Opened in 2005, the 5-star Emirates Palace hotel is one of Abu Dhabi’s top attractions for its sheer scale and grandeur. The multi-domed luxury hotel, part of Kempinski Hotels, sits on the beachfront in palm-sprinkled gardens and makes a lavish retreat for guests and a must-see for Abu Dhabi visitors.
Overlooking its 0.8-mile (1.3-kilometer) private beach, Emirates Palace is a modern Arabian showstopper, with soaring arches, domes, and windows fronted by fountains and a gigantic staircase. The hotel measures just over a half-mile (1 kilometer) from wing to wing, and features vast halls; gold, crystal, and marble décor; Swarovski chandeliers; and 394 rooms and 92 suites.
Visitors not ready to splurge on a stay can experience the hotel in other ways: eating at an on-site hotel restaurant or booking a spa treatment. Many Abu Dhabi city tours include an exterior photo op or time to explore the hotel's public areas, while others include lunch at one of the restaurants.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Emirates Palace is a must for luxury travelers, sightseers, and culture vultures.
- Experience the hotel on a photo op or brief visit on a wider city tour.
- Most communal areas are open to visitors, so you can view the interior independently.
- Dress code is smart-casual: Expect to be refused entry if wearing shorts, flip-flops, or open sandals.
- The hotel and grounds are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
There are several ways to reach Emirates Palace. Visitors can view the hotel on a guided Abu Dhabi tour, or catch a cab or self-drive to the entrance on the city’s West Corniche Road. Alternatively, several public buses run by the hotel—look for those heading to Al Marina and ask to hop off just before for a short walk to the gate.
When to Get There
Nonresidents can view the hotel’s communal areas free, any time. That said, it’s best to avoid weekends—Fridays and Saturdays—or during any big event, as the hotel may refuse entry if it’s busy. To ensure admission, you may want to reserve a table at a restaurant or the café.
Top Tips for Visiting Emirates Palace
To experience the opulence of Emirates Palace’s without staying there, pop in to enjoy its signature Palace Cappuccino, sprinkled with 24-carat gold flakes. Otherwise, up the luxury with an afternoon tea of scones, sandwiches, and dessert cakes with premium teas or coffees. Both are served at Le Café, and you’re advised to book ahead due to high demand.