So what’s new about another luxury hotel in Dubai, you ask? Simply that Singapore-based Raffles’ first Middle Eastern property is both an iconic building and features inspiring interiors, underpinned by the high-standard Asian service the chain is known for.
Sited at Dubai’s Wafi Complex, the hotel is set to open this October, according to general manager Hagop A Doghramadijan.
In keeping with the complex’s Egyptian theme, the 19-floor hotel has been built to look like a pyramid, and will be linked to Wafi Mall.
“Raffles will be participating in ATM 2007 for the second time. While last year we introduced the brand to the region, this year we will focus more on activities in the hotel including a site visit,” said Doghramadijan. “We will also be working closely with travel agents and we are currently working on rates for our partners.”
As a city hotel, the major part of its clientele will be business travellers, however, Doghramadijan looks forward to welcoming leisure guests, too. Raffles is a player in the super-luxury market alongside such brands as the Four Seasons and the Ritz-Carlton.
The hotel will host 248 units, including 200 ‘state rooms’ and 50 suites. Raffles uses the term ‘state room’ because each standard room is more than merely a room, and features a living area or lounge, creating the effect of a mini-suite. Each is a minimum of 79sqm, including 11sqm of private balcony, as compared to the traditional 39sqm, he said.
Doghramadijan describes the interiors as ‘a touch of Asia with a touch of Arabia’. “As a differentiator, design is extremely important. Though clients visit a destination with a pre-established purpose, they do look at a hotel’s architecture and interiors,” he said, adding that the aim was to create a sense of space, a sense of comfort, a sense of luxury and a sense of exclusivity.
What will set the hotel apart, he said, is the service Raffles is known for. “We are different as a company from every hotel in Dubai today. We are upmarket, discreet, luxurious, and provide unmatched high-end service.”
Facilities include the Amrita Spa with six treatment rooms; nine food and beverage outlets including three bars and four restaurants; as well as a grand ballroom and six function rooms. The hotel also hopes to use a rooftop botanical-style garden, with plants flown in from Singapore, for events.
In terms of source markets, Raffles Dubai will target the emirate’s traditional markets of the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Doghramadijan believes the hotel will be the natural choice for guests from Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, who have experienced the brand in other markets.