Tag Archives: Abu Dhabi

World Travel Awards 2016 best beach and spa resorts: Where to stay in Dubai, Bora Bora and more

As the whirlwind that goes under the name of 2016 is closing, it’s time look back on the best luxury resorts that the year has had to offer. From a Polynesian paradise, to a Sicilian getaway, or maybe an Aladdin-inspired escape, the folks at the World Travel Awards (the Academy Awards equivalent of tourism) has selected the World’s Leading Beach and Spa Resort, with some notable nominations. Here, we visit some of the shortlisted resorts’ and their most luxurious rooms.

WINNER: Apartment Suite at Le Royal Meridien, Dubai (Price upon request)

Le Royal Meridien of Dubai was crowned the title of World’s Leading Beach and Spa Resort. It’s also located within walking distance to the JBR Walk – for that luxury shopping fix, obviously. The beachfront resort’s dining options aren’t too shabby either, with choices such as Richard Sandoval’s Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen + Lounge and Pan Asian-serving Zengo.

Le Royal Meridien Apartment Suite - Living Room

Le Royal Meridien – Apartment Suite – Living Room

The resort’s Apartment Suite is 233 sqm space offering a panoramic view of the Arabian Gulf and the resort’s garden. It has two bedrooms and comes with a fully-equipped pantry, marble floorings, flat screen TV, and spa/fitness. Spacious and sophisticated, the suite can very well be your cozy home during the holidays.

Le Royal Meridien Apartment Suite - Bedroom

Le Royal Meridien – Apartment Suite – Bedroom

NOMINEE: End of Pontoon Overwater Bungalows at Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa (Price upon request)

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort - Aerial View

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort – Aerial View

Situated at Motu Tevairoa, one of the islets of Polynesia, Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa offers a splendid view of Mount Otemanu and the turquoise lagoon. This is your go-to for an escape to a secluded island paradise, with the To’A Nui coral nursery in its vicinity and the Manea Spa surrounded with a pond of lily pads within the property. It’s also located not very far from the airport.

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort - Overwater Bungalow

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort – Overwater Bungalow

The rooms comes in form of bungalows that float on top of turquoise water. The best bungalow the resort has to offer is the End of Pontoon Overwater Bungalows. It has their standard bungalow amenities: 53 sqm, king-size bed, spacious bathroom, outdoor terrace, sun deck – elevated with a private panoramic view of the iconic Polynesian lagoon. And trust us when we say that the scenery is worth it. The experience also comes with a personalized check-in, snorkeling equipments, a bottle of 75cl Chassenay d’Arce and flower bouquets to welcome you to paradise.

NOMINEE: Presidential Suite of Il Castello at Forte Village, Italy (Price upon request)

Hotel Castello Presedential Suite

Hotel Castello Forte Village – Presedential Suite – Living Room

The Sardinian resort of Forte Village is a complex of top-quality hotels, with 5 five-starred hotels, 3 four-starred hotels and 8 luxury villas encompassing the 47 hectare property. Sitting on the stretch of white sands, the resort is also surrounded by gorgeous gardens. The unique climate of the location gives a literal 300 days of summer from March to November. It also offers a wide range of facilities for every member of the family, such as an relaxing moment in the Acquaforte Thalasso Spa or children activities areas. Fun fact: Forte Village is also the world’s leading green resort.

Hotel Castello Presedential Suite

Hotel Castello Forte Village – Presedential Suite – Bedroom and Terrace

The top suite of Forte Village’s five-starred hotel Il Castello would be the Presidential Suite. It’s a 110 sqm open-space plan room that comes with another 150 sqm terrace that comes with a private jacuzzi pool and a tremendous view. Your stay will also include a British-style butler to lessen those holiday hassles. The overall experience is intimate, cozy, and luxurious.

