Vanderlei J. Pollack - Aug 6, 2012

The Department of Trade and Commerce Marketing in Dubai fall under the list of authorities to unveil fresh regulatory policies on hotel classification.

Guests’ posts on sites such as TripAdvisor appear to be concerned about the ratings as hotel rankings in UAE can be overstated using polished terminologies. As a result, consumers are likely to get trapped in confusion. This is why some travelers are calling for the need to benchmark the ratings to attain standard hotel classification and eliminate variances that create gaps in consumer expectations. It is advisable to at least create uniform ranking standards in the UAE and consider rankings for the GCC region later.

Most GCC nations entrust relevant government bodies with the regulation of hotel classifications using a checklist outlining the available amenities. This method was nonetheless effective when customers’ requirements comprised of basics. The requirements are today more complex and the authorities need to adjust the ranking standards to project genuine assessments.

Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia have in the last five years issued copies of their reviewed hotel ranking procedures. The regulations underline minimum requirements a hotel has to meet to be awarded a given class. Some of these requirements include the size of the rooms, the number of restaurants and bathroom equipment. Cities like Abu Dhabi undertake the ranking exercise using a points system when it comes to aspects such as interior décor, neatness and the texture of furnishings.

Amongst the advantages of national hotel ranking systems is the authority’s ability to set quality standards to offer more appeal to local and foreign customers. This may as well increase the country’s potential to develop world-class hotels that are capable of making the nation a leading global tourists’ destination.

The system in Kuwait is different and fascinating as it is presided over by the Hotel Owners Association committee and the government. The committee’s role is to promote fairness and ensure that no hotel with four star ranking or amenities gets a five star accolade.

Dubai’s new system on the other hand arrived after consulting widely and conducting a study of other country’s hotel ranking modules. The system is more detailed as it strives to be more elaborate. Accommodation rankings are for instance spelt out with quality in mind though the system appears bureaucratic.

Most hotel guests are interested in rankings relating to services such as staff behavior and their ability to accommodate cultural diversity. Dubai’s current five star level hotel ranking system strives to maintain the value of five star hotels by making five stars the highest class attainable. The system does not offer Gold or Platinum tags to those offering more in terms of services and comfort.

Dubai’s new system has also introduced 19 sub-sectors that are inclusive of beachside, conference and airport hotels. This provides hotels a dynamic marketing tool that they can capitalize on and curve a niche in the market. The designation is as well significant for accurate data collection. The collected information can be vital to hoteliers in making accurate plans to meet their customers’ demands, hence making Dubai’s new system a winner for both clients and hotel owners.

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