Honestly, that award-winning luxury hotel Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai, still amazes even 16 years after its opening. It soars up, 1,000 feet total, 51 floors containing 400 rooms. It is sleek and bright and modern, a true global hotel. Go in and you see that it has a very-English Rib Room restaurant (where the gal’s named knife is brought, to help with her very-tender grain-fed USDA Black Angus 300-gram rib-eye). There is also Alta Badia Italian, up on the 50th floor, and, elsewhere, The Ivy and Hakkasan and several more places to eat.
Like all mature hotels, Jumeirah Emirates Towers knows it needs to keep up to date. It has put in a much softer floral look in the lobby, taking away some of the masculine brown-ness that was dominant before. The all-day Mosaico dining is also being changed, to flow more naturally from and back into the lobby. As we see in many new hotels, lobbies today are becoming more and more living places, to hang out, and meet and work, and of course everyone expects every hotel’s lobby to have instant, and free, WiFi.
This hotel certainly does (have free and instant WiFi, that is). I was up in one of my favourite suites, the round ones at the junction of the V-shaped building, this time 4301. From all the higher floors’ -01 suites, you can look down at the royal riding area, where Sheikh Mohammed‘s family ride, and beyond the greenery is the pale cream desert, stretching as far as the eye can see. Talking of stretching, I was back to one of my favourite gyms, the Talise that is seven minutes’ walk through the office tower behind the hotel. The gym opens at 5.30 and has a coffee area, with wall of ‘books’, and lots of colour. It is a real encourage-you-to-work-out space. This is business.
But then this is a luxury business hotel, and yes, my Financial Times came without my having to ask. Sven Wiedenhaupt, the new GM, is a long-time Four Seasons man, lastly running the Four Seasons Damascus, though he was based in Beirut. Here, at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, he is full of ideas. One is to stress art, in all forms. Outside the hotel’s main entrance, for instance, are silhouette cutouts, in stainless steel, Nadim Karam’s Elephant Trio, on loan from the Ayyam Gallery. The hotel business, says Mr W, is about senses and emotion. Get those right and business is right, too.