The Emirates Palace was designed to be Versailles in the Gulf. It started as a mixed use design project as one of the bases to host the GCC Conference, but it soon became obvious that the client wanted a landmark building with dynamic presence and stature. The design places the council chamber at the heart of the development with an iconic atrium above it linking the 8 luxury suites for the rulers of the Gulf states. Each suite has its own access and links directly to the council chamber, while the main conference and theatre are connected with separate circulation to the luxury hotel. The hotel is managed by Kempinski and fronts a 500m beach. The red stone is symbolic of the colours at Al Ain, the home town of the ruling family and the building sits on a dramatic urban axis.