A luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi has introduced fully vegan rooms for their vegan clientele. Emirates Palace, one of the most expensive hotels in the country located at the West of the United Arab Emirates capital by the sea, has now six rooms designed entirely without animal products, including feather-free duvets, fake leather furniture, and wooden floors instead of wool carpets. The vegan rooms, which cost the same as any of the other non-vegan-friendly rooms of the same size, also have vegan-friendly toiletries, plant-based in-room dining menus, and mini-bars with almond and oat milk. Guests visiting the spa can now try vegan products and treatments.

Four of the vegan rooms are located on the top floor while two rooms on the ground floor offer direct access to the grounds and pool area. The hotel staff has received training to understand vegan lifestyles. 

Michael Koth, the general manager at Emirates Palace, stated that the hotel aims to be relevant to its current clientele, which includes those who choose to follow a vegan lifestyle, while also offering the same levels of luxury and quality as their “standard” counterparts. It is refreshing to see that those running a hotel understand that veganism is not about food but is a philosophy that leads to a lifestyle that affects all other aspects of people’s life, such as furniture, clothes, toiletries, etc. An ethical vegan travelling to a hotel would not be able to stay if the rooms are not suitable for vegans, even if the restaurant has many vegan options. This applies to any hotel in any country, not just luxury hotels.

The next step would now be to make the entire hotel vegan-friendly, as such a move would benefit everyone. If there are now hospitals that are fully vegan, such as the Hayek Hospital in Lebanon, big hotels could do the same. 

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.