One of the highlights of the hospitality industry for Dubai in 2001 was the opening of the five-star Dusit Dubai hotel on the Sheikh Zayed Road. This marked the entry of the Thai-managed Dusit Hotels and Resorts chain into the Middle East and brings to the UAE a unique service concept which has earned the Dusit brand an international reputation for superior comfort and unparalleled attention to detail.
Dusit Dubai is a striking, 37-storey, split tower building less than 1 km from the Dubai World Trade Centre. Its design, resembling as it does the 'Wai' gesture, the traditional Thai salutation of respect made by placing the hands together at chest level, has become something of a Dubai landmark.
A host of unique factors set Dusit Dubai apart from its competitors. The rooms are exquisitely furnished - and one remarkable feature is the open-glass shuttered window linking the bathroom to the bedroom. This actually means that guests can take a relaxing soak in the bath, whilst watching their favourite programme or catch up on the news being screened on the bedroom TV.
Most important of all however is the service, which is traditionally Thai all the way.
"Most of the staff have been employed directly from Thailand, they have been trained to Dusit's incredibly high standards and provide a service and ambience that our competitors just cannot match," said Mel Barisic, general manager, Dusit Dubai. "We have created a haven of Far Eastern culture on the shores of the Arabian Gulf."
The hotel also has a host of restaurants and lounges and great banqueting facilities for business meetings, parties or weddings.
The Lobby Lounge on the ground floor is open from 7.OO am to 1.OO am serving specialty coffees and teas. "And in a first-of-its kind, the lounge will also serve an Oriental high tea during late afternoon and early evening when musicians perform Thai classical music," said John Maddison, food and beverage director.
Also on the ground floor is the 50-seater Dusit delicatessen, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. "This offers the finest delicatessen products in the city with an exclusive choice of continental and South East Asian delicacies," added Maddison.
On the mezzanine floor is the 60-seater Siam restaurant, a themed bar with a strong Far Eastern concept which is open from noon until 1.OO am with daily happy hours from 5.OO pm to 7.OO pm.
Located on the 24th floor are the main restaurant outlets of which the Dusit's Benjarong signature restaurant takes pride of place.
Benjarong is an award-winning restaurant with 24-carat gold leaf band-paintings adorning the walls. The Benjarong name comes from the Thai word meaning ceramic jar, traditionally used for serving food. With seating for 90 guests, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner serving exotic Royal Thai cuisine in true Royal Thai tradition. The dishes are arranged in the centre of the table for guests to share and gracious Thai dancers and classical musicians provide entertainment.
Just a few steps away is the Californian Coffee Shop, which seats just over 100. Open round-the-clock, the restaurant features American weekly theme nights and festivals.
Dusit Dubai's biggest restaurant - Pax Romana - is also on the 24th floor. This Roman-themed restaurant caters for up to 133 guests and is an exciting, fun dining venue offering music and dancing. Pax Romana is open for lunch and dinner serving mainly Italian cuisine with a dash of Mediterranean.
Just next door is the Champagne Lounge - the chic 'place to be' in Dubai providing deluxe refreshments and all that connoisseurs love most - oysters, caviar, snails, smoked salmon and foie gras. Open from 11.OO am until midnight, the lounge offers an extensive range of drinks, all served with fresh fruit and accompanied by the sounds of a contemporary pianist.
The 36th floor swimming pool is something of a breath-taker. The panoramic views are fantastic for those exercising or just lounging in the fully-enclosed pool, which even has, tiny individual solid gold tiles dotted around its interior. "This is a fantastic cocktail party venue," said Steve Jones, director of sales and marketing, Dusit Dubai. "The view covers the area around the Sheikh Zayed Road and sweeps right down to the coast."
The 174 rooms at Dusit Dubai are a tempting mix of deluxe and executive rooms, junior, executive and landmark suites while the presidential suite is aptly housed on the executive floor.
But the Dusit isn't just a hotel - it also has 84 unfurnished and 147 fully-furnished apartments.
The hotel scores well with the corporate market, being able to cater for up to 700 delegates in a 555 sq m state-of-the-art banquet hall, plus four, technically-advanced 'smart' meeting rooms and a fully-equipped business centre. Other facilities include a boutique, tours and travel desk, butler service, valet car parking, airport transfers and an array of other five-star amenities.
Dusit Dubai opened in April, marking yet another remarkable development in the hospitality industry of Dubai.
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