The ruling family in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi angered the French in the Alps region, after they seized two hotels to house their workers while on vacation in a palace near the two hotels.
The Times quoted sources as saying that the mayor of Annemasse municipality, Christian Dopsy, expressed his anger after learning that the best hotels in his town would not be available until September due to the reservation of 180 rooms there.
Local tourism chiefs welcomed the deal with Mercure and Novotel, noting that tourists are scarce due to the health crisis and that the city needs all the visitors it can receive.
The ruling family..Mohammed bin Zayed stays in the Renaissance Palace
Reports indicate that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, is staying at the Al-Nahda Palace in the municipality of Vitras-Monthaux, a residence a 10-minute drive from Animas, which his late father, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, had bought in the past.
French documents say that the property belongs to all members of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi, although the Crown Prince considers it his summer residence.
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Last year, bin Zayed was unable to visit the palace due to the pandemic, and the French media indicate that he is making up for this period.
French newspapers say the rulers of Abu Dhabi have struck a deal with hotel group Accor, which owns the Mercure and Novotel chains, to book rooms for two months for millions of euros. It appears that palace workers will exclusively use the two hotels and restaurants in them.
It is further said that hotel workers have been subjected to a strict health protocol in an attempt to keep the palace workers inside a protectionist bubble. Accor has declined to comment on the matter.
Dobsy was stunned to discover that two of the approximately 16 hotels in Annemas were unavailable to ordinary vacationers. “It is shocking that a country can decide to privatize two hotels in a town at the start of the holiday season,” he said. Over the course of two months, tourists will be deprived of the two most beautiful hotels in Annemas. They were privatized for Abu Dhabi, which is not very democratic.”
Patrick Antoine, head of the Tourist Office, described the large reservation as a “blow of luck” at a time when the area’s hotels were on average 40% occupied. He added that Abu Dhabi Palace will generate 20,000 euros in tourism tax for Animas.
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