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Yes, the UAE’s hospitality industry has seen well-timed influx of mid-priced hotels, with the likes of Rove Downtown Dubai witnessing 100 percent occupation rates, even in peak summer. Great news for most travellers. But surely you have wondered how the other half holiday in the UAE? Arabian Business rounds up 11 of the grandest hotel suites in the emirates. Room prices are for peak time and could vary due to seasonal changes, taxes or other factors.
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St Regis Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Suite
\nAED150,000 ($40,800) per night
\nThe 48th and 49th floors of the capital’s Nation Towers house the world’s highest suspended suite at 220 metres, we are told. With staff quarters, a private chef’s kitchen and five-and-a-half bathrooms, there is enough room for a football team. Or a family with a large staff. A floating majlis occupies the skybridge with magnificent panoramic views over Abu Dhabi, the Arabian Gulf and the Corniche. The room comes with airport transfers in a Bentley, plus arrival and departure by helicopter. “You name it, we will make it happen,” they say. Don’t tempt us.
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Atlantis The Palm, Royal Bridge Suite
\nAED147,000 ($40,000) per night
\nEver wondered what is inside the archway that connects the two sides of the magnificent Atlantis The Palm hotel? Wonder no more, and instead consider what you could buy with the money it would cost to stay in this most exclusive of Dubai suites, such as a teaspoon of “white gold”, one of the world’s most expensive caviars, or a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan – though if you thought about what else you could do for the money it costs to stay in the Atlantis suite, you can’t afford to join the likes of Kim Kardashian West as a guest here.
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The St Regis Dubai, Sir Winston Churchill Suite
\nAED75,000 ($20,420) per night
\nMust be seen to be believed – we have been in hotels that are smaller than this. The majestic in-room spiral staircase leading to central dome of the hotel is the first thing one notices. It leads to rooftop plunge pool with panoramic views of the landscaped gardens. The room features a collection of 15 art pieces from the Churchill archives, including portraits and photographs of the legendary statesman, paintings he mastered and a well-maintained Cuban cigar that once belonged to him from the private collection of Chairman Khalaf Al Habtoor. When Churchill himself said “We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us”, he could well have been speaking about this room.
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Armani Dubai Suite
\nAED45,000 ($12,252) per night
\nThe hotel’s only suite is situated on level 39, facing the Arabian Gulf, with stunning city views. It is the epitome of classic, with plain furnishings in classic warm browns and golds. This 390 sq m of elegance was apparently designed by Mr Armani himself. Its circular entrance vestibule room gives 180 degree views of the city. It is missing the Burj Khalifa views that some other suites can boast, but we can forgive it that, what with this one being inside the Burj Khalifa.
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The Palace Downtown Dubai, Imperial Suite
\nAED45,000 ($12,252) per night
\nDespite the name, we found no Stormtroopers or references to Darth Vader at all. Instead, this tasteful duplex suite boasts an extravagant four master bedrooms plus a jacuzzi. It has two private balconies overlooking the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa – enough to attract prime ministers, presidents, royal families and celebrities (though no emperors, as far as we know).
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Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Malakiya Villas
\nAED22,000 ($5,990) per night
\nFor those guests who prefer their luxury suite positioned away from the main hotel, there can’t be many options with as much character as these seven private waterside villas. They perhaps feel more a part of a coastal Mediterranean village than an Arab citadel after which the resort is styled. Private terraces give you first-class views of the resort's scenic haunts – though you might want to keep the curtains drawn at times, to prevent punters from getting an equally good vantage of your room.
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Jumeirah Al Qasr, Royal Suite
\nAED16,000 ($4,360) per night
\nAt the home of one of Dubai’s most famous brunches, you might expect at least an unconquerable breakfast and obligatory views of the Burj Al Arab. And you would be right to presume both. Perhaps not as grand as some comparable suites, though the jewel in the crown of this room is its location in one of the city’s most-loved hotels in the same complex as the Madinat and Mina A’Salam, a stone’s throw from Wild Wadi Water Park (free passes for suite guests!) and the aforementioned Burj.
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Grosvenor House Dubai, Royal Suite
\nAED15,000 ($4,080) per night
\nA draw for UK celebrities, including “high-profile footballers”, we are told (perhaps it’s the Bulgari bath amenities). So if you fancy yourself as the next David Beckham, you might want to get your room booked – though you might need to secure those Real Madrid wages first. A ten-guest dining area and Palm Jumeirah or Dubai Marina views make this the ideal New Dubai spot in which to entertain during a Dubai visit or staycation.
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Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Presidential Suite
\nAED12,500 ($3,400) per night
\nAlways fancied camping in the desert but prefer to always be at least 100m or less from a complimentary minibar? This is the spot for you. To describe this suite as “unique” is not hyperbolic. Surrounded by the Dubai Desert Reserve protected wildlife area, a night here allows you to sit on the deck of your own large temperature-controlled swimming pool and watch oryx and gazelles wandering through the beautiful red-gold sands that surround you. Try a camel trek and desert picnic – or sit by the pool with a drink in hand and watch others do the energetic stuff.
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Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Royal Suite
\nAED12,500 ($3,403) per night
\nSimilar to the Royal Suite at Al Qasr across the road, the Mina A’Salam’s luxury room is amongst the smallest – and cheapest – luxury rooms on our list. Its best feature is panoramic ocean views from balcony and living area plus views of the Madinat Jumeirah waterways. And 17 different types of pillow.
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Palazzo Versace Dubai, Grand Suite
\nAED8,000 ($2,180) per night
\nIf you’ve been on the lookout for an “urban resort reminiscent of a 16th century Italian palace”, you’re in luck. This grand suite is certainly grand in design. The room is filled with well-crafted Italian furnishings, exclusively designed by House of Versace, standing on striking parquet flooring in living areas. Minimalists be warned – you might find the intricately pattered upholstery that covers almost every surface to be bordering on chintzy. The best-value luxury suite on the list. Where else can you get fantastic Creek views while planted in House of Versace-designed furniture? Nowhere, that’s where.
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Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Grand Imperial Suite
\nAED15,199 ($4,140) per night
\nThis Ottoman-inspired one-bedroom suite features a golden imperial bathtub that can hold 2,000 litres of water or, if you prefer, 20 people. It’s a tub befitting Cleopatra herself – though we recommend you avoid the sour donkey milk if you ever find yourself with access to this magnificent vessel. The rest of the suite is quite nice, too.