Hospitality Architecture in Dubai through a Cultural Lens
Architecture in Dubai has experienced several transformational phases, capturing the best of global trends, local preferences, and historical expressions. A city that experienced a near 67% decline in visitors, reaching 5.5 million in 2020, is witnessing a faster post-pandemic rebounding effect due to the aesthetic elegance of Dubai’s finest hospitality offerings. Both contemporary and modern architecture in Dubai has extensively reflected innovation, creativity, and excellence over time.
A key part of Dubai’s stunning architectural landscape is its hospitality architecture, which encompasses some of the world’s finest structures ever built. From the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah to the Atlantis, The Palm, these hotels capture the best of Dubai’s cultural preferences and opulence that can make any traveller feel at home. Hotels within the city optimize their architectural designs, interiors, and furnishings to provide a unique experience to guests who instantly form an engaging connection with the property.
With the hospitality sector expanding steadily within the city, the role of architectural design is expanding as well. Architects are focusing on the impact of cultural reflection within their designs, paying homage to historical designs and introducing innovative geometries that blend the best of Arabic and contemporary aesthetics. Many of the top hotels in Dubai follow a unique pattern or design state that borrow from cultural artefacts of the historical legacy of the region.
Design expression through cultural elements
Some of the top restaurants, bars, hotels, and event buildings in Dubai are designed to humanize concrete and steel through cultural exploration and regional elements. E.g., the Burj Al Arab’s iconic sailboat-like design is inspired by the Arabic dhow sail, which reflects the traditional values and aesthetics of the region. The suites, meeting places, galleries, and guest entertainment areas are all inspired by Arabic decor preferences to create an instant connection with the luxury structure.
Another prime example of innovative hospitality experiences is The Atlantis, Palm. It offers guests a mesmerizing oceanic hotel experience based on the underwater city of Atlantis, with interiors and layouts inspired by Islamic arches and Muqarnas. The melange of gold and beige perfectly balances the exterior facades, giving guests a palatial Arabic inspired experience. Similarly, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel (JBH) and its 275m long silhouette of a wave, which is critical artefact of the region’s cultural expression.
The important role of identity in hospitality architecture
Dubai’s iconic buildings share unique identities as they are designed artistically with key emotions imbued within. The hospitality sector in the city extends that creative liberation through the concept of identity while adopting the latest trends in sustainability, nanomaterials, novel facades, etc. The convergence of modern and traditional values is demonstrated through the formation of a strong cultural identity which is further explored through modern or contemporary mediums.
While some of the most amazing hospitality structures are designed to reflect globalized tastes and aesthetics, they maintain a strong regional identity throughout their design. Whether that be through interior designs, external facades, complete exteriors, or finishing elements within common areas, the city’s hospitality is always promoted through architectural elements. This helps in bridging the gap between global visitors and local aesthetic preferences while also showcasing the best of the city’s architectural prowess.
The overall impact of these marvellous designs is the formation of a bond between the occupant and the space, which cannot be replicated via other mediums. The spatial connection to a rich legacy of Arabic influences, luxury, and artistic expression allows the visitor to have a novel experience each time. That is why hospitality architects invest critical resources in understanding the role of the project, its identity, and how best it can reflect the strength of the city’s culture.
Blending luxury and comfort via engaging experiences
A key distinguishing factor for many of the hotels in Dubai is the familiarity they drive using luxurious elements. Spaces feel engaging and comfortable while also being opulent and luxurious at the same time, which is a key architectural principle that the top architects in the city leverage. Prasoon Design and other leading Dubai architects understand the role of blending cultural preferences with modern aesthetics to provide a truly engaging experience for guests exploring the city’s hospitality.
Another key factor that makes hospitality architecture uniquely engaging in Dubai is the innovation introduced with each project. Design studios are constantly experimenting with novel orientations, layouts, materials, and sustainability techniques to enhance the longevity and appeal of their projects. This improves the overall appeal of hospitality projects, making them memorable, engaging, and culturally multi-sensory.