REVIEW: ME DUBAI, UAE
Envisioned and designed in its entirety by architectural legend, Dame Zaha Hadid, The Opus Building in Dubai is home to Melia Hotels International’s ME Dubai – the first for the brand in the region. Having opened its doors to the public in November, SPACE takes a look at the incredible design for this legacy project.
Located in the heart of the Burj Khalifa District in Downtown Dubai, the city’s busy tourism and business hub, ME Dubai takes residence in The Opus by Omniyat building – the latest outstanding addition to Dubai’s iconic skyline.
Spread across 20 floors, the mixed-use project houses offices, commercial spaces, serviced residences, restaurants, cafes and a rooftop bar, with most of the building dedicated to ME Dubai. The two sides of the building are linked at ground level by a four-storey atrium and also 71 metres above the ground by a three-storey sky-bridge.
The innately stylish 5-star ME Dubai is the only hotel in the world to be designed in its entirety by the late Dame Zaha Hadid, whose bold design ethic lives on throughout the hotel in the bespoke fixtures, fittings and furnishings in both guest rooms and public spaces. Her ground-breaking architecture and inspiring interiors reflect ME Dubai’s desire to challenge perceptions and reward curiosity with sensory fulfilment through art and design.
The Opus itself spans 2,000,000 square feet, comprising of two separate towers that connect in the form of a cube and features a ‘carved’ central void, which appears to hover above the ground. The centre of the building provides unexpected and dramatic views of the exterior. During the day, The Opus is a luminous surface, reflecting the dazzling Dubai sun, with the LED lighting highlighting the vivid character of the building in the evening.
Boasting 74 rooms and 19 suites, including the Passion Suite, Personality Suite, Vibe and Aura the hotel showcases expressive Hadid design. All guest rooms are split into two themes, Midnight and Desert. Midnight rooms reflect the dynamic night skies of the Dubai skyline, whilst the Desert theme pays homage to the serene locale and soft hues of the surrounding landscape. Every spacious room features a Zaha Hadid-designed bed, with a mattress that sits on a sculptural frame projecting from the wall. Even the smallest rooms offer generous proportions at an enviable 47 square metres with the largest suites boasting 198 square metres!
The property features signature furniture throughout the lobby, lounges and reception areas by Zaha Hadid Design. The fact that both the exteriors and interiors are designed by Zaha Hadid creates a cohesive architectural language for the entire project.
The hotel’s lobby sits directly under the Opus’ signature void, which forms its glass ceiling. Three stories of galleries with projecting balconies ring the perimeter of the space. At night, the inside of the void is lit up by a constellation of lights, each individually controllable, set into the undulating glass.
Guests and visitors can choose from four owned F&B outlets, including Central Cosmo Tapas & Bar; Deseo, a Latin inspired outdoor lounge serving South American inspired flavours, cocktails and shisha; Botanica; and The Atrium by Zaha Hadid where guests can enjoy the flavours of the greats such as Pierre Marcolini, Orfali Bros and Coarse Coffee. In addition, the Opus building will offer 15 F&B outlets currently including ROKA, the contemporary Japanese robatayaki restaurant and The Maine Land Brasserie, a New England Brasserie Company already well established in Dubai.
The spacious rooftop pool and Deseo, a Latin inspired outdoor lounge with unparalleled views across the Dubai skyline, as well as a state-of-the- art gym – home to fitness equipment including Ultramodern Technogym Biocircuit, and luxurious world-class spa, will enable guests to indulge in perfect ‘ME time’, while the largest nightclub space in Dubai will provide a sophisticated setting to see and be seen in Dubai.
Famous for her intensely futuristic architecture, Hadid’s designs are often characterised by curves, sharp angles and bold materials and the ME Dubai hotel is no exception; the design is fluid, imaginative and uplifting. Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects comments: “The reopening of ME Dubai marks a significant moment for The Opus Building project; a true legacy project for the firm. We’re also extremely proud to present the exclusive Zaha Hadid Exhibition within the hotel; a project that we’ve worked closely with the hotel team on to showcase some never-before seen work by the late Zaha Hadid.”
As the brand’s first Middle Eastern property, ME Dubai is not only set to become the social and cultural epicentre of Dubai, but also a contemporary luxury hotel with a tangible commitment to sustainability. The property aims to raise the bar on sustainable practices for hotel operations in the city in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021, to be among the world’s leading countries prioritising evolving sustainable development while preserving the environment.
Initiatives being introduced across the hotel’s operations include a partnership with UAE-based company, ‘No More Bottles’ to install world-class drinking water filtration systems throughout the hotel. All rooms will be stocked with pure, filtered water in glass bottles and every guest will be issued with their own stainless-steel bottle. Water dispensers can also be found around the hotel, whilst in dining areas there are no buffets, to cut down on food waste, and onsite composters digest organic waste – demonstrating ME Dubai’s commitment to being entirely plastic-free and reducing its carbon footprint.
Commenting on the upcoming opening, General Manager, Sebastien Noat said, “I am delighted to finally open ME Dubai. An architectural masterpiece created by one of the world’s most celebrated architects, the late Zaha Hadid. Our hotel is the City of Gold’s new cultural epicentre: an exciting hub for creativity, epicureans and influencers alike.
Home to a vibrant mix of world-class lifestyle restaurants, resident mixologists, a sumptuous spa lead by one of the region’s best, and unparalleled, ever-evolving entertainment, ME Dubai is the MEA Best New Hotel 2020, and is the place to visit this year and beyond. We are excited to share this cultural playground with the world.”