The Lana, Dubai, UAE

Posted in Projects on 30 June, 2024

The Dorchester Collection soars to new heights with Middle East debut.

Influenced by modern minimalism and the bright weather of Dubai, space and light are the defining features of the interior of The Lana – Dorchester Collection’s first hotel in the Middle East – which opened in February. The hotel has 225 guestrooms and suites and eight restaurants, including four by Michelin-starred chefs, and four original concepts operated by the hotel team. It is also home to the first Dior Spa in the UAE.

Architect Foster + Partners took inspiration from Dubai’s ever-changing skyline for the 30-storey building. The striking interconnected design features a central podium, The Lana Promenade, for shops and restaurants, as well as an infinity rooftop pool with views over the cityscape and desert beyond.

The interiors were designed by Parisian duo Gilles and Boissier and incorporate more than 50 art pieces by local and global artists. They were inspired by the rich tapestry of cultural influence in the UAE, with a focus on intricate details and textures. Each room has an outdoor terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows providing natural light and sweeping views.

Throughout, the designers also collaborated with both local and global artists to ensure a rich collection of artistic interventions, each meticulously crafted to enhance and intertwine with the design story.

The Lana’s five signature suites – Marina Duplex and Marina Terrace Suites – have double-height corner living rooms, and outdoor terraces on both levels. The Marina Royal Suite has a balcony running along the length of the building, with sweeping views of Burj Khalifa, while the two-bedroom Lana Royal Suite envelops the north corner of the building.

The design project took place over six years. Breaking from the Dorchester’s style in European locations, Gilles and Boissier have created a visually striking yet minimalist atmosphere to allow the personality of guests to colour the spaces. An intriguing mix of raw and polished materials, locally sourced where possible, have been used throughout the hotel. A variety of marbles in shades of pink and beige are used along with darker stones in grey and black.

In the lobby, two distinctive wings in pink alabaster serve as focal points. Details such as cornices, arches and curves are also prominent throughout and add depth and character to the space. Inspired by an eclipse, the reception area’s lighting fixture is designed to be super immaterial, flooding the space with light, and creating a visual interplay with the juxtaposition of the dark features and intimate feel of the lobby bar.


While public areas boast a modern aesthetic inspired by the spirit of Dubai, guestrooms and suites take on a more traditional feel. These spaces merge traditional and contemporary design elements to ensure a playful, unique atmosphere that is deliberately uncomplicated. To conjure an instant sense of calm and comfort, the palette incorporates Volakas and Calcatta Oro marbles as well as walnut and smoked oak wood, creating a blend of light and dark that is supported by ambient lighting. In the bathrooms, captivating views and natural light are combined, while English mouldings are extended from adjacent spaces into the bathroom to ensure a cohesive feel.

The furniture throughout The Lana was designed by Gilles and Boissier, with each piece intended as a response to the décor, taking into consideration shape and texture and using locally available materials and manufacturers. The designers also worked with The Lana to ensure a rich collection of artistic interventions, each meticulously crafted to enhance the space. A collaborative effort involving both local and global artists, each work of art has been created and strategically positioned in the space to align with the unique vision of the artist.

A glass installation by French-Lebanese artist Flavie Audi captures the futuristic approach of Dubai and the city’s energy and light, and Franco-American sculptor Sergio Ruffato designed a monumental vertical wall installation formed by thousands of brass balls, whose length and height acts a metaphor for Dubai and its architectural mastery. More widely, classical European influences are woven throughout the space. Atelier Prométhée crafted a bespoke, ornate vase for The Lana, echoing the model engraved by the renowned Giovanni Battista Piranesi in the 18th century. This later became known as the Medici vase and is part of the collections at the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Other pieces exhibited at the hotel include work by British sculptor Matthew Simmonds, German artist Katrin Paul and Australian collector and portraitist
Nancy Tschetner.

“We wanted guests who stepped into The Lana to be moved by their environment and for the design to speak to the unique position of a city surround by a desert and the rich fusion of influences that are apparent,” said Dorothée Boissier, co-founder of Gilles and Boissier.

Conceptualised and managed on behalf of Dubai-based developer, OMNIYAT, The Lana is the first step in a new phase for the Downtown Dubai neighbourhood. Situated in the heart of the city near downtown Dubai, the hotel is located on the Marasi Bay marina, overlooking Burj Khalifa. Appealing to both business and leisure clientele, the hotel is a 15-minute walk from Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, and a 20-minute drive from Dubai International Airport.

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