Hotels on the Arabian Peninsula owe their captivating appeal to their excellent quality – as well as to the increasing individuality imparted by artificial islands, cities, art and nature.
When we think of hotels on the Arabian Peninsula, our mind’s eye shows us pictures of impressive buildings. The billowing ‘sail’ of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai or the futuristic Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi have long since been regarded as icons of architecture and the luxury hotel scene. This trend is continuing; Dubai is also benefiting from having won the right to host the World Expo 2020, which promises to attract even more attention and international guests. The high standards expected by visitors and operators alike are almost proverbial, and new hotels too are satisfying these demands with exquisite furnishings and exclusive infrastructure.
Between the city and the sea
Dubai’s special attractions include the new, artificial island world that continues to evolve. Major hotel chains are settling on the newly gained land in the sea, offering ultramodern architecture in a huge array of variants or ensembles that use traditional echoes to evoke fairytale-like associations. Other establishments are already scheduled, such as The Langham on Palm Jumeirah, which will feature an interior design by internationally operating company Aedas Interiors. Located between the sea’s horizon and the silhouette of the city, it is due to open its doors in 2015.
Art and culture
At the same time, there is growing interest in individual special features such as the integration of a renowned photographic collection or using art as an inspiration for the design. The recently opened Sofitel Dubai Downtown, for instance, has far more to offer than its fantastic view of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, which provides such a majestic backdrop. The interior of the new building, which is itself 31 storeys high and equipped with themed restaurants and a pool terrace, plays with the geometric op art of Victor Vasarely. Dubai's film industry also provides plenty of starting points. It was for this context that Austrian architectural firm Söhne & Partner developed the design of its Studio City Hotel, which proposes a facade shaped like an outsized QR code. The same firm cooperated with Dennis Lems Architects (Vienna and Abu Dhabi) on the design of the Emirates Pearl in Abu Dhabi, which is currently rising into the sky near the famous Emirates Palace.
Last but not least, new locations in impressive natural landscapes are demonstrating that the region also has plenty of remarkable highlights to offer outside its major urban spaces. The Alila Jabal Akhdar Hotel that opened in Oman’s imposing Jabal Akhdar Mountains in spring is a prime example. Designed by England-based firm Atkins and with an interior design by Thai studio P49 Deesign, the new complex combines the aura of the rocky landscape with traditional materials and modern accents. The latter include not just contemporary standards of comfort but ecological foresight and consideration for the surrounding landscape as well – aspects that have long been on the wish list of discerning guests all over the world.
Source: Koelnmesse, reprint free of charge