NOMINEE: King Premium Panoramic Overwater Bungalow at Hilton Moorea Resort and Spa, Polynesia (Price upon request)

hmlr-overview-15

Immerse in the Polynesian culture at the Hilton Moorea Resort and Spa. Positioned at the heart-shaped ‘Island of Love’ 7 minutes away from Tahiti by plane, the resort offers a truly idyllic island experience. You can swim among the friendly sharks and rays at the reef, go on a safari excursion, have a treat under the stars at Toatea Creperie and Bar, or simply unwind at the Moorea Lagoon Spa.

hmlr-overwater-bungalow

Overwater Bungalow

From the row of its world-class bungalow suites, the King Premium Panoramic Overwater Bungalow comes on top, thanks to the majestic unobstructed view of the lagoon. It comes with a marble bathroom with a claw-footed tub, a king-sized bed, private sun deck, and a 37-inch TV. The 62 sqm suite also has a glass-floor viewing panel where you can see the fishes swimming under your feet.

NOMINEE: Grand Imperial Suite at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai (Price upon request)

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray -Grand Imperial Suite - Bedroom

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray -Grand Imperial Suite – Bedroom

Inspired by royal residences of the Ottoman era, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is an oppulent 5-starred property located at the west crescent of Palm Jumeirah. Which means, it’s situated in one of Dubai’s most prime locations, with views of the Arabian Gulf and the city’s spectacular skyline. The accommodation comes with a private beach, 8 dining experiences to choose from, 8,000 sqm Talise Ottoman Spa, and services fit for a royal.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray - Grand Imperial Suite - Bathroom

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray – Grand Imperial Suite – Bathroom

The grandeur of the Grand Imperial, the resort’s most luxurious room, is something to be taken seriously. The 310 sqm space features a master bedroom with a walk-in closet, designer furniture, exterior ceramics from the ancient town of Iznik of Western Anatolia, a private terrace, fully-equipped kitchen and 42-inch television at the living room. However, our favorite part of the room is the lavish bathroom we would love to spend hours in. The centerpiece of the bathroom is a Turkish marble tub, surrounded by Ottoman-style interiors, gold pillars, and topped of with a breathtaking view from the side window. To add on the luxury points, the bathroom also has a separate rain shower, a private sauna, and comes with Lorenzo Villoresi amenities.

louvre abu dhabi

Will The Louvre Abu Dhabi Finally Open in 2017?

The Louvre Abu Dhabi project is the very definition of a bumpy ride. While the initial agreement was signed in March 2007, the project has been postponed many times and the opening, now announced for 2017, is uncertain. As the world awaits, AFP had a look back on the project’s timeline.

2007

Almost 10 years ago, France and the United Arab Emirates agreed on a 30-year partnership (worth $1.1billion): top French museums (including the world famous Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and the Versailles Palace), will loan art pieces to Abu Dhabi, so the Emirate can populate its very own Louvre, meant to open in 2012.

However, this decision gets a cold reception in France: it even leads to a petition against it, signed by 5,000 people, including museum directors, historians and curators. This petition stands firmly against the project, as it is perceived as a proof “the Louvre is selling its soul”. Most importantly, the treatment reserved by Abu Dhabi for dissidents and immigrant workers outrages the French.

2008

While the economic crisis is looming, France and UAE sign off on the project’s timeline and terms of cooperation – setting the start of construction the same year as Saadiyat Island, a luxury complex hosting, among others, a Guggenheim Museum, golf courses and private villas.

2009-2014

Unfortunately, delays mount: from 2012, the competition date was postponed to 2013, then to 2014, then to 2015. The latest is confirmed in 2013, when a Dubai-based consortium announced it will build the museum for $654 million. It will not be honored.

2015

The Louvre and the concomitantly in-development Guggenheim museum are pressured by Human Rights Watch: both constructions are hiring migrant workers and forcing them to rush the work in terrible conditions. Abu Dhabi refuses to consider those attacks, insisting they were based on “unfounded conclusions”.

Finally, in September, the Museum’s dome receives its outer layer of metal stars, supposed to announce the last stage of the construction.

2016

Even if the UAE announced that the museum, now under the direction of Frenchman Manual Rabate, “will welcome visitors in 2017”, no official date has been announced yet.

Many events and art exhibitions have already been planned to celebrate the grand opening. However, the Museum, supposed to host 300 French artworks on its first day, might receive an umpteenth setback.

