Emirates Palace rating to reach beyond the stars

Emirates Palace is in line for a new rating to distinguish it as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

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Emirates Palace is in line for a new rating to distinguish it as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, as Abu Dhabi expands its classification system to create a level above five stars. As part of the expansion of the system that was launched last September, Abu Dhabi will also introduce classification standards for restaurants and desert camps, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) said yesterday.

"These refinements to our classification system will come into effect in the new year and will further enhance Abu Dhabi's destination credibility," said Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, the chairman of the ADTA. "We are committed to delivering quality across the entire tourism sector and are introducing these standards in collaboration with our stakeholders. "We are currently working on upgrading the system to include a new category which will, more accurately, represent properties deemed as above five star."

Under the new classification system, Emirates Palace was awarded a five-star rating. The ADTA said it was considering various options as to what the new grading would actually be. The ADTA and Emirates Palace have said that six and seven-star ratings are generally not used in official hotel classification systems. The authority could opt for a rating such as "five-star superior", which is used in Germany.

Before the present system was introduced there was no official classification rating in Abu Dhabi. Now all hotels in the capital have to display a plaque showing the hotel's grading at its entrance. The system, which took the ADTA almost two years to develop, was designed to raise standards at the emirate's hotels and provide consistency for tourists. @Email:rbundhun@thenational.ae