The annual rush to complete projects in time for the holy month of Ramadan brought to Dubai two new destinations: La Mer and the sumptuous new designer wing of The Dubai Mall.
With numerous brands celebrating their new retail spaces in the emirate, there has been one inaugural party after another. Tremendous efforts have been made by all the interior architects, designers and merchandisers to create boutiques that ooze the wow factor.
Luxury Swiss watchmaker Rolex, in tandem with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, threw open the doors to the world’s largest Rolex boutique, which is spread over three floors. The presence of the world’s top-ranking tennis player Roger Federer was certainly the icing on the cake of that event.
A few days previously, Italian jewellery houses Vhernier, Prada and Gucci all opened their new stores, each one setting new standards for luxury retail interiors.
Meanwhile, with the mercury rising as summer sets in, the new La Mer beach park on Jumeirah Beach is already welcoming guests. Located between Pearl Jumeriah and Jumeirah Bay, the 1.25 million-square foot development is opening in phases. The first two phases (La Mer North and La Mer South) feature some 130 F&B and retail outlets, and the informal yet meticulously designed area is already proving very popular with residents and tourists alike.
After quite a few temporary moorings the grand dame of the seas, the legendary QE2, has finally been docked in Mina Rashid port, off the coast of Dubai.
After more than 40 years of hosting some of the world’s most illustrious travellers, the great ship has been given a fabulous makeover and converted into a 13-deck hotel. Over 2.7 million man-hours were spent updating and restoring to vessel to her former glory. Many of the original furnishings, memorabilia and paintings are featured in her updated look.
Operated by PCFC Hotels – part of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation – the QE2 will be formally opened at the end of summer.
Adjacent to the British-made ship that has clocked up some 6 million nautical miles and hosted 2.5 million passengers during the course of 1400 voyages, is an interactive museum that showcases the iconic QE2 as she was in the 1960s – a pioneer of design, technology and lifestyle.
Grohe, the world’s leading single brand manufacturer and supplier of sanitary fittings and winner of more than 240 design and innovation awards over the last decade, has cemented its commitment to the UAE with the opening of a new state-of-the-art regional headquarters in Dubai. In addition to administration offices, the new facility in Media One houses a fully functional showroom where all the brand’s latest products are on display. The office will serve the Middle East, Africa and East Mediterranean markets.
Meanwhile, in anticipation of its September opening the Casa Mia team is curating another luxury emporium on kitchen and bathroom ware.
Similarly, Miele also expect to open its contemporary ‘ Experience Centre’ after the summer break.
The design world lost a leading architect recently with the sudden passing of British architect Will Alsop (OBE). A creator of avant-grade and modernist buildings, Alsop often courted controversy with his concepts. He had a playful approach to architecture and was eternally optimistic about its potential. “Architects are the only profession that actually deal in joy and delight. All the others deal in doom and gloom,” said the architect, probably best known for his bright green Peckham Library in London, which he designed with Jan Störmer and which won the prestigious Stirling Prize in 2000. He’s also known for his striking blue government building in Marseille and the North Greenwich Tube Station.
The id awards team is putting the finishing touches to the id Design Awards 2018 programme. The call for entries will open on 10 June and submissions should be received before 19 July. Joining Marco Piva on the jury will be Roberto and Ludovica Palomba, as well as Japanese designer Keiji Takeuchi. More details of the jury, categories and sponsors can be found on our website