New hotel rules

Hotels in the capital to be regraded over the summer

A number of Abu Dhabi hotels will see their star ratings downgraded over the summer under strict new classification rules, it was reported today.

Every hotel in Abu Dhabi will have to display a plaque issued by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) showing its new rating, which is determined by a long list of criteria.

"Some hotels have been downgraded," said Nasser al Reyami, the director of tourism standards at the ADTA in comments published by UAE daily The National.

He declined to give details of how many, and which hotels, have been downgraded.

Previously, there had been no government-regulated classification system for hotels in the emirate, he told the paper.

Eighteen months ago, the ADTA launched the new criteria and, following inspections, the authority issued its first ratings in January, and gave hotels that had been downgraded six months to make the necessary changes to recover their status.

Some hotels were upgraded after they made necessary changes and scored more points, he added.

In creating the system, ADTA took examples from 35 international destinations to use as guidelines.

Al Reyami told the paper 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.

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.

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