Arriving at Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC), the city’s new business district is disconcerting. Because instead of finding a stereotypical financial district of concrete piazzas and anonymous high-rises, you encounter small parks and squares, low-rise buildings, many restaurants, cafes and international art galleries, plus the Four Seasons hotel, which opened last year. Most surprisingly, you’ll find a community.
The Four Season’s General Manager, Carlo Stragiotto, is evangelical about the area and its growing potential: “This place isn’t just a business area, it’s turning more and more into an arts and lifestyle hub as well. We’re located very close to both the airport and downtown, and they’re constructing an annex Gate Avenue to be finished next year with more retail and residential space.”
This last point is key because the addition of apartments means that the mainly pedestrianized DIFC is still bustling with people out of office hours and on the weekends (Friday and Saturday in Dubai).
The hotel, a surprisingly boutique offering with only 106 rooms, is the heart of the district, with its ground floor Firebird Diner terrace open to the public and a Poltrona Frau fitted cigar room, The Churchill Club, specifically catering to local CEOs.
Adam Tihany, founder of the New York and Rome based design studio Tihany Design, was commissioned for the interiors – restaurants, bars, public spaces and guestrooms – and has provided the property with a thoughtful, relaxed ambience which reflects the atmosphere of the DIFC: “The city of Dubai as we know it was built in pursuit of ‘biggest and best’ – each building more impressive than the last,” he acknowledges.
“The Four Seasons DIFC was designed for a self-assured generation – one that prefers a sense of luxury that whispers, not shouts. The hotel speaks to a new way of thinking in Dubai. It is an intimately scaled, bespoke oasis with a very personal, handcrafted quality.”
The hotel has many excellent design touches that reflect its small size and international stature. Guestrooms are spacious with large bathrooms and shower rooms, while the rooftop is a particular highlight, dominated by a glass pool lined with cabanas and attended by a small bar. It’s not a big pool, but it is very striking. Exactly like the hotel in fact.
Four Seasons Dubai DIFC
Consultant Engineer: ERGA (Lebanon)
Interiors: Tihany Design (USA)
Spa Fixtures: Kohler (USA)
Read more about the Design Destination Dubai in the Kohler Magazine.