Dubai : A guest who stripped a luxury hotel room in Fujairah bare is an extreme case of some of the bizarre souvenirs that customers have decided to check out with.
It's a crime that goes unreported in most cases, but costs hotel chains across the UAE thousands of dirhams to replace.
A random poll by XPRESS found that five hotels, both four- and five-star, reported having a problem.
However, few were prepared to admit how serious the issue was or officially go on record to say so.
A representative of a luxury hotel in Fujairah, requesting anonymity, said it was a growing problem.
“Summer months are the worst. We will do this year's lost inventory by the end of August, but we have already clocked up Dh10,000 worth of items between January and May of this year,'' he said.
The hotel was also the victim of an odd case of the guest taking away everything. “The funniest incident was when one of the guests stripped the room literally and took everything, even the bed-sheets and pillow cases,'' he said.
“We sent him a letter thanking him for purchasing everything, attaching the price of each item with his credit card details, which was there on our records.''
The guest came back to return everything while apologising as he thought the things were meant for guests, the representative added.
“We send letters to a customer thanking him/her for the purchase when we are 100 per cent sure that the item has been taken by the customer. Some reply, some don't, but in many cases we write it off as we are in the hospitality business and the customer is treated as king,'' he said.
The most popular items taken from the hotel between April and August last year were face cloths, with 2,789 going missing.
The next were bath towels with 897 disappearing, 890 hand towels, 269 bath rugs, 159 bathrobes, 84 pillows, 164 duvet covers, 492 pillow cases, 215 turn-down mats, 432 bidet towels, 125 bath mats, 420 white Waffle bathrobes and 138 Waffle children's bathrobes.
“Since bathrobes are expensive we have put a note on them saying it is available for purchase at a price and to contact reception if guests intend to buy them. Most of the time we end up silent in cases of smaller items like face towels which go missing,'' he added.