Since its inception in 2005, VIP guests, celebrities, heads of states, and royal families from all over the globe have enjoyed the service truly befitting of kings and queens.
As Abu Dhabi’s iconic landmark, Emirates Palace embraces the rich culture and colorful traditions of this region.
A beautiful palace on its own stretch of private beach, the façade of the building is breath-taking. The architects and designers used gold and marble with help from the best international artisans to create a spectacular resort, making it one of the most impressive hotels and conference venues ever built. With 394 rooms and suites, the Palace has been carefully designed and furnished to offer guests superior comfort and luxury.
If you are looking to unwind and relax, look no further than the 85 hectares of manicured lawns and recreational facilities within the Palace grounds. Indulge in the luxury of beauty and open space offered by our pristine 1.3km white sandy beach, or soak up some sun along the two lushly landscaped swimming pools and terraces - one to refresh and relax and one perfectly designed for adventure and family fun.
LEADERS Middle East, caught up with Mr. Holger Schroth, GM of Emirates Palace for an insight into operating one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
Emirates Palace is regarded as one of the most iconic hotels in the Middle East, what are the unique characteristics when it comes to operating a hotel of this caliber?
Emirates Palace from the day it was opened in Abu Dhabi has naturally had a certain impact. A destination in itself, with 394 rooms and suites, thirteen restaurants and a lounge, the largest banqueting and conference space in the city and a world-class marina, it takes quite a team to maintain our five-star standards and to go above and beyond our guests’ expectations.
At Emirates Palace, we cater to different market segments and so it is a balancing act of maintaining the efficiency, serenity and connectivity that business guests desire as well as the recreational appeal and wide variety of dinning outlets that leisure guests are looking for. Security for our government-related events and guests is of high importance and we work in close partnership with the relevant authorities to guarantee that this is never compromised.
To keep the grounds immaculate, we first of all require a team of around 1600 employees and a golf cart system to get around the 100 acres of expanse. We painstakingly ensure that our lawns are impeccably manicured and that our 1.3 km beach located on a natural desert remains perfect. Managing both in-house guests and external requests, we synchronize and make adequate provision for any request to ensure that we consistently deliver our very best.
Since you attain to some of the most high end travellers, what is your philosophy when it comes to delivering the best possible quality of service?
Apart from the physical beauty of the building and grounds, we have a 4 to 1 staff to guest ratio, which ensures that every single guest receives the royal treatment. We pride ourselves on our high standards of service and attention to detail, and I believe that our guests really feel the difference even as they drive up to the Palace.
From little details like a welcome Arabic coffee to a local experience like going pearl diving, we give our guests a taste of true Emirati hospitality, allowing us to further differentiate our product and level of service.
Why would you say people choose to stay at Emirates Palace? What is unique about Emirates Palace?
Emirates Palace is a Palace in every sense, offering the highest standards of hospitality, culinary innovation, and entertainment. The range of services offered for leisure and business guests, from our numerous recreational facilities to our state-of-the-art conference and meeting spaces, makes Emirates Palace a destination in its own right. With its vast space, Emirates Palace has also a tranquil corner for everyone.
Is human capital an important element within your operations?
I don’t like the term “human capital” as it diminishes employees to a purely financial factor. The human resources element is one of the most important components to Emirates Palace operation and my role is to lead the team of 1600 passionate hoteliers who work at Emirates Palace.
Training is fundamental to any successful enterprise and at Emirates Palace we have a dedicated department that works diligently throughout the year ensuring that each and every one of our employees not only develops the skills that will aid them to carry out their duties to the best of their ability, but also life skills that they will practice way beyond their time at Emirates Palace.
Embracing a diverse team, remaining visible and managing by walking around are key requirements for my management team and it is this accessible management style that has created the warm culture we have at Emirates Palace.
The UAE has managed to position itself as one of the most important destinations for travel and Tourism, what are your thoughts on the way forward for the tourism and travel industry? What are some of your suggestions for the country to remain in this leading position?
We work closely with our partners at Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority to achieve the vision of the Government of Abu Dhabi. Through their efforts, and the expansion of Etihad airways, another great partner, Abu Dhabi is fast becoming the cultural centre of the Middle East and has gained an excellent reputation for hosting world-class events.
Abu Dhabi already has so much to offer visitors and this is reflected in the continued growth in the number of visitors every year. With the on-going development on Saadiyat and a growing events calendar that includes Formula One, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Tennis at the Palace and Polo at the Palace, Abu Dhabi continues to maintain its status as one of the world’s leading destinations.