Pet hotel in Abu Dhabi

Does your pooch deserve a stay at the Cloud 9 Pet Hotel? Discuss this article

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Summer and Eid in the UAE mark the beginning of human migration, where families fly off to cooler climes for their vacations. All good for the holiday makers, but what happens to those furry, four-legged friends who can’t come along? It’s an unfortunate reality that many in Abu Dhabi resort to abandoning their pets, which is also why summer in the UAE marks the beginning of an increase in the stray animal population on our streets. It’s cruel but true – some people really are this irresponsible.

Enter the capital’s pet hotels, shelters and vets – who offer boarding or temporary homes for the abandoned ones. Afra Al Dhaheri is the young owner of one such establishment, offering a hotel service for your cats and dogs. Cloud9 was launched earlier in February this year in an effort to curb the abandoned pet epidemic. ‘I opened Cloud9 because I was involved very much in rescuing animals,’ says Afra. ‘I would rescue them off the street and their numbers increased in the summer. And then I realised these animals were dumped by their owners because there is no place to keep them during the holidays. So I decided to open Cloud9 just to cut down the number of abandoned animals.’

The 25-year-old, who studied hotel management and tourism, was supported by Khalifa Fund to set up Cloud 9. She now treats her business like one big pet play-pen. Staff are encouraged to bring their own pets to work and even Afra takes turns bringing in members of her own entourage, which consists of seven dogs and nine cats. Frankly, it’s a wonder she’s able to get any work done.

‘People ask me why is Cloud9 expensive,’ she says. ‘This is because we don’t just put the dog in a cage and only see them twice a day when we want to feed them. We spend a lot of time with the dogs. We play with them, we brush them, we clean them and take pictures of the dogs and email the clients.’

Afra’s pet hotel is certainly an interesting venture. The VIP rooms are furnished with flat-screen TVs and stereo systems, yet we couldn’t help thinking the individual kennels were a bit on the small side.

It had us wondering what the animals would prefer: more space or lots of noise? In any case, it’s still early days for Cloud9 and they’re bound to have some teething problems before they get it right. Like the medical aspect, for example. They have a shiny, in-house clinic, but no vet or nurse as of yet.

Housed in a huge villa, with two wings consisting of 39 dog rooms and 34 cat rooms, Cloud9 also has a pet salon; a pet shop; a large grassy yard out back (to get those hounds running about in) and a play room for the cats.

There are eight members of staff consisting of three pet carers, two cleaners, a groomer and a receptionist. Cloud9 offers daycare for pets who don’t like to be left alone at home and boarding for the holidays. They also do grooming and offer pick-up and drop-off services for pets and pet supplies.
Room rates start at Dhs100 per day. Cloud 9 Pet Hotel & Care, Khalifa City A (050 311 9929).

More cost effective alternatives

The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
This veterinary hospital-cum-animal shelter also offers a boarding service for cats, dogs and other small animals (like birds and rabbits). Rates start from Dhs35 per day for all cats. They also do grooming.
To find out more, visit www.falconhospital.com (02 575 5155).

German Veterinary Clinic
These guys offer board for cats only, but they do grooming for both cats and dogs. They’re also helpful if you need advice and support regarding pet travel.
For more info visit www.germanvet.ae (02 556 2024).

American Veterinary Clinic (AVC)
The AVC runs Abu Dhabi’s first and largest kennels and cattery. They also offer the usual veterinary services, grooming and support with pet travel.
For more info visit www.americanvet.ae. For the cattery (02 665 5044), for kennels (02 551 1578).

By Elest Ali
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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