates are from the Emirates Palace website and I am converting AED rate which they list to US dollar rate.

What we have with the Emirates Palace is much more than an ultra luxurious Mega Hotel Project. Emirates Palace is a Crown Jewel for Abu Dhabi and a Shining Star for the entire Middle East!

Here is a YouTube Emirates Palace video:


This link takes you to the Emirates Palace website:


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