DTCM revises Dubai hotel classification law

Room size requirements changed and new Wi-Fi criteria added

Changes have been made to the hotel classification scheme, which comes into effect in September.
Changes have been made to the hotel classification scheme, which comes into effect in September.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has modified its hotel classification scheme, with implementation coming in September.

According to Khalid bin Touq, executive director, licensing & classification sector, the authority has changed the “room size perimeter requirements, bringing hotel classification in the emirate in-line with rating systems in other international destinations”.

DTCM has also added the availability of Wi-Fi- access in public areas of all new hotel establishments to the criteria.

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Commenting on who the new revisions will apply to, Touq told Hotelier: “All existing hotels are exempt from the criteria related to the revised room size perimeters; this only applies to new hotel establishments.”

Touq also said the DTCM has been testing the new system since April 2014, and has received positive feedback on the criteria. He also revealed that more than 570 establishments have registered on the hotel classification system and are working on updating their details.

The scheme has caused some uncertainty among hoteliers about how the criteria will affect existing hotels and properties under development.

TRI Hospitality Consulting senior consulting Christopher Hewett explained: “There could be situations where hotels that were previously classified as one rating will significantly reduced down if room sizes and other criteria don’t match those set by the DTCM. Secondly, it will change the direction of what future hotels have got.

"Hotels coming into the pipeline who may have planned to have room sizes of X will have room sizes of Y, and that will have an impact on the development costs, and you could see some hotels probably scale back the number of rooms they’ll have if the room sizes that are in the classification are larger than what they have currently got planned.”

In June, DTCM also added holiday homes to its existing list of accommodation categories, which includes resorts, hotels, hotel apartments, university campus, youth hostels, and guest houses. All holiday homes will be rated as either standard or deluxe.

The hotel classification scheme was introduced to improve clarity about the type and quality of hotel rooms and accommodation available across the emirate and the services provided by the properties.

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