Overlooking the 200-year-old Dubai fort and the Ruler’s Court along the Dubai Creek, the newly-opened Arabian Court Hotel lends the historic Dubai Creek, with its influx of tourists and traders, a haven of contemporary comforts in a traditional ambience.
Set amidst ancient wind towers, souqs and Abras (water-taxis), the hotel promises tourists and visitors, the real Dubai experience in the Bastakiya, the last bastion of a bygone era.
The 172-room four-star deluxe hotel, welcomed its first guests during Eid. With an intricate Mashrabiya (screen) facade, the hotel blends seamlessly with the historic buildings around it. Like a silken mask drawn discreetly across the face, the handsome latticework of the hotel’s Mashrabiya symbolises the legendary mystery of the Orient.
“The initial response from European tourists has been very encouraging,” said Habib Khan, general manager. “The traditional interiors of the hotel, coupled with its proximity to the Souq Al Kabir (Meena Bazaar), the heritage houses, the creek and its charming mix of nationalities, are particularly attractive to visitors from Europe.”
With a historic pedigree unmatched by any hotel in Dubai, the Arabian Court Hotel was transformed into classic designer elegance in an incredibly short span of six months. Dressed in dark wood, soft furnishings, and dotted with eye-catching period furniture, the centerpiece of the hotel lobby is the sun-kissed atrium with its elevators, giving the guest a dramatic vista of the hotel interiors.
“Our rooms are customised to our guests’ requirements for privacy and interconnection, depending on the size of the family, however large or small,” added Khan. The three top-of the range Grand Suites are themed with close attention paid to every aspect of furnishing. Called the Maharaja, the Emiri and the Singha Suites, the interiors reflect the regions they represent. From the matchless mosaic cabinets of Indonesia to the treasure chests of India, the furniture and artworks in the suites have been painstakingly sourced or custom-built.
Targeting a mix of business and leisure travellers, the Arabian Court has 40 Executive rooms with a dedicated Lounge and Conference Room. Visiting traders and business executives can avail of secretarial service while conducting meetings from the comfort of the hotel. With a 400-seater Banquet Hall furnished like an elaborate Arabian tent, the hotel is well equipped for large gatherings.
With a professional spa soon to open, the hotel already houses a well-equipped gymnasium, sauna, Jacuzzi, a sun-deck and outdoor swimming pool for adults and children. The themed restaurants of the hotel will predictably be a magnet for residents of Dubai, as it will, for weary tourists on a visit to the Creek. Allaying the residents’ fears of inadequate parking spaces, Khan assuredthat, “We have dedicated parking for our guests.”
With a dramatic view of the museum courtyard, is the Bastakiya, a traditionally themed café and restaurant. Lilting music accompanied by a live Indian band and a spread of delectable Mughlai cuisine are the specialties at the ethnically vibrant Mumtaz Mahal Restaurant. While the Ahlan Lounge is open 24 hours, guests can also choose to quench their thirst in Sherlock Holmes, a classic English pub, sumptuously decorated in rich fabric. Also opening shortly is a Sino-Thai restaurant and Pyramix, a nightclub with an Egyptian theme.
With a string of pioneering hotel projects behind him in Dubai, Singapore and Saudi Arabia, Khan heads a team of highly professional, handpicked multinational staff. His association with the historic district goes back to 1977, when the area reverberated with the sounds of locals and expatriates.
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