Worth over $3 billion, the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s most expensive luxury hotels — a seven-star palace interlaced with gold. Its value is currently exceeded only by the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas ($3.9 billion), and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore ($5.5 billion), reports Rachel Smith.
The design of the Emirates Palace uses geometry, balance, proportion and hierarchical emphasis to create an awe-inspiring domed structure with colours mirroring the sands of the Arabian Desert. Designed by British architect John Elliott of WATG Architects in association with Reza Rahmanian of HDC Architects, the construction of the palace commenced in 2001 and concluded in 2005.
Emirates Palace’s main building is made up of uninterrupted marble floors, with a colossal golden pattered dome. The hotel comprises 394 residences which include 92 suites and 22 residential suites, lavishly decorated with gold and marble. Six sizeable Rulers’ Suites on the penthouse floor are reserved exclusively for royalty and dignitaries.
Luxurious rooms include a balcony with a view over the pool, garden or Arabian Gulf. Suites also comprise whirlpool tubs and living rooms, with all rooms having flat-screen TVs and high-speed Wi-Fi at no charge. Room service as well as butler services are available, as well as an excellent buffet breakfast.
The luxury beachfront hotel is built on 85 hectares of expertly manicured gardens and is located 4km from the Qasr-Hosn Fort and Marina Mall.
The facilities make it possible never to leave the hotel, with 14 top-quality international restaurants including a beach barbeque, several shops, a marina and a sparkling beach stretching 1.3km with imported white sand. It also has two luxury spa facilities, a 2500-strong ballroom, and two helipads. Those visiting on business are welcome to make use of the business centre which offers multiple indoor and outdoor meeting and conference venues, as well as a grand auditorium and various other business facilities.
Free time can be enjoyed taking part in the multitude of activities available, including camel riding, golf with Mark Stevenson, or various water sports. It can also be spent at the beach cabanas, swimming pools, or fitness centres, while younger visitors are accommodated at the kids’ club.
EXPERIENCING THE EMIRATES PALACE
Accessing the hotel is not limited to those staying overnight, as visitors are welcome to walk around, take photographs, peruse the shops and dine at any of the fine hotels. Prices range from $270 to $8,100 for 1-2 people per room per night, depending on the type, size and style of the room.
Guests frequently comment on the exceptionally friendly and attentive staff of the Emirates Palace, often unusual for the United Arab Emirates. The welcoming atmosphere is boosted by the sheer size of the hotel, with many saying they felt as though they were the only guests, often enjoying quiet corridors and personalised service.