According to several sources close to the matter, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is reportedly taking over the management of the iconic Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The iconic property is presently managed by Kempinski Hotel whose management agreement expires in 2020.
The iconic property which opened in 2005 has often been associated with Middle Eastern wealth, decadence and lavishness with gold being dominant throughout the interior design, boasts 394 rooms with 92 suites. Giant hand-made carpets, immense crystal chandeliers and solid gold decor elements are abundant at the Emirates Palace. This ‘lavish’ interior design, although opposite to Mandarin Oriental’s understated contemporary with an Asian twist, will most likely justify postponing any major renovations.
Unlike most recent ‘compromise’ Mandarin Oriental properties (Lake Como, Beijing and Luzern), Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has taken a much safer and sensible bet with the Emirates Palace, which would always have a ‘secured’ guest segment sourced by the UAE Government as well as embassies (all based in the UAE). This may have changed, yet to a lesser extent, with different members of the UAE Royal family having opened prominent internationally branded luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi: Jumeirah Etihad Towers, St Regis, Four Seasons, Park Hyatt etc.
Several other luxury hotel groups have been involved in the process of awarding the management agreement of the Emirates Palace, Mandarin Oriental’s financial commitment must have played a key role. It remains to be seen to what extent Mandarin Oriental will be able to achieve and maintain higher rates than the present ones to maintain feasibility and ensure a consistently desirable product and offering.
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