I end up passing through the UAE quite a bit, given that it’s a hub for Emirates and Etihad. On the surface it’s also a great hotel market, as there are lots of reasonably priced luxury hotels. If you visit in summer you can even stay at an incredible five star hotel for the same price you’d pay for a roadside Holiday Inn in the US.
It seems to me like there’s way more hotel capacity than needed in the country. At best, they’re preparing for EXPO 2020, and at worst hotels seem to be built as unsustainable vanity projects.
When I travel to the UAE I try to review new hotels. Not brand new ones (like, opening week, or anything) but rather hotels that have opened within the past several months, to see what these hotels have to offer. My goal is to review these so that they’re useful long-term resources for those into points hotels who are looking to visit as well.
Well, I sort of feel like I’m cursed, because hotels in the UAE can’t seem to stay open for any substantial amount of time without major changes. For example…
In 2017 I also reviewed the St. Regis Dubai Al Habtoor City, which shortly thereafter was rebranded as the Habtoor Palace.
I’m now headed back to the UAE briefly, and am having similar challenges with deciding on a hotel:
- I had initially booked the Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi, but that hotel suddenly closed after they ran out of money, so I needed to find somewhere else to stay
- I was then intrigued by the Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi, which belongs to Marriott; this used to be an Autograph Collection property, but is in the process of being rebranded as a W in the coming months
So I’m not sure if the UAE hotel market is just that poorly thought out, if I’m cursed and bring bad luck to hotels, or a little bit of both. But I feel like every time I book or stay at a hotel in the UAE, it’s rebranded within weeks or months…