DCT Abu Dhabi enhances hotel classification system

DCT Abu Dhabi

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has shed light on various improvements to its hotel classification system, which are effective immediately.

The process of refining the classification system is a result of a number of consultations with hotel partners. It aims to proactively facilitate and empower the organisational flexibility and excellence of service delivery. To ensure a smooth transition and maximise the benefits for the hotel sector, hotels will be given a reasonable amount of time for implementation.

The improved 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 five-star level, allowing hotels with unique luxury offerings to market themselves so as to better match guest expectations.


Adding to this, new designators will be introduced to encourage innovation and competitiveness among hotels.

The classification system will additionally focus more on service delivery, which, according to research by DCT Abu Dhabi, is the most important factor for visitors, as business and leisure travellers are increasingly valuing quality of service, attentiveness of staff and uniqueness of their experience. This emphasis on guest satisfaction is reflected in the incorporation of a new ‘Guest Experience Index’.

The new classification system will be available in the form of an online manual, which will ensure that the quality of service in Abu Dhabi’s hotel sector is of the highest international standards.

Commenting on the new and improved hotel classification system was chairman, DCT Abu Dhabi, HE Mohammed Al Mubarak: “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. It combines the latest systems and international best practice to provide visitors with the highest quality experience.

“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 organisational agility for our hotel partners. It is the product of in-depth international benchmarking, as well as testing and research to ensure that all visitors to Abu Dhabi’s hotels are guaranteed a consistently high-quality stay. It will also work in concert with recent government edicts which have reduced tourism and municipality fees, as well as the step to allow full VAT refunds for tourists. All these things represent further support to our efforts to exceeding global standards of tourism excellence,” Al Mubarak concluded.