On Dec 3, French President Hollande will visit the site and attend a conference on heritage protection. With French elections being hold in May 2017, the project will have been managed by three different Presidents – each having his own opinion concerning the relationships the country should have with the Emirates.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Commissions Grand Opening Works

Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and built at a cost of half a billion euros, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will feature 9,200 square meters (100,000 square feet) of gallery space.

“Giuseppe Penone and Jenny Holzer have worked closely with the Louvre Abu Dhabi team to develop sculptures and installations reflecting the universal stories of the museum and in harmony with the iconic building,” said a Sunday statement.

Penone, a member of Italy’s contemporary Arte Povera movement, has created “Germination”, a four-part installation that reveals his fascination with the use of organic materials, such as trees, to highlight the connection between man, nature and art.

Among these installations is “Leaves of Light” – a bronze tree soaring towards the museum’s giant 180-meter dome with mirrors placed on its branches to reflect the “Rain of Light,” the museum statement said.

US conceptual artist Holzer has designed three engraved stone walls of texts from important historical sources from across the world.

The ambitious Louvre Abu Dhabi project, announced with much fanfare nearly a decade ago, has faced repeated delays. The museum was expected to open in December this year but has been postponed until 2017.

Built on the sea, promoters say Louvre Abu Dhabi will be a “museum city” which includes streets, waterways, and plaza with artworks displayed outside as well as inside the galleries.

Many of France’s grand museums, including the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay and the Palace of Versailles, will loan art to Abu Dhabi as part of a 30-year collaboration with the emirate worth one billion euros ($1.1 billion).

Louvre Abu Dhabi will be the first museum to open at the Saadiyat Cultural District and will be followed by the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Helipad Sunset Supper: St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Helipad Sunset Supper: St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Luxury hotel The St. Regis Abu Dhabi is taking fine dining to new heights, literally. The hotel just announced the launch of a new culinary experience, the Helipad Sunset Supper, that will allow diners to watch the sunset over the city from the helipad.

Once a month, up to 20 guests (the experience is also open to diners who are not guests of the hotel) can sign up for the “Helipad Sunset Supper” which takes place 255m in the air. Now, you don’t just take an elevator up because that would be too prosaic. The St. Regis says diners will be escorted through the hotel’s secret back hallways (which we suppose won’t be a secret for long) to (maybe) secret elevators that lead to the helipad.

Dinners will be serenaded by a saxophonist, and the menu will feature caviar, oysters and canapés along with flutes of bubbly. We are told that the experience will include the traditional champagne sabering ritual that St. Regis hotels are famous for. You might also remember the St. Regis Abu Dhabi being famous for stunts like this one.

“Our aim was to create a truly unique experience that gave the public a look behind the scenes of The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. We wanted something that people would really find engaging – perhaps because it excited them, perhaps because it scared them – but either way, something they would want to talk about,” said General Manager Moustafa Sakr.

etihad-los angeles airport-premium lounge

Etihad Airways Opens Premium Lounge in Los Angeles

As with everything by Etihad Airways, expect the new First and Business Class lounge at Los Angeles International Airport to be as luxurious as anything you have ever experienced.

Set within the Tom Bradley International Terminal, the new premium lounge is the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s third premium offering in the United States, and will cater to guests on the daily EY170 Boeing services from the U.S West Coast’s commercial and entertainment hub. The facility sees an infusion of the same ‘Modern Arabian’ decorative elements that are now synonymous with the airline’s international lounges, inspired by Abu Dhabi’s traditional and modern architecture and famous desert landscapes.

etihad-los angeles airport-premium lounge

Exclusively open for Etihad First Class and Business Class guests, Etihad Guest Platinum, Gold and Silver members flying on the route, as well as Etihad Airways Partner (EAP) airlines’ equivalent Platinum and Gold members, the luxurious compound is less airport lounge and more hotel suite. The a la carte and buffet spread sees an amalgamation of Californian and Middle Eastern flavors, prepared on-site by experienced chefs with sustainable local seasonal produce. A carefully curated wine list matches the culinary choices available. The showcase bar, now a mainstay at any Etihad global lounge sees an impressive choice of range of premium spirits, champagne and aperitifs for a bespoke cocktail menu by London-based beverage consultancy Fluid Movement.

