DUKES DUBAI, UAE
Dubai has become a real hotspot for hotels in recent years, and although the place allows for breathtaking and innovatively designed hotels beaming with glitter and gold, DUKES DUBAI offers something different and entirely unique. Tonje Odegard visited to find out what makes it stand out…
DUKES DUBAI is the sister hotel of the famous DUKES LONDON and is the hotel group’s first venture outside London. Bringing London and Britain to the United Arab Emirates, DUKES DUBAI is the city’s first quintessentially British hotel, ensuring five-star luxury, British design and a piece of London in Dubai. No wonder the hotel has been one of the most highly anticipated openings of the year!
Ideally located on the western stem of the prominent Palm Jumeirah, the man-made island on the outskirts of Dubai, and shaped like a palm, DUKES DUBAI offers great views of the stunning Dubai.
Reaching 15 floors, the hotel comprises a total of 279 guestrooms, including 195 standard rooms, 64 luxury suites and 20 Duchess Rooms, located on the female-only Duchess Floor. In addition, the hotel features 277 fully furnished hotel apartments.
As well as this, the hotel has a fabulous infinity pool, creating the perfect spot to view the ocean and Dubai’s striking skyscrapers; a ‘Lazy River’ swimming pool; an atmospheric indoor pool on the 14th floor (in fact the only operating indoor pool on The Palm); and no less than six F&B outlets.
Mirroring DUKES LONDON in its design and offerings, DUKES DUBAI is luxurious in every way.
As you enter through the lobby, you are met by a gorgeous Tiffany chandelier, which took an amazing three days to assemble. As you begin to explore the space, you find several connections between Britain and the Emirates, for instance in the paintings behind the reception desks, which display British admirals, whereas on the opposite wall you can find paintings of former UAE royals. The furniture is distinctly English countryside chic, the photographs are a mix of London and Dubai landmarks, and the bookshelves are stacked with old copies of classic English novels. Sturdy Arabian-inspired pillars support the high ceiling and the roof is adorned with Arabian patterns.
On the 14th floor you can access the hip indoor pool and cocktail bar, which offers stunning views of the Dubai Marina skyline with the newly constructed Dubai Eye. Being the only indoor pool on The Palm, the venue is ideal for guests wanting to escape the strong sun for a few hours and ideal to have private drink receptions or parties in the evening.
DUKES DUBAI has a whole floor dedicated to the ladies – on the Duchess Floor, 20 female-only rooms have been created in collaboration with Liberty Fabrics, aimed at female businesswomen travelling solo. Liberty Fabrics has supplied their iconic and easily recognisable materials to decorate the designer suites – the rich and vibrant fabric is instantly reminiscent of the Regent Street department store – a true beacon of London living.
The Duchess Rooms is the brainchild of Mrs Debrah Dhugga, Managing Director of DUKES COLLECTION, who was inspired by her own business travels to create a package tailored specifically to women.
The artwork in the rooms, not just the Duchess Rooms, is largely inspired by Britain with famous London landmarks displayed in the photography. DUKESY, DUKES’ signature brass toy dog, is also elegantly displayed in each room (and elsewhere in the hotel) as decoration.
DUKES DUBAI offers no less than six different places to eat and drink, with two renowned fine-dining restaurants, all of which are overseen by award-winning Executive Head Chef, Martin Cahill.
Khyber is the hotel’s first-class Indian restaurant, and is the sister restaurant of award-winning family-driven Khyber Mumbai, which serves up incredibly tasty North-Indian food. It is the restaurant’s first venture outside India, but the flavours are as authentic as any Mumbai-based restaurant – rich, balanced and spicy! Situated on the top floor of the hotel, the restaurant has an amazing 180-degree backdrop of Dubai’s skyline, including the Burj Al Arab.
Khyber at DUKES DUBAI has been slated as one of Dubai’s most anticipated fine-dining restaurant openings of 2017. The design, by leading architect Ayaz Basari (founder of The Busride Design Studio), very much reflects the authentic cuisine the restaurant offers, mixed with local Arabic features. It really captures the true essence of the established restaurant in India, while giving it a contemporary twist.
As you walk through, you are thrown into a fairy-tale of Arabian Nights or transported to a traditional souk with copper lanterns, giant clay pots, golden details and enticing patterns.
The Great British Restaurant (GBR) is the hotel’s signature restaurant, serving up classic British delicacies and modern brassiere-style cuisine in a dramatic setting overlooking the Gulf. The open, high-ceilinged space is made intimate with heavy drapes, indulgent seats and warm lighting.
Another award-winning restaurant on site is the Manhattan-styled grill and bar, West 14th, located right by the beach and outdoor pool. Led by Executive Chef Clive Pereira, the casual dining venue for instance puts on a hefty display for the Friday Brunch, which has become an essential part of Dubai’s Friday culture.
Fans of DUKES LONDON will recognise the famous DUKES Bar, replicated in the Dubai hotel, and of course serves up a wide selection of the renowned DUKES Martinis. Situated on the mezzanine floor from the lobby, the space is effortlessly elegant, grand and sophisticated. Rather masculine in its interior, the most striking feature is the dark string curtains that seductively lead you up from the lobby. Hints of gold, silver, dark wood and strong furniture perfect the space. The view from the bar, which overlooks the stunning lobby chandelier, is another great feature.
Keeping with British values, DUKES DUBAI serves up traditional Afternoon Tea in the female-only Tea/Champagne Lounge with the Dubai view in the background. Distinctly feminine in its interior, the tea room has a back-drop of cream and hound tooth-patterned carpets, with soft furnishings in bright pinks, warm oranges and vibrant greens. Traditionally British, yet funky and modern, the pretty design with chintz tea sets is in complete contrast to the Gentleman’s Cigar Lounge on the same floor.
The Gentleman’s Cigar Lounge is definitively more masculine in its design with dark hues, bold furniture and artwork featuring a reinterpreted Union Jack. This is also the hotel’s only room where you can smoke inside and the bar offers a wide whiskey collection.
The British heritage is strongly represented when you’re looking around in the hotel. There are pictures of English landmarks, iconic buildings, famous generals and conference suites named after historic London sites such as Trafalgar and Piccadilly. There is Britishness in every detail. DUKES DUBAI is a true British gem, an upscale blend of cosmopolitan luxury and British charm and tradition.