Standing apart from the jungle of mind boggling avant-garde skyscrapers, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre is an oasis amid the metropolitan sprawl. World renowned architect Gensler magnificently melds urban luxe with European and Eastern inﬂuences, reflecting the spirit of this multi-cultural city.
The distinctive limestone façade, as well as the 5000 tons of carved stone and marble sourced from Spain, Italy, Morocco, India and Oman not only enhances the luxury of the property, but also keeps the soaring temperatures down.
Using water as a leitmotif, lush sunken gardens, cool shaded terraces, eight refreshing waterfalls (one being 10 stories tall), forty species of luxuriant plants and trees create a kind of micro-climate, as they are purposefully scattered through the hotel, giving guests a much needed relief from the stifling heat of Dubai.
Visitors approach through a porte-cochere (much like the layout in an aristocratic château), entering the Art Deco lobby adorned with plush upholstered walls in creamy silk. But the pièce de résistance is the breathtaking frosted branch light sculpture on the ceiling, created by Czech artisans and signed by the famous designer Lasvit.
Fitted with huge floor-to-ceiling windows, all 341 rooms, 80 suites and 124 executive residences are bathed in natural light and equipped with every extravagance. The Royal Suites overlook a panorama of the business district, with Art Deco interiors intermingled with Asian effects.
Each suite has a private kitchen, a fully customized office area and library along with a personal guest relations manager! Dark wood, classic furniture and a mix of leather and silks give the interiors a sumptuous 1940’s Parisian salon look. Given its high profile target audience, The Ritz also has two very private upper floors, dedicated to VIP guests with access to an exclusive Club® Level Lounge.
Dining at The Ritz is a gastronomical delight from the No. 5 Terrace to Center Cut that serves up juicy steaks and the very French Le Cirque. But for decadent desserts, pop by Cake patisserie and café where handmade confectionaries are conjured up by Executive Pastry Chef Dragan Rucnov using only the finest ingredients.
For a taste of old Europe Cafe Belge is a must visit for brunch, as is their lavish seafood platter. A flamboyant restaurant and bar with its design and gourmet roots proudly evoking the golden era of 1920s Brussels, it is all about the Art Deco and Art Nouveau dazzle. Ornate iron doors leading to the terrace, carvings on columns, bold geometric pictures, ornamental chandeliers and shimmering mirrors stand out stunningly against the rich marble floors and high ceilings.
Art has always been in the DNA of The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC since its inception and the hotel has since built up an impressive collection with over 100 pieces peppered around, including 30 sculptures by renowned artists which the Opera Gallery provides and changes on a quarterly basis.
Highlights that include Pierre Matter’s impressive Evolving Falcon in the lobby, Requin by Corda Mauro (a three metre long shark weighing 700 kilos), Cypresse by Frederico Uribe, Jack the Dog by Fabienne Arietti, Bon Bon Mimosa by Laurence Jenkell – are only some of the engaging art on display.
The interactive ‘Discover with You’ was also created to encourage guests to explore the hotel’s artworks in a unique way, by enjoying a private tour and learning the basics of investing and even building a personal collection.
Ensconced in a prime location on Sheikh Zayed Road, The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC with its stylish accommodation, executive residences, epicurean eateries, lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness facilities and expansive event spaces is a must visit for both the local and the international guest.
Text By Natalie Pedder-Bajaj
Photographs Courtesy The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC