Much of Abu Dhabi’s social scene revolves around the city’s many hotels, which are where most residents to go for a drink, for dinner, to a nightclub, for a workout and to relax at the weekend. Dozens of the world’s leading hotel brands are found here, many of them housed in some of the city’s most interesting buildings. Together they offer access to a plethora of restaurants, bars and leisure facilities, including spas, private beaches and even golf courses. Whether you’re going out for Friday brunch, for a meal with friends or a romantic dinner, the UAE’s licensing laws – alcohol can only be served in hotels or sports clubs – mean that it’s likely to take place in a hotel.

Choice and prices
There is a vast array of choice, from one of the most opulent hotels in the world, the Emirates Palace with a rack rate in the region of Dhs.6,000 for a night, right down to the cheapest, more basic digs in areas such as Al Salam Street, costing under Dhs.250 a night. In the hot summer months prices can be 50% lower than at peak times, providing a great opportunity for a bargain break. If it’s high-end luxury you’re after, note that many hotels also offer seasonal discounts to UAE and GCC residents, so if you have friends here it might be worth booking through them.

Star rating
The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (ADTCA) oversees a hotel classification system that gives an internationally recognised star rating to hotels and hotel apartments so that visitors can judge more easily the standard of accommodation they will receive. See for more details. The plan is to eventually roll out a system that allows guest feedback to be incorporated into the judging system, which should keep hotels on their toes in order that they maintain their rating.

More To Come
The five-star Royal Rose is one of the newest hotels in the city, remarkably designed with classic Parisian style in mind and offering Mediterranean food with a fittingly French twist at its fine dining Barocco restaurant. Très bien! A new Novotel, Novotel Al Bustan, has just opened too, expanding the staying options for ADNEC visitors. In the near future the Four Seasons on Al Maryah Island is set to open its doors, while Saadiyat Island will welcome a host of new resorts from the likes of Rotana, Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Shangri-La in the next few years – all of which should make picking just one hotel to dine in or stay in an even trickier task, though not exactly unpleasant.

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