Expect all the other workings of a first class lounge, such as a TV area, shower facilities, and high-speed WIFI, multi-zone electrical and USB power outlets, and a selection of international magazines and daily newspapers.

The Los Angeles International Airport lounge marks Etihad’s growing collection of 15 Premium Lounges worldwide, and joins two other American lounges in Washington D.C and New York JFK airports. “Our new First and Business Class Lounge in Los Angeles demonstrates our unwavering commitment to travellers on the US West Coast, and in the United States as a whole, by providing them with the intuitive hospitality they have come to expect from our people and our brand,” said Martin Drew, Etihad Airways senior vice president Americas.

The Etihad Premium Lounges are just the beginning of course, or the middle as it may be. After all, the airline has already won the Skytrax award for Best First Class experience.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Set to Open

The opening date of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is looming (though it has yet to be confirmed) and the team behind the project is moving towards completing the structure. In a move that marks another step towards the completion of the museum, the contractor has begun removing temporary sea protection walls to allow the sea to integrate with the museum.

“This delicate process is the result of months of planning and preparation to ensure that the inflow of sea water takes place in a controlled manner around and within strategic places in the museum,” said TDIC chairman Ali Majed al-Mansoori. Built at a cost of half a billion euros, the design by French architect Jean Bouvel will span an impressive 9,200 square meters (100,000 square feet).

Back in 2009, when construction on the structure first began, more than 4,000 steel and reinforced concrete piles were driven into the ground to form a base. The main outer dome, measuring 180 meters, stretches out over the water. It is perforated with designs that will project light patterns of palm trees onto the space below.

To sit surrounded by the sea, the structure uses a water system that is derived from ancient Arabian engineering, allowing water to flow between the enclosed galleries and outer areas of the museum. Amongst the works that will be on display, are several loans from some of France’s grand museums such as the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay and the Palace of Versailles. It will be part of a 30-year collaboration costing one billion euros. The opening of the museum will be followed by the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways Offers First Class Lounge & Spa

Etihad Airways extends its first class service beyond the skies with the opening of its flagship First Class Lounge & Spa. Nestled within the Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3, the 1,700 square-meter sanctuary is inspired by the world’s most prestigious hotels, private members’ clubs and fine dining establishments. Inside, 16 unique zones await in the 1,700 m² space, thoughtfully designed with geometric patterns and a color palette inspired by the UAE.

Etihad Bar

Instead of the usual buffet line, Etihad has chosen to make things more personal with an a la carte menu of Arabian, Indian and international cuisine. Gentlemen can enjoy a cigar or two (out of nine carefully selected brands) post-meal with a selection of whisky or cognac (only the finest) while ladies can spruce up for the next flight with the lounge’s dedicated team of hairstylists and manicurists. It’s also not like Etihad to let you walk away with sore shoulders or a stiff neck – its Six Senses Spa will offer esteemed guests complimentary treatments, while the fitness rooms will have an extensive range of state-of-the-art equipment.

Etihad Food- Seafood

“Our new First Class Lounge & Spa is the jewel in the crown of our new lounge offerings worldwide and represents the best of our home city of Abu Dhabi. It is a showcase of intelligent product design, innovation, ‎and superlative hospitality and service. This is not just a lounge but the ultimate airline hospitality experience and one which perfectly mirrors Etihad Airways’ evolution into the best airline in the world,” Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer.

St. Regis Abu Dhabi Opens Brunch in Top Suite

The luxurious $40,480 a night suite at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi hangs suspended in the middle of the 48th and 49th floors of the two towers making up the whole hotel. It is precisely this position that warrants its exclusivity and that somewhat exorbitant price, other than the money spent in tailoring up the interior design and amenities to their finest quality of course. This very note makes it the kind of thing only accessible to the 1% of the 1%… at least, until now.

For a limited period of time, St. Regis will open the suite for a series of brunch events aptly named ‘Brunch in the Clouds’. For a comparatively lesser cost of $110 (or US$180 with bubbly), you can gain access for a brief moment to the highly vaunted interior of the suite.

