Tue, Jul 3, 2018

Hotels & Resorts
Heritage focus at new Jumeirah hotel

Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, will open a new property inspired by the culture and heritage of Arabia, on the banks of Dubai Creek this September.

The 200-room Al Seef Hotel by Jumeirah is spread across 22 traditionally designed Arabian Bayt (homes), adorned with the wind towers famous throughout the region. With views down into the alleyways of the souk and out across the busy waterways of the Creek, the hotel brings to life the warm traditions of Emirati hospitality.

Alessandro Cabella, whose role as area general manager at Jumeirah Group includes Al Seef Hotel by Jumeirah, said: “In days gone by, traders travelled across the deserts and seas of Arabia, bringing artefacts, delicacies and spices to the small collection of homes that stood on the shores of Dubai Creek. The villagers opened their doors, inviting travellers into their homes to share meals and stories of their journeys and to trade their goods. The village grew with houses of traders, the shops and alleyways of the souk; and was alive with the sights and sounds of merchants, fishermen and pearl divers - and so Dubai’s story began. Today, these homes have been replicated at Al Seef Hotel by Jumeirah, offering our guests the opportunity to glimpse into the past and create new stories of their own journeys.”

The hotel is located in the second phase of Al Seef, a new district of restaurants, cafes, shops and plazas, situated on a two-kilometre promenade on the south bank of Dubai Creek. Al Seef is the newest destination by Meraas, the masterminds being some of Dubai’s most popular tourist destinations including The Beach and City Walk.

At the opposite end of the promenade to the two recently opened hotels in Jumeirah’s Zabeel House collection, Al Seef Hotel by Jumeirah offers a distinctly different guest experience; one which places a strong emphasis on the city’s proud history. The area is still a bustling site of trade, with souks and aged dhows full of merchandise bound for India and Africa. A short stroll away are the museums, galleries and cafes of the popular Al Fahidi historical neighborhood; the architecture of which was the inspiration for the creation of Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah’s ‘resort of Arabia’ adjacent to Burj Al Arab.

‘Like staying in someone’s home’

The 22 homes are located in small clusters of two to three buildings joined by a bridge that provides a walkway above the souk and sharing a common courtyard, encouraging socialising with other guests within the hotel. The design of the twin and king-bed guest rooms draw deeply on the UAE’s culture, with authentically aged materials that mimic rustic facades; and interiors that reflect an age of pearl diving, trading and crafts.

At the property, guests can look out for:

- Middle Eastern woven fabrics, wooden beams, lamps, rustic ceilings with fans;

- Rough plastered walls inspired by traditional building techniques;

- Large windows with traditional wooden panels with views down onto the winding outdoor corridors of the ground floor souk and the waters of the creek;

- Antique light switches and replica old fashioned radios and carpets;

- Colour schemes inspired by the rich blue water, the soothing beige of the desert sands, and soft green tones of the country’s flora, interspersed with colourful flashes of reds, turquoises and yellows;

- Characteristic Barjeel (the iconic wind towers which were once used to ventilate homes before air conditioning);

- Hand-made and organic amenities comprising fragrances and natural ingredients from the UAE such as exfoliating soap made from sand from each of the UAE’s seven emirates.

Cabella said: “Huge attention has been given to the design of the rooms and courtyards to ensure our guests are immersed in the spirit of the past and, for the time they stay with us, feel worlds away from the pace of modern life. By having the 200 rooms spread over 22 separated buildings, areas of personal peace are created, so it will feel like staying in someone’s home. Hidden amongst the rooftops of the souk, once our guests step inside the hotel, an immediate sense of calm will prevail.

“With Al Seef Hotel by Jumeirah, we will create an unforgettable experience – combining the warmth of Arabian hospitality with a backdrop of local heritage and architecture. The property pays homage to the age-old days of the region, offering a relaxing choice for inquisitive, quality-conscious travellers who appreciate authenticity; and enjoy the experiences that uniquely designed spaces offer as an insight to local history.”

It will be Jumeirah’s 12th hotel to open in Dubai and the 23rd in its global portfolio.

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