Dubai had quite an amazing run of being the glamorous heart of an economically flush United Arab Emirates. But with a surfeit of cultural investment, Abu Dhabi has lately been grabbing up some of the international spotlight.
Still, marquee hotel openings do have a way of stirring up headlines. And the new W Dubai – The Palm, the brand’s first foray into the UAE, has all the flash and fabulousness the destination demands…and then some.
First, it’s a part of W Escapes, which means you can pretty much spend a few days without ever really feeling the need to leave the premises. In fact, you might actually find yourself just gawping at the architecture for hours on end. Notably, a spectacular five-story atrium nods to the historical desert fortresses and citadels – only now with an appropriate layer of glitz and glamour, specifically a 640-glass-piece “soundwave” installation, that reacts to the beats of the DJ in the adjoining W Lounge…which contains its own artistic interpretation of ancient Bedouin bonfires.
There are 350 rooms, some looking out over the sprawling WET® Deck pool area and across the Arabian Sea. (Nurturing guests’ artistic inclinations, all chambers are adorned with lyrics in Arabic by Lebanese singer Fairouz.)
Fitting for a W Escape, there are six distinctly impressive dining and drinking establishments, including chef Akira Back‘s stylish namesake pan-Asian eatery, and Torno Subito, three-Michelin-starred Massimo Bottura’s first restaurant outside Italy – with a glammy, 1960s Italian Riviera vibe, serving up a bit more approachable version of his exalted Northern Italian specialties.
It’s all located on the splashy Palm Jumeirah, and archipelago with perhaps the highest concentration of after-dark ostentation and dazzle anywhere outside Sin City. Expect to be up all night, and to be afterwards healing thyself in one of the ten treatment rooms at the on-site AWAY® Spa.