Abu-Dhabi-Brunch-02

The interior of the Abu Dhabi suite is 1,120 square metres, with various aspects like a cinema, a spa, and two-storey majlis (Arabic salons or lounges). The décor has cascading crystal and 24-carat gold leaf accents. From the windows you can view a panoramic view of the Arabian Gulf, the Corniche, and the city skyline. While watching that view and enjoying the atmosphere, you’ll be able to taste the different courses served in different rooms, like the oyster room, cheese and dessert space, caviar ice-bar, candy room, and private bar for champagne-spiked brunch cocktails. The private spa will be accessible for shoulder massages, or a manicure.

Abu-Dhabi-Brunch-04

The first brunch will be held on April 29, but monthly events will follow on the final Friday of each month (except for June, due to Ramadan). For those who want a tingle of what it’s like to cross the threshold, this makes the perfect opportunity.

13 Hotels We are Waiting for in 2016

From the highly anticipated opening of a Toy Story-themed hotel at Shanghai Disney, to the grand reopening of two iconic Parisian landmarks, 2016 will be a big year for the luxury hotel market. While tens of thousands of new properties will open their doors for the first time in 2016, here is a selection of properties that are noteworthy for raising the bar in luxury, marking a milestone, or helping to transform the local tourism landscape.

Europe

In the last few years, Paris saw the temporary shuttering of two of its most iconic and luxurious hotels, the Ritz Paris and Hotel Crillon. This year, they will compete for attention as both are slated to re-open their doors after extensive and lengthy renovations.

Ritz Paris (March, 2016)

The hotel has been undergoing renovations since July 2012 – the biggest makeover in the hotel’s 117 year-old history. The refurbishment includes a new spa by luxury fashion brand Chanel, called “Chanel au Ritz Paris.” The hotel began accepting reservations for stays starting March 14, 2016.

Hotel de Crillon, Paris (2016)

With a history dating back to 1758, the Hotel Crillon (pictured above) is a veritable institution in Paris, located at Place de la Concorde where the Champs-Elysees begins. In 2013, it was announced that Rosewood Hotels & Resorts would take over the management of the property. The restoration will entail a contemporary overhaul led by Lebanese artistic director Aline d’Amman and architect Richard Martinet. It was also announced that Karl Lagerfeld has been commissioned to design two suites. An exact opening date has yet to be disclosed.

Nobu Hotel, Shoreditch, London (First quarter of 2016)

Nobu Hospitality (pictured below), co-owned by Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and actor Robert De Niro, has announced plans to open its first European hotel in London’s trendy Shoreditch area in 2016. Expected to open in the first quarter of the year, the hotel’s five storeys are fractured into angular balconies and cantilevered steel beams using printed layered, glass and reflective facades to play with reflection and light. The hotel will be comprised of 156 rooms while the dining options will be helmed by chef Matsuhisa.

Il Sereno Lake Como, Italy (Spring 2016)

This five-star boutique hotel will be the sister establishment of the luxurious Le Sereno Saint Barths. Located 6 km from the center of Como and 50 minutes from Milan, the design of the new 30-room hotel has been overseen by Patricia Urquiola, who has focused on natural materials to create an aesthetic that is both timeless and full of character, intimate and casual. Urquiola’s studio will also design the interior of the ferry that will shuttle guests around the lake. Room rates will range from 600 to 4500 euros.

nobu shoreditch

Nobu Hotel

Africa

The Oberoi Marrakech (Third quarter of 2016)

Located 20 minutes from the city center, the luxurious property is built within 25 acres of citrus orchards and ancient olive groves. Each villa and suite comes with a private pool and views of the Atlas mountains, while rooms are spacious, modern and feature handcrafted Moroccan design features. The brand’s signature spa is built on a private island on a lake within the orchard, and offers Ayurvedic and Moroccan-inspired treatments. Facilities also include Moroccan hammams, yoga studio and outdoor pavilion.

