Kempinski’s Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi to Become Mandarin Oriental

Main Photo: The Emirates Palace, now a Mandarin Oriental

Date: January 2020

Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE

Name: The Mandarin Oriental Abu Dhabi

No. of Keys: 394, including 92 suites.

Seller: The hotel originally opened in 2005 and is/was owned by the government of Abu Dhabi and cost an estimated US$3bn when it opened.

Featuring 114 domes gilded in marble and gold, the building is designed as an ode to the desert. When the setting sun shines on the vast surface area of the hotel – it resembles a striking image in gold. The property is ensconced by waters of the Arabian Gulf and landscaped with pathways of palm trees and fountains. The property that is spread over a thousand hectares boasts of two state-of-the-art, temperature controlled swimming pools, finest spas, underground parking, a marina, and a two-helicopter helipad.

Buyer: Mandarin Oriental has announced plans to take over the management of the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi. The luxury property is currently managed by Kempinski, but will be re-branded under the Mandarin Oriental portfolio from January 1, 2020.

The hotel will then undergo a phased renovation programme over the next two years, with upgrades to rooms and recreational amenities, as well as new food and beverage facilities. The property will remain open during the works.

It currently features 394 rooms, 12 restaurants and bars, 40 meeting rooms, an auditorium and ballroom, a private beachfront, marina, two swimming pools and two fitness centres.

Business Traveller reported on the hotel installing what it claimed was the world’s first gold vending machine in 2010.

Mandarin Oriental opened its first two Middle Eastern properties this year – the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, and the Mandarin Oriental, Doha.

Commenting on the news, James Riley, group chief executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, said: “This is a unique opportunity to manage one of the most high-profile properties in the Middle East and will be an excellent addition to our portfolio in the region.

“We look forward to bringing the Group’s exemplary service standards to Abu Dhabi and to introducing the brand to a new audience.”

THPT Comment: One of very few so-called seven star hotels in the world, which this hotel can probably truly claim. Be interested yo know why the Abu Dhabi owners chose to swap brands and management…both Kempinski and Mandarin being top-notch brands.

First Seen: Mandarin website

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