Al Habtoor Group’s multi-billion-dollar “city within a city” encompasses three five-star properties, upscale residences and a host of retails and leisure facilities.
With the opening of Dubai’s first-ever St Regis at the year-end on the very site of one of the UAE city’s historic hotels and social hotspots, the emirate is poised to enter a new phase in its hospitality annals.
The St Regis Dubai is currently getting its finishing touches in Al Habtoor City, a multi-billion-dollar project that occupies the prime location on Shaikh Zayed Road where barely three years ago the 34-year-old Metropolitan hotel was bulldozed into history.
Al Habtoor City, a dream project of the Al Habtoor Group, will be a fully integrated urban resort featuring a hospitality destination comprising three five-star hotels operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts, three upscale residential towers and a Las Vegas-style theatre. Its three destination hotels will include Dubai’s debutante St Regis, the UAE’s first W Hotel and the largest Westin in the Middle East, collectively presenting nearly 1,600 rooms of unsurpassed luxury.
The destination is being built at a cost of $3 billion over an area of 8.5 million sq ft and is billed as “an iconic city within an iconic city”. A short distance from Dubai’s major landmarks and tourism sites such as the Burj Khalifa, Madinat Jumeirah, The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, Al Habtoor City is beautifully intertwined with the under-construction Dubai Water Canal, which will connect Dubai Creek with the Arabian Gulf.
Al Habtoor City will also have an array of retail and leisure facilities lining The Boulevard and the Marina Promenade, including boutiques, stylish cafés, signature restaurants and a tennis academy with four courts, including an air-conditioned court for year-round play.
The new community will also incorporate practicalities such as a branded supermarket, a clinic and pharmacy, and more than 5,000 car-parking spaces.
Al Habtoor’s dream city is now structurally visible from miles around, and the project will be opened in phases over the next couple of years. The opening of the St Regis at the end of this year will be closely followed by the opening of W Dubai and The Westin Dubai City.
Construction work is close to completion on the hotel complex while work on the three residential towers will be completed in 2017, according to a spokesman for Al Habtoor Group, which is currently working on the St Regis to ensure it delivers the bespoke experience that the prestigious Starwood Hotels and Resorts brand is known for the world over.
The hotels feature exceptional concepts by British architects John R and Partners, with detailed development by Khatib and Alami, one of the region’s most prominent architectural firms. Interior design was done by Hong Kong-based Bilkey Llianas for St Regis, Singapore’s Silverfox for W Dubai, and London-based WA International for The Westin.
Alongside the beautifully designed guestrooms and suites, the hotels will provide some 21 world-class dining venues, two spas – the Iridium Spa at The St Regis Dubai and Heavenly Spa by Westin at The Westin Al Habtoor City, state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor event space, and much more.
Al Habtoor Group also launched The Residence Collection – the ultra-luxury residences within the city – to much fanfare at September’s Cityscape Global exhibition in Dubai. This collection consists of 1,460 apartments ranging from one to four bedrooms to loft-style units and penthouses.
“Additionally, the project will bring the first-ever permanent water-themed production by Dragone, the leading cultural creation company in the world. Also featured at Al Habtoor City will be a tennis academy, along with the UAE’s first indoor, fully air-conditioned tennis court,” he says.
The Las Vegas-style water-themed theatrical production by Dragone will be staged in a purpose-built theatre with a 35-m-high vaulted ceiling.
The St Regis Dubai is influenced by the beaux-arts architecture of the original St Regis in New York (US); the hotel’s interiors are accentuated with bespoke elements such as a grand staircase, a 1,200-piece hand-cut crystal chandelier, carefully selected artworks, and the signature mural in the St Regis Bar.
Complementing its grandeur that appeals to the modern-day discerning traveller, the hotel includes a private helipad.
Leaving no aspect of luxury living untouched, the hotel features 234 rooms: 182 rooms and 52 suites. Each guestroom promises a bright, airy ambience with impeccable details – from the chandeliers and carefully handpicked artwork to the most lavish furnishings. Rooms and suites feature signature St Regis beds, exquisite marble bathrooms and an abundance of Remède amenities, as well as state-of-the-art entertainment technologies.
Signature suites include the Royal Suite and the Middle East’s first Bentley Suite. While the three-bedroom Royal Suite with its own private pool, located on the highest floors of the hotel, is decorated in warm, soft tones, with distinctly refined interiors and timeless artwork, the Bentley Suite is inspired by the bespoke craftsmanship of the flagship Bentley Mulsanne, offering what is described as “the ultimate expression of luxury that is beyond comparison”.
