Abu Dhabi represents the epitome of life in the Arabian Gulf; a magical land that offers wealth, relaxation and guilt-free indulgence. And nowhere is this fantasy better experienced than at the Emirates Palace.
Opened in February 2005, the Emirates Palace is a five star luxury hotel located in Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi. The entire construction cost 3 billion USD, making the Emirates Palace the third most expensive hotel in the world, after The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
The Emirates Palace is operated by Kempinski, the oldest luxury hotel group of Europe with a history of more than 119 years. Originally from Germany, Kempinski has expanded into other countries, setting up branches in cities like Istanbul, Moscow, Beijing, Bangkok and Abu Dhabi.
The Emirates Palace was designed by architects Wimberly, Allison, Tong and Goo (WATG), who incorporated traditional Arabian themes like large domes, the shades of the desert sands, as well as designs in gold and marble. In fact, there are a 114 domes in total, each reaching 80 meters high. The main building of the Emirates Palace has a large patterned dome, with intricate gold carvings.
There are 302 superior rooms and 92 grand suites available in the primary central building of the Emirates Palace, as well as in the East and West wings (Cascades and Las Brisas). In addition, the Emirates Palace also has a penthouse floor consisting of six Rulers’ Suites. These suites are exclusively reserved for dignitaries, such as the Abu Dhabi royal family.
The amenities of the Emirates Palace amplify its opulent architecture and interior furnishings, making it unique amidst its competitors in the hospitality industry both in Abu Dhabi and abroad.
- Every room in the Emirates Palace comes with a personal butler service.
- The Emirates Palace has 14 restaurants and bars including Caviar Bar, Havana Club, Hakkasan (contemporary Chinese), and Mezlai (local Emirati).
- The Emirates Palace Luxurious Spa offers massages, facials and treatment.
- The Emirates Palace has its own private marina with 167 berthing spaces, and 1.3 kilometers of private beach area
- Sports facilities at the Emirates Palace include two swimming pools, tennis courts, jogging and cycling tracks, water sports, yoga sessions, and a fitness center.
- Other amenities at the Emirates Palace include a children’s club, camel rides, a ballroom that can accommodate up to 2,500 people, and 85 hectares of gardens and lawns.
The Emirates Palace gained a lot of media attention, when Abu Dhabi hosted Christina Aguilera’s ‘Back to Basics Tour’ on 24th October, 2008. Since then, the hotel venue has seen many film shootings, concerts and star appearances, including the 2015 blockbuster movie ‘Fast and Furious 7’.
For pure, unrivaled Arabian luxury and pampering, I recommend spending 2-3 hours at the Emirates Palace, even if you cannot afford the room rates. I chose to have lunch here and the entire atmosphere is such a delightful experience in itself. The absolute grandeur of the place leaves you in admiration and awe, not to mention the amazing views of the Abu Dhabi skyline. Anyone visiting Abu Dhabi should definitely have Emirates Palace on top of their list of things to see.