Americas

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown (mid-2016)

Billed as the little sister to its flagship New York property in Midtown, the second Four Seasons hotel will open in the Tribeca district, a short stroll from the new World Trade Center, Wall Street and the Soho neighborhood and serve as a dual residential and hotel property. The 185 rooms are designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Dining will be provided by Wolfgang Puck and his CUT steakhouse restaurant and bar.

The James Hotel, Los Angeles (2016)

Once construction is complete in 2016, The James Hotel will open the doors to the first new ground-up hotel in West Hollywood in 30 years. The boutique property will open in the heart of Sunset Strip at the corner of Sunset and La Cienega Boulevards, and house 286 rooms, two restaurants and a rooftop and lobby bar. The LA location will be the third for the brand after locations in Chicago and New York. The brand’s philosophy embraces wellness, sustainability, local art and culture.

Il Sereno Lake Como

Il Sereno Lake Como

Middle East

Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, UAE (2016)

Located in the heart of the new Central Business District, the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island will mark the first hotel for the chain in the Emirati capital. The property will open along a stretch of prime waterfront, and house a retro-modern Chicago steakhouse, cocktail bar, and poolside restaurant. Along with 200 rooms, the property will also feature 124 private and serviced residences.

St. Regis Cairo, Egypt (October 2016)

Organized as two towers, the St. Regis will house 292 lavish rooms that includes 63 suites. The mixed use property will also offer 99 guest apartments and 117 residences. Located on the north end of Corniche Road, rooms will offer views of the Nile River and in proximity to the pyramids and retail area.

Asia

Wynn Palace Cotai, Macau (June 25, 2016)

Originally scheduled to open in March 2016, the ambitious Wynn Palace Cotai will be delayed by another three months for a set date of June 25. The $4.1 billion, floral-themed property features 1,700 rooms spanning 28 storeys, and an artificial lake. To enter the grounds, guests will board air-conditioned SkyCabs that cross the 8-acre Performance Lake into the heart of the resort. Like its predecessors, the Wynn Palace will house an opulent spa, salon, luxury retailers and gourmet dining restaurants.

Mandarin Oriental, Bali (End of 2016)

Located on the southern Bukit peninsula, the luxury hotel group’s newest property will be built on elevated terraces to offer commanding views of the Indian Ocean. The resort will be comprised of 97 villas, each with a private pool and 24 guestrooms. The signature restaurant will be a cliff-top, cantilevered dining space with sweeping ocean views. Guests will also be able to indulge in luxurious spa services that include Balinese treatments.

Shanghai Disney (Spring 2016)

After experiencing construction delays, the opening of Disney’s third theme park in Asia after Hong Kong and Tokyo is expected to open its pearly gates in spring. When it does, the park will also open the doors to two highly anticipated themed hotels, The Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and a Toy Story Hotel. Not particularly encouraging is the image supplied for this story but we digress! At the Art Nouveau-inspired Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, guests will be greeted by bronze statues of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, while Toy Story fans will find Woody and Buzz Lightyear at the hotel courtyard.

Rosewood Phuket (2016)

To open on Emerald Bay in Western Phuket, the luxury property will be comprised of 80 villas and 32 residences that are designed to blend in with its natural hillside forest surroundings. Retractable glass walls will provide guests with unobstructed views of their environment, while garden rooftops and cantilevered structures will help the villas meld with the landscape. Dining options include a rustic Thai seafood eatery on the beach, poolside eatery, bistro and terrace bar, while a Sense spa will feature six spa villas and a swimming pool.

Shanghai Disney

Shanghai Disney

Louvre Abu Dhabi Dome

Abu Dhabi’s Louvre museum gains star canopy dome

Abu Dhabi Louvre construction

The last of nearly 4,500 metal stars was placed Sunday on the outer layer of the dome on Abu Dhabi’s Louvre museum, expected to open by the end of 2016.

The final star was added in the presence of French architect Jean Nouvel, said Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC).

“The outer cladding consists of 4,481 stars which is now 100% complete.”

Louvre Abu Dhabi Dome

The giant 180-metre (yard) dome is perforated with designs that will project light patterns in the shape of palm trees onto the exhibition space below.

