Dubai hotels will be given a year to make any improvements needed to keep their current star rating under new criteria due to be launched at the end of the year.
New hotels opening next year will be expected by Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) to fit within the new criteria for their specified star rating from the first day of opening.
“We will start by looking at all hotels to see what the gap is between the new criteria and the old criteria. We will work with each property individually to identify the missing things and help everyone to have the new criteria in place,” said Majid Al Marri, DTCM director of hotel classifications.
Having confirmed that the new classification system is on track to be published by the end of 2011, Al Marri said that hoteliers would have the next 12 months to implement changes at their properties if required.
Al Marri said that the tourism authority had invested in high-level training programmes for hotel assessors and that “mystery shoppers” would be used to objectively monitor hotels’ quality standards in terms of facilities and service levels.
An independent “body or association would come later” to work with DTCM and the 600 or more hotels in implementing the new classifications system, he added.
When asked what would happen to hotels that were unable to make any necessary changes within the 12-month deadline, Al Marri replied that it was not the department’s intention to downgrade any hotels.
“We don’t want to lose a four- or five-star rated hotel — it’s not in the interest of Dubai — so we’re supporting the industry.”