x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Emirates Palace tries again with million-dollar vacation package

The hotel will relaunch its million-dollar package next month with a few adjustments, in the hope of securing its first customer.

ABU DHABI // The Emirates Palace hotel will relaunch its million-dollar package next month with a few adjustments, in the hope of securing its first customer. Since it was first offered in August, there have been a few inquiries but no one has yet bought the package for two, which originally included seven days in a Palace suite, a day trip to Jordan and a helicopter tour of the desert. Janet Abrahams, the hotel's director of sales and marketing, said the first person to ask about the offer was from the Gulf and looking to give a loved one a "very special gift". But, she said, that potential customer and others since have sought more personalised packages. "Within the million dollars you can actually do anything you want, just so long as we can cover cost. It's not meant to be profit-making," she said. "It's two people, one million dollars and the package. And obviously there are certain things included in the package like the gifts and other things like that. For the other things, like the excursions, they may want to go to other countries." Among the gifts are pearls and expensive perfume. She added that the global credit crisis was not the reason no one had yet agreed to pay the US$1 million (Dh3.7m) for the package: "You hear a lot of bad news everywhere else on the TV in Europe, but every time you read about Abu Dhabi, it's the opposite." The spokeswoman added that it might not even be a wealthy person who gets to become the first to experience the lavish package. One inquiry was from a company linked to a German TV station looking to "film the whole thing as part of a publicity campaign". "It will be to reward their employees. The idea is that they will turn it into a photo-diary event. They would be able to get exposure about their company or their product," Ms Abrahams said. asafdar@thenational.ae