Shangri-La Dubai opens its doors
The Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai - the group’s first property outside Asia Pacific - has opened its doors for business.
The new five-star 301-bedroom hotel with 126 serviced apartments is the result of a management agreement between Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and the UAE-based Al Jaber Group.
Shangri-La is spearheading a development drive in the region that will begin with three properties and almost 1,400 rooms and apartments within two years with the combined openings of the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, the four-star Traders Hotel, Dubai in October 2003 and Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Muscat, Oman, opening in July 2005.
The 200 metre-high Shangri-La Hotel Dubai - Norr Group of Canada - enjoys stunning ocean and city views.
Located on Sheikh Zayed Road in the city’s burgeoning commercial business district area, the hotel offers some of the largest and most luxurious guest rooms on the strip ranging in size from 45 sq m to the presidential suite’s 435 sq m. Comprised primarily of granite, marble and glass, the hotel has a contemporary look designed to reflect the spirit of modern Dubai.
The grand 43-storey atrium lobby also serves as a showcase for art by talented young local artists, examples of which are also displayed throughout the rooms and other public areas.
The guest rooms - designed by Singaporean interior designers, Wilson and Associates - are located between the 29th and 41st levels and are decorated in warm, contemporary tones.
Dual telephone lines with voicemail have been installed as well as broadband dataport and secure laptop recharging devices - all to assist the business traveller to conduct important transactions in the privacy and comfort of his or her room.
Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai also provides guests with the use of an exclusive retreat called the Horizon Club. The Horizon Club is an exclusive lounge offering complimentary breakfast, morning/afternoon tea and evening cocktails, personalised check-in and check-out services, a private meeting room and a host of other executive benefits.
In addition to executive services, there is a dedicated health club and swimming pool for the exclusive use of the Horizon Club guests.
Food lovers are spoilt for choice with a selection of nine food and beverage outlets including Shangri-La’s signature Chinese restaurant, Shang Palace, which serves the finest Cantonese cuisine. Of these, the Hoi An restaurant offers the finest traditional Vietnamese cuisine and Marrakech presents Moroccan favourites in a traditional courtyard setting. Both restaurants are the first of their kind in the Shangri-La group. The 42nd floor will encompass a multi-purpose entertainment venue and is scheduled to open later in the year.
The hotel’s business centre is open 24 hours providing business travellers with a full range of communications and technology support services (including four private work stations) and secretarial services.
In addition, business executives can reserve a boardroom or any one of three private meeting rooms. Conference organisers will welcome the hotel’s two ballrooms, the Al Nojoom Grand Ballroom and Al Bader Ballroom, with banquet seating capacities of 450 and 300 respectively. Both ballrooms are unobstructed by pillars and make maximum use of natural light.
Three additional conference rooms provide projection with back or front lighting options, full internet access, state-of-the-art technology and equipment for small to medium size meetings and functions.
A fully equipped health club comprises a gymnasium, sauna, spa and juice bar, Jacuzzi, squash court, tennis court, outdoor free-form swimming pool, two retail sports outlets, and nine treatment rooms. According to Bernhard Haechler, the hotel’s general manager, while the target audience is predominantly the business and convention sectors - driven by the hotel’s location, which is five minutes from the city’s new Convention Centre - leisure travel is also an important component of the hotel clientele base.
“We believe that the hotel will appeal to the sophisticated leisure sector as the intrinsic brand promise of Shangri-La is familiar and trusted by many travellers who have visited the Asia Pacific region,” he states.