Sunday, May 22, 2005

Escape: Dubai's classier, quieter sister :: Sunday Times

The marble and granite palace stretches almost a mile from end to end. It has 114 domes, one of which is bigger than St Paul’s Cathedral’s. There are 1,002 Swarovski crystal chandeliers. There is so much gold leaf that the building used up South Africa’s supply for an entire year. Even when full, it boasts six members of staff to every guest. Such luxury comes at a price though — the Emirates Palace hotel is also home to the most expensive suite in the world, at £22,000 a night.

Having overseen his emirate’s acquisition of vast oil wealth, in the 1990s Abu Dhabi’s ruler Sheik Zayed boldly declared that it would become the ultimate holiday destination, eclipsing its kitscher, more popular neighbour Dubai.
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