In May 2013, under Decree No. 17, the law was passed to review and revise Dubai’s hotel classification system. The revised system will improve clarity about the type and standard of hotel rooms and accommodation available across the emirate and the services provided within each establishment. The system adopts a multi-layered framework to categorise and rate each guest establishment. The framework includes Category, Rating, and Designators.
One significant revision to the new system is the addition of ‘Holiday Homes’ to the existing list of accommodation. The category criteria now comprises of: Resorts, Hotels, Hotel Apartments, University Campus, Youth Hostels, Guest Houses and from 2014, Holiday Homes, with Holiday Homes rated as either Standard or Deluxe. Ratings for the remaining categories is as follows: Hotels: One to Five-star, with the addition of Budget to account for lower scale properties; Resorts: Three to Five-star; Guest Houses: Standard or Deluxe; Hotel Apartments: Standard, Superior or Deluxe; and both Youth Hostels and University Campuses a single rating.
A second revision has been applied to room size perimeter requirements, bringing hotels in the emirate in-line with international destinations and organisations such as AAA and Michelin. A further addition is Wi-Fi access being available in public areas of all hotel establishments. Furthermore, standard features that will continue to be assessed include Public Areas, Services, Food and Beverage, Conferencing and Banqueting, Leisure Facilities, Bedrooms, and Bathroom, and Housekeeping and Maintenance.
The criteria of the 17 Designators that enable hotel establishments to clearly indicate their specific offerings in terms of both facilities and proximity to a significant attraction has been confirmed. This criterion available to visitors provides a coherent understanding of what is available to them. The designators are: All-Suites; Boutique; Business; Convention; Family; Golf; Heritage; Shopping; Spa; Sport; Wellness and Airport; Beachfront (an establishment on and/or with direct access to the beach); Beachside (an establishment located at a maximum of 500 metres walking distance to the beach; 80% of guests have partial or full sea view and have access to the beach); Desert; Island and Theme Park.