Abu Dhabi set to roll out new hotel ratings system

New hotel classification system will have more focus on guest satisfaction, will allow for mystery shopper audits in cases of underperformance

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, October 11, 2018

The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has unveiled improvements to its hotel classification system.

The move is part of plans to develop the emirate as a world-class destination, a statement said.

It added that the process of evolving and improving the classification system is in direct response to consultation with hotel partners, and seeks to more proactively facilitate and empower organizational flexibility and excellence of service delivery.

To ensure a smooth transition, establishments will be given a suitable time frame for implementation, DCT Abu Dhabi said.

The new system will allow a simplification of infrastructure requirements in guest rooms and physical assets in general, thus reducing certain costs and making it more profitable for investors to build hotels in the emirate.

There will also be increased provisions for sustainability, accessibility and the promotion of Emirati culture, and a distinction made between essential and value-added criteria at the 5-star level.

Furthermore, new designators will be introduced that encourage innovation and competitiveness among hotels.

The classification system will also offer a key guest benefit by focusing more directly on service delivery, which DCT Abu Dhabi’s research showed is by far the most important factor for visitors. This emphasis on guest satisfaction is reflected in the incorporation of a new Guest Experience Index as well as allowing for ‘mystery shopper’ audits in cases of underperformance.

Optional hotel designators have been introduced, giving hotel establishments the opportunity to highlight their unique features and better match guest expectations.

“This new hotel classification system reflects DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to further establishing Abu Dhabi as a world-class, 21st century destination of distinction and a leading destination for sustainable tourism,” said Mohammed Al Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi.

“Perhaps most importantly, this new system reflects our careful attention to detailed stakeholder consultations and a commitment from DCT to do what we can to support and promote greater organizational agility for our hotel partners.”

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