The outer canopy is part of eight layers of cladding comprised of 7,850 star-shaped pieces of aluminium and stainless steel, the largest of which measures 13 metres in diameter and weighs 1.3 tonnes.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

TDIC said major work was expected in the next few months to lay the museum’s stone flooring, display cases for galleries and to complete the administration building.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, built on the island of Saadiyat in the oil-flush Emirate, is to have 9,200 square metres of art galleries.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum

Abu Dhabi Police Rolls Royce Phantom

Rolls-Royce Phantom joins Abu Dhabi police fleet

Abu Dhabi Police Rolls Royce Phantom

Sporting the colours of Abu Dhabi Police, the Rolls Royce Phantom has just debuted as the latest addition to the fleet of UAE police supercars.

The car debuted at Yas Mall on Sunday and marked the opening of Gulf Cooperation Council Traffic Week in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Police Rolls Royce

The out-sized acquisition continues the tradition begun by Dubai Police, whose fleet of police cars includes a Lamborghini Aventador, an Aston Martin One-77, a Mercedes SLS, a Bentley Continental GT Speed, a Ferrari FF, a Bugatti Veyron and a McLaren MP4-12C.

Ferrari FF joins Lamborghini on Dubai Police

Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri

Abu Dhabi hotel launches $108,900 Valentine’s Day package

Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri

The Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri Abu Dhabi has launched an ultra-luxurious package that aims to up the ante in romance and extravagance.

TOP 10 MOST ROMANTIC VALENTINE’S DAY DESTINATIONS

While 400,000 AED might not buy love, at the Shangri-La it buys a stay at the Presidential Suite, fresh flowers, gourmet chocolates, and champagne.

Then, the couple will be treated to a spa treatment that includes a caviar facial and a rooftop dinner that includes typical, luxurious French delicacies: caviar, oysters, and a serenade from a private musician.

Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

But the real kicker in the package is the inclusion of a Hublot watch and Dior couture piece that the couple will swap in a gift exchange. A personal shopper will be on hand to help choose the items.

To cap off the romantic weekend, the couple will also embark on a nocturnal helicopter ride above the glittering city.

For more info visit www.shangri-la.com.

Roller Coaster Restaurant Rogo's in Abu Dhabi

Roller Coaster Restaurant Opens in Abu Dhabi

Rogo’s Roller Coaster Restaurant opened recently at the Yas Mall on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, a high-tech, server-less eatery that serves burgers and cheesecakes through a system of roller coaster loops and spirals for a novel way of dining. The restaurant spans two floors and seats 360 diners.

STORY: INSIDE THE LARGEST HOTEL SUITE IN ABU DHABI

Roller Coaster Restaurant Rogo's in Abu Dhabi

The roller coaster food delivery system is made up of two transport conveyor belts, three lift systems, a double loop, parallel double loop, and a spiraling, 12-meter-high ‘tornado.’

In place of servers, diners also place their orders via tablets.

STORY: ABU DHABI AIRPORT INSTALLS SLEEPING PODS

Roller Coaster Restaurant

The menu is a mix of American, European and Asian dishes, and foods like burgers, apple cheesecake and date pudding with salted caramel ice cream are served in individual covered pots to add another layer of ‘surprise’ to the dining experience, reports Emirates247.com.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Vongerichten to open new restaurant in Abu Dhabi

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, a leading French chef whose cuisine at various international locations has earned him multiple Michelin stars, will open his first restaurant in the UAE, Market Kitchen within the famous luxury hotel.

The restaurant will open its doors by the end of this summer within the Royal Méridien in downtown Abu Dhabi. The five-star hotel is currently undergoing interior renovations to provide additional features for business travelers and open four new dining establishments.

Market Kitchen will serve haute cuisine with Eastern influences. A native of Strasbourg, Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a seasoned businessman as well as an accomplished chef. After training under the renowned Paul Bocuse, among others, he opened several restaurants worldwide, including establishments in North America and China.

In the US, where Vongerichten is well known for his culinary-themed TV appearances, he runs the three-starred restaurant Jean-Georges at the Trump Central Park Hotel in New York.