In addition, all guests are extended the signature St Regis butler service ensuring their unique preference is known and understood.
Among the distinctive features of the hotel is the Iridium Spa. Born from the DNA of the St Regis brand and exclusive to St Regis, the Iridium Spa promises bespoke touches of a rare spa experience with its six treatment rooms (three male, three female), two hammams, and separate female and male areas with a steam room and sauna.
Building on a legacy that dates back to 1938 and the grand opening of The Iridium Room at The St Regis New York, Iridium Spa articulates the same distinctive elegance – both in the enthralling design of its treatment suites and in thoughtful gestures like a signature tea ritual.
Other recreational facilities at the hotel include two rooftop pools as well as a 24-hour fitness centre.
The hotel also features eight food and beverages outlets. These include:
• St Regis Bar: Adorned with wood and leather whilst exuding a cozy and elegant allure, The St Regis Bar on the ground floor is the signature facility adhering to the tradition of classic bars dating back to New York’s Gilded Age. The venue exudes an aura of sophistication that makes it the choice venue of the influential and the well-heeled.
• J&G Steakhouse, one of the signature specialty restaurants on Level One, which is inspired by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
• Brasserie Quartier with La Patisserie – also located at Level One – is a modern interpretation of a classic French brasserie with an elegant and vibrant ambience, serving contemporary French and European cuisine curated by St Regis master chefs.
• Sidra Lounge: Sidra – meaning ‘heavenly tree’ in Arabic – is a lounge that celebrates the time-honoured culture of afternoon tea enhanced by bespoke tea blends, accompanied by delectable pastries and home-made cakes. Located on Level One by the grand staircase, the venue boasts views over the garden of the hotel.
• Café Fleuri: Reminiscent of the 1930’s Parisian café décor, Café Fleuri will serve as a meeting place – the social pulse of the city. The décor features wooden flooring, marble tops, a bar counter with a mirror wall and classic wood clad panels and walls with artwork featuring photography and prints of Parisian cafes and culture.
Other F&B venues include the Champagne Lounge, which combines sophistication with a light hearted atmosphere; Le Patio, a 1930’s-style Parisian café located on Level Two of the hotel; and the Roof Gardens, a rooftop open-air venue set amongst two swimming pools and lush greenery.
This apart, the St Regis Dubai graciously accommodates an extensive variety of gatherings, from executive roundtable meetings to grand celebrations. The six meeting rooms, including the Caroline Astor Boardroom, complement the opulent 800-sq-m Astor Ballroom.
Located on the ground and second floor of the hotel, the hotel’s meeting spaces marry bespoke design and the latest technology, with elegant furnishings and live cooking stations for catering to groups.
Additional spaces include the hotel’s landscaped gardens, which present desired locations for al fresco events.
The new W Dubai – Sheikh Zayed Road promises a vibrant blend of fabulous design, cutting-edge technology and spectacular experiences. Featuring 356 guest rooms including an Extreme WOW suite, contemporary restaurant concepts and glamorous entertainment experiences, the hotel will also bring to Dubai the not-your-ordinary W Lounge, the W brand’s revolutionary take on the traditional lobby lounge concept.
Scheduled for a 2016 opening, the luxury hotel will also offer eight contemporary dining venues, Wet pool deck, Sweat state-of-the-art fitness centre and contemporary meeting and event spaces, including the W Great Room.
The Westin Dubai
The largest Westin hotel in the region, The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City stands tall on Sheikh Zayed Road with its 41-storey structure. The hotel’s refined interiors of stylised motifs are influenced by the Art Deco movement and eco-sensitive colours and textures.
“The well-appointed 1,004 rooms, including 142 suites, featuring the Westin Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath, are designed to deliver a truly revitalising experience to guests whether travelling for business or leisure. Elevating the stay experience for guests staying in Club rooms and above, The Westin Club Lounge on level 39 presents delightful inclusions while affording uninterrupted views of the colourful Sheikh Zayed Road,” the spokesman says.
The hotel also features the 24-hour WestinWorkout Fitness Studio, an outdoor pool and the Heavenly Spa by Westin on two levels that features a hammam, 22 treatment rooms and separate wet areas for males and females.