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Exclusive: Hilton’s Conrad takes over top Abu Dhabi hotel from Jumeirah

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In a big boost for Hilton in the Middle East, Conrad is taking over the Jumeirah Etihad Towers hotel in Abu Dhabi on 1st October.

The new name will be Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.  The website is here.

There have been rumours circulating for some time that the Dubai-based Jumeirah hotel group was about to lose some of its top properties.  Frankfurt was one of the names in the frame, as was Etihad Towers.

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers hotel review

It is still surprising to see it happen, however.  Etihad Towers is the top business hotel in Abu Dhabi.  Strategically, as it already had the very well regarded Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel in Dubai, I would have expected Jumeirah to cling on even if it was losing money.

Hilton, however, has been to secure a new hotel in Abu Dhabi after losing the Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi last year.  At present it has no hotels in the Emirate.

For clarity, Jumeirah appears to be keeping control of the Jumeirah At Saadiyat Island resort in Abu Dhabi.  (UPDATE: Jumeirah has confirmed to us that it is retaining control of the Saadiyat Island resort.)

About Etihad Towers

As you can see from the photo above, Etihad Towers is a mixed use office, condominium and hotel scheme.  It includes a luxury shopping mall, should you feel the need to visit Hermes, Tom Ford or even Waitrose during your stay.  It looks a lot more ‘human’ at beach level (yes, it has a modest beach) as you can see below:

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers hotel review

I stayed at Etihad Towers back in 2015.  The lobby is h-u-g-e, quadruple height and glass walled as you can see above.

The hotel is mouth shaped which means that the rooms are of varying sizes.  The nearer you are to the middle, the bigger your space.  I was given a room right in the middle which meant lots of space:

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers hotel review

The room was well appointed, including a free coffee machine.  Wi-Fi was free for all guests.  There was a ludicrous amount of wardrobe space and a full set of bathroom freebies including toothbrush, razor etc.

I spent the one day I was in the hotel down by the beach and pool.  You wouldn’t want to spend a week there on holiday, especially with kids, but for a stopover it did the job.

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers hotel review

Staff were excellent.  Whether it was setting up your chair, bringing you drinks, bringing lunch or even offering free lollypops, they were on hand.  This is one of the three pools, with a swim-up bar at the back.

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers hotel review

How much is Conrad Etihad Towers as a Hilton Honors redemption?

It isn’t clear.  Prices in Abu Dhabi are very depressed, since it is effectively closed to business travellers, so I can’t find a date where the price is so high that it triggers the maximum points charge.

For Hilton Honors members, this represents a fantastic new option in the Middle East.

You can find full details about Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers on the Hilton website here.  Ownership switches on 1st October.

Let’s see what happens among the rest of the Jumeirah portfolio ……

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Comments (14)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Gareth says:

    ‘ You wouldn’t want to spend a week there on holiday’ – how come?

    • Stu R says:

      We spent 5 nights there and we didn’t want to leave. We got an evening meal package which we purchased on arrival and worked out around £35 per person per night, way cheaper than purchasing dinner on a nightly basis. Both the breakfast and evening buffets were fresh and extensive (as in huge!), we’ll managed and varied daily.

      As for not wanting to spend a week there, utter nonsense. If it’s winter sun you’re after, we’d spend a week there in a heartbeat!

      I just hope the takeover doesn’t change the offering too radically; “if it ain’t broke” …

      If and when all this C-19 nonsense is over, we’ll go back to try it again under the new ownership.

    • Rob says:

      You clearly could spend a week there, as it is a very pleasant hotel, but as Abu Dhabi has a large number of resort hotels on Saadiyat and Yas Islands, a few minutes drive away, which may also be cheaper, I’m not sure why you would.

  • mark says:

    Loved it under Jumeirah, and will be looking to sample the Conrad way of doing things ASAP.
    Combining a Conrad doubleheader Maldives/Abu Dhabi would be a fabulous idea.

  • Marko says:

    It can be booked from 35k points (Queen Room)

    • Rob says:

      I saw it as low as 32k. I am guessing the cap is 70k but it would need a cash rate of £250+ to prove it and that’s simply not happening at the moment.

  • BP says:

    Had this hotel booked for November at £160 a night including breakfast and dinner. Unfortunately I cancelled as there’s highly likely to be a quarantine requirement.

    Visited the buffet for dinner here previously and it was the best hotel buffet I have ever experienced. The selection and quality of the food was outstanding.

  • Ian says:

    We’ve happily spent a week here three or four times following a recommendation on flyertalk to book a Club Executive room. This gives all day access to the lounge on the 45th (?) floor with food and drink available all day. The offering was ‘enhanced’ over the years so alcohol only in the evening, but it’s still very quiet and great. Let’s see what Hilton make of it.

  • alex says:

    I think next door the st regis is a better hotel for a weeks stay as it has the beach club which is a genuine benefit over an out and out city hotel.

    There was a lovely Michelin starred restaurant at the jumeirah towers sadly gone!

    I am really disappointed that Conrad are taking it over as I have stayed at the conrad dubai several times and each time the service level deteriorated (typical hilton) plus the ridiculous decision to have weekend pool parties with banging music which cheapens the hotel by inviting hundreds of young beautiful and shallow 20 somethings to party all day making it a no go area for paying residents, I feel the Abu Dhabi property will go the same way as its clearly a money spinner!

    • Ian says:

      I agree about the weekend brunch and pool party angle, whilst the people watching aspect can be entertaining, it meant that we did a late Saturday check in and Friday check out last stay (at Etihad Towers) to avoid. I doubt Jumeirah would be too bothered about loss of custom as we managed to check out with a zero bill having managed on ‘free’ lounge alcohol and food in the lounge.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Quite enjoyed a 4 night stay at the St Regis but the rooms do seem to be looking a little tired.

  • Doc says:

    Liked this place very much when we were there 4 years ago.
    It was a stopover for 4 days on our way to the Maldives and I agree with HFP that was enough for Abu Dhabi for us but everyone has their own idea on what they want from their holidays.
    We were on half board in a club room. The club facilities were very good including really good afternoon tea and canapés and VC champagne flowing in the evenings in the club lounge with excellent views. The club lounge came in handy since we had a late flight out, so after checkout, we had complimentary access to the lounge to chill for 4 hours which was well worth the extra we paid for the club room.

  • will says:

    Hilton opening on Yas island too at some point.

    Usually do the GP there, winter sun is incredible.

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