Raffish hangout

The Duck Hook ... a family-friendly gastropub-style venue.

An environment reminiscent of the English shires has been created at Dubai Hills Golf Club’s The Duck Hook, which opened its doors a year ago.

The golf club is located in the prestigious Dubai Hills Estate development in Dubai, UAE.

Conceptualised by Wilson Associates, The Duck Hook is a charming, family-friendly gastropub-style venue with a sporting country pursuits theme. The casual eatery is a raffish hangout that provides a unique experience for all visitors, offering high-end design and an inspired food and beverage destination to Dubai.

The dark colours, English tweed and Victorian duck paintings escalate the English countryside feeling at the pub.

The dark colours, English tweed and Victorian duck paintings escalate the English countryside feeling at the pub.

The dark colours, English tweed, and Victorian duck paintings escalate the English countryside feeling while offering the ambiance of a neighbourhood bar inside an idyllic hideaway. This venue provides an informal, yet chic reprieve from Dubai’s bustling city centre without sacrificing uninterrupted views of the iconic cityscape and of the magnificent 18-hole championship course at Dubai Hills Estate. Seeking to highlight the golf club surroundings, the team at Wilson Associates focused on enhancing the views during the design process.

For The Duck Hook, the team envisioned an eclectic version of a classic English pub, while bringing in a touch of humorous design elements such as a custom, Victorian family duck art collection commissioned by London-based artist Ellie Popp.

Wilson Associates tailored each design element to the unique concept, including fireplaces, communal tables, bar counters, and light fixtures. Inspiration for the colour palette was drawn from the natural colours of mallards and ducks such as blue, green and yellow. This palette was then translated into a curated and handpicked selection of interior finishes such as stones, wallpaper, and upholstery. Primary materials used throughout the space include green flamed marble countertops, English tweeds on accent cushions to tie in the core pub elements, brass accents, leather and hand-blown glass.

“The goal of The Duck Hook was to provide a popular, yet ‘hidden’ neighbourhood bar where guests could unwind and enjoy open views of the field. One of the prominent aims of the project was to ensure the overall feel of the clubhouse did not overrule the perception of the pub,” says a spokesman for Wilson Associates.

The Duck Hook ... no single-use plastic is used in front-of-house operations.

The Duck Hook ... no single-use plastic is used in front-of-house operations.

“The design process focused on challenging the perception of aesthetics in unexpected ways. Humour was the top element explored in the design approach for The Duck Hook. The interior design interprets analogies found in a traditional pub, while also reinterpreting these elements in a playful way. Traditional pubs tend to exude seriousness; The Duck Hook challenged this notion by combining various elements to deliver a fresh and unusual approach to a gastropub,” he explains.

The design team worked closely with the various project consultants, ensuring that the client’s vision was incorporated throughout the entire design. The team members of Wilson Associates’ Dubai studio not only brought enthusiasm and creativity to the project but also commitment and excellence to their approach, he adds.

The resulting restaurant provides a cozy and inviting atmosphere to accommodate small groups as well as the opportunity to welcome larger groups, especially families with children, offering an open space flowing onto the golf course.

Sustainability was also at the forefront of the design process at The Duck Hook. No single-use plastic is used in front-of-house operations with the aim to be completely single-use plastic free by the time the world-class event Expo 2020 is held in October this year.

Wilson Associates has a strong international footprint, with more than 300 team members and design hubs in 11 cities: Bangkok, Dallas, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo.

Over the past five decades, the practice has created some of the world’s most iconic, avant-garde spaces, among them the Conrad Koh Samui; The Venetian Las Vegas; Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve; and the Armani Hotel Dubai.