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Mandarin Oriental to take over Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi

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Whilst it won’t be bookable on points, regular holidaymakers to the Middle East will be keen to know that Mandarin Oriental is taking over management of the iconic Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi from 1st January.

Emirates Palace opened in 2005 and was, at the time, revolutionary in terms of quality for the region.  It was given a prime position and huge sums of money were thrown at the construction.  Giving it to Kempinski to manage always seemed like an odd decision.

(Something similar has happened in Qatar recently.  When I was there this year, I stayed at Kempinski Marsa Malaz on The Pearl.  The Pearl is Qatar’s smaller version of Dubai’s The Palm, and Marsa Malaz is – by a long way – the best beach resort in Doha.  And yet, for some odd reason, Kempinski was brought in to manage it.)

Mandarin Oriental to manage Emirates Palace hotel from Kempinski

With Mandarin Oriental in charge, Emirates Palace will become a genuine top-end option again.  Don’t rush to book, however.  The hotel is embarking on a two year renovation in January – although it will remain open – which means it will be 2022 before it is fully reflecting Mandarin Oriental’s vision.

As usual, if you are looking to book a Mandarin Oriental property then you should get a quote for our luxury hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas.  Mandarin Oriental bookings via Emyr will come with:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit (a small number of hotels offer a different amenity instead of this)
  • Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

You can contact him via the form on this page of Head for Points.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (134)

  • Martha says:

    its been on mine for some time. Any sign it will stop soon?

  • Go says:

    Anyone got any expierence of students applying for any of the Amex cards? Has had modest employed income of about £4K per annum for 3 years whilst at university. Obviously part of household with other income

    • Anuj says:

      When I was a student I easily managed to get a Amex gold. I included my maintenance loan in the income section however (no idea if that’s correct or not). Probably put down around but can’t quite remember £9,000. Also cancelled and signed up for multiple cards in those three years.

  • Bagoly says:

    Why do you say it seemed odd for Kempinski to have been the appointed managers at those hotels?
    They position themselves at the top of the market, even if they don’t always succeed.
    And I expect they do well with German guests, despite the ownership now being definitely not German.
    I can see why their being smaller than the massive groups with multiple brands would have appealed to the owners of the Gulf hotels.

    • Rob says:

      You shouldn’t spend $1bn on a hotel and give it to Kempinski! I mean, look at the comments today about the hotel. You’ll note I didn’t review the Doha hotel either.

  • Ian M says:

    OT- Great to see Aeroflot are putting an A350 on the Moscow – London route from June! Their new business class cabin looks fantastic.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Good spot, shame I only have 50p left!

  • BJ says:

    OT: Abellio ScotRail franchise ending early 🙂

  • Peter says:

    Is it likely that we will be able to use the BA Amex two-for-one voucher on a China Southern flight?

  • Ali says:

    OT – looks like since the 15th December, the non-sterling transaction fee has been removed for EEA purchases on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card

    This change was written on my most recent statement. Applies to purchases made in Euros, Swedish Kronor, and Romanian Lei. Cash withdrawals still attract cash advance fee.

    I don’t know if this is also the case for the Reward credit card too, or for new customers. The summary box on the application page doesn’t seem to reflect this.

    Could be a positive change for some

    • Ali says:

      Also OT – does the £160 annual fee count towards the £3000 in 90 days or £10000 in 12 months spend targets?

    • jc says:

      Mentioned this in comments twice last week (it’s a knock on effect from an EU regulation) – surprised it hasn’t been mentioned more widely here and elsewhere.