Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has approved a new classification system for hotels in the emirate, which it says is more transparent than the present 15-year-old model.
It includes a one- to five-star rating system, with an additional ‘budget’ level based on international standards.
Accommodation also will be categorised by its type, such as hotel, resort, hotel apartment and guest house.
A list of “designators” has been created to help describe the establishment, with descriptions such as beach, airport, family and desert.
The new system was designed to provide the industry and visitors with clarity and transparency on the type and quality of hotels, as well as formalise standards, DTCM said in a statement.
“Our current system of classification dates back to 1998 and requires updating due to the vast growth of the hotel and hospitality sector in Dubai in the past 15 years,” Majid Al Marri, director of hotel classification at DTCM, said.
“Following the soft launch of the new classification system this time last year, we have benchmarked it against grading schemes from markets in major destinations regionally and around the world, to help ensure that Dubai’s classifications are at the forefront globally.
“We have also worked in close partnership with the hotel industry to ensure that our new criteria matches the range of tourist accommodation in the market today and that there is a smooth transition from the old classification system to the new one.”
Hotels will have one year to alter their facilities and quality to match the rating they want to achieve.
Tourism is a key economic driver for Dubai and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday launched the emirate’s goal to reach 20 million visitors per year by 2020, which would be double the 2012 figure.