Inside the Largest Hotel Suite in Abu Dhabi

royal suite St Regis Abu Dhabi

At 22,600 square feet, the Royal Suite at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi is being billed as the largest hotel suite in the United Arab Emirates and comes with a private movie theater, game room, spa and sauna, and outdoor swimming pool.

St Regis suite Abu Dhabi Living Room

Unveiled last week, the suite spans 22,600 square feet or 2,099 square meters and takes up the top two floors of the resort’s west wing at a price tag of $35,000 USD a night (130,000 AED).

St Regis suite Abu Dhabi Grand Staircase

Guests are greeted with a Steinway grand piano in the living room, and sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf. Earth tones of beige, sand, teal and blue are used to decorate the suite and evoke the hotel’s sea and desert surroundings.

The dining room also seats 12, and meals can be catered through the hotel’s butler service.

St Regis suite Abu Dhabi Dining Room

After descending the elaborate winding staircase, guests arrive at the master bedroom which takes up the entire lower floor and includes an expansive walk-in closet, dressing area, spa, sauna, and ocean-facing bathroom with double shower and bathtub.

St Regis suite Abu Dhabi Master Bathroom

Meanwhile, the royal penthouse suite at the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland is also known as being one of the largest and most luxurious suites in the world with 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, a fitness center, Steinway grand piano and private elevator. The private terrace alone clocks in at 1,680 square meters. The cost for one night’s stay? About $65,000.

St Regis suite Abu Dhabi PoolSt Regis suite Abu Dhabi Master Bedroom  St Regis suite Abu Dhabi Private Theater St Regis suite Abu Dhabi Sea Terrace St Regis suite Abu Dhabi Study St Regis suite Abu Dhabi Terrace St Regis suite Abu Dhabi Treatment Room

ritz carlton abu dhabi

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Offers Camel Milkshakes

ritz carlton abu dhabi

The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal has hired what they call a camel milk mixologist who will create cocktails based on the protein-rich milk.

Using locally-sourced camel milk, the mixologist will craftdrinks with ingredients like freshly muddled mint and strawberries to offer international guests a taste of local, authentic flavors of the Middle East.

ritz carlton abu dhabi bar

The launch of the new service also coincides with one of the most important months in the Muslim calendar. The Holy Month of Ramadan kicks off July 9.

“Because camel milk has a high level of protein and additional nutrients, it’s an excellent beverage to consume during Suhoor, the meal taken prior to sunrise for Muslims fasting during Ramadan,” said mixologist Mohammad Daoud.

camel milk

Camel milk is said to be the closest thing to human milk than any other animal-derived milk and is rich in vitamins B and C, and iron. It’s also touted as a dietary treatment for diabetes given that the milk is a rich source of insulin and is more easily digestible for those who suffer from lactose intolerance.

An a la carte menu is available for Suhoor during Ramadan, during which time Daoud will be on hand to make bespoke cocktails and also make food and camel milk meal pairing recommendations.

camel milk mixologist

sleeping pods airport

Abu Dhabi airport installs sleeping pods

sleeping pods

Abu Dhabi International Airport has installed the world’s first ‘GoSleep’ sleeping pods which allow passengers to grab a few hours sleep between flights for 45 dirhams ($12.25) per hour.

Ten sleeping pods have now been installed in Terminal 3 and in the Al Dhabi Lounge in Terminal 1 at Abu Dhabi International Airport, with a further 35 on order for installation later this year.

The stylish, Finnish designed sleeping pods are easy-to-operate and feature a partial or fully enclosed sliding shade that isolates the customer from noise, light and crowds.

After an initial launch phase, the chairs will be upgraded to include Internet access, will include secure storage for luggage and other valuables, and will allow customers to charge their laptops, mobile telephones, and other electronic devices.

sleeping pod

McLaren MP4-12C abu dhabi

Watch the McLaren MP4-12C in the desert

McLaren MP4-12C abu dhabi

To celebrate the launch of McLaren in the Middle East, the British marque has released this promotional film titled ‘The Perfect Line’.

McLaren has chosen a beautiful landscape and an even more beautiful road in order to promote its MP4-12C into the Middle East, and the supercar eventually finds its way to the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
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