The World’s Most High-Tech Hotel?

By Deane Barker on April 23, 2005

A traveling geek’s gilded dream: We’ve already established that the folks in Dubai like to build big. That apparently extends to their neighbors in Abu Dhabi as well. The Emirates Palace is certainly the world’s most expensive hotel, and is being heralded as its most high-tech as well.

The unique aspects of the Emirates Palace are hidden inside its ductwork: nearly a thousand miles of blue, red and green fiber-optic and broadcast cable, and enough other advancements to have convinced the staff that this is the world’s most high-tech hotel. They may even be right.

[…]The hotel’s network already has a full-time security officer who monitors its 16 firewalls and intrusion detection systems. The staff is working to win accreditation used by the British banking system, Coeshott said.

On special request, the computer and broadcast network — and its 3.5 terabyte storage network — can be cut off completely from the outside world, like the U.S. government’s secure intranet, he said.

Guests in the hotel’s 394 bedrooms, where nightly rates range from $600 to $12,000, get a handheld computer to interact with the television, stereo and 30 separate lights in each room. The $2,500 Linux-based AMX handheld, with an 8-inch color screen, can also arrange a wake-up call, download a movie, record a TV show or call for maid service.