As the popularity of staycations for UAE residents continues, the team at Travel Counsellors has noted an increase in enquiries from customers looking to enjoy their short getaway accompanied by their faithful furry friends.
As Travel Counsellors provide personal recommendations and are trusted travel experts, our team quickly responded to this interest by exploring suitable options and validating the offerings of some ‘pet friendly’ hotels here in the UAE – with mixed results.
Firstly, it was great to find the hotels taking sensible precautions: only accepting vaccinated pets and ensuring that dogs remain on their leash whilst outside their room. Many also had restrictions around maximum weight and a caveat that any costs incurred due to damage caused by the animal would, of course, have to be covered by the guest.
In addition, several properties have mandatory additional charges for bringing your furry friend along, some as high as Dh500 for a one-night stay. Where we found huge differences were the policies regarding the pet’s freedom of movement within the properties – with many ‘pet friendly’ hotels actually declaring that pets are not welcome in any areas other than the hotel room and lobby.
However, we know that what many of our customers are looking for is a full family staycation, where they can enjoy a lunch and dinner in the company of their much-loved pets out of the confines of their hotel room.
Happily, we did find a selection of properties now responding to consumer demand and allowing much wider accompanied pet access within their facilities. These include the Radisson RED Dubai Silicon Oasis, which welcomes dogs in all room categories and areas of the hotel, except the rooftop pool area. The Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown also allows pets in several of their F&B outlets. These two hotels – along with others who are willing to take a more flexible approach to welcoming our canine friends – will certainly benefit from the increasing demand for truly pet-friendly staycation options, a trend we believe is set to continue here in the UAE.
* The writer is General Manager, Travel Counsellors UAE
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