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Abu Dhabi to unveil hotel classification within weeks

A number of Abu Dhabi hotels face a downgrade of their star ratings as the capital’s strict new classification system comes into effect this summer.

Every hotel in Abu Dhabi will have to display a plaque with an official rating issued by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). The exhaustive list of criteria range from whether the TV is high-definition to the colour co-ordination of the décor. Hotels had to meet to achieve a certain number of points, which would then determine their rating.

“Now every hotel knows exactly how many stars they are,” Nasser al Reyami, the director of tourism standards at the ADTA, told Abu Dhabi’s National newspaper. “Some hotels have been downgraded.”

Meanwhile some hotels were upgraded after they made necessary changes and scored more points.

Till now, there has been no government-regulated classification system for hotels in Abu Dhabi.


ADTA took examples from 35 international destinations to use as guidelines. The system was designed to raise the bar for the quality of Abu Dhabi’s hotels, and that the guidelines would be updated every two years. It issued its ratings in January after an exhaustive series of visits.

It was also designed to set standards for developers building new hotels in the capital. Abu Dhabi is aiming to double its number of hotel rooms in the next three years, as the capital hopes to bring in 2.3 million guests by 2012.

Abu Dhabi’s revenue per available room is among the highest in the world due to the shortage of rooms in the capital.

“We are aiming to have the highest standards in the world,” Mr al Reyami said. Hotels would be able to request a review of their ratings at any time and would be inspected three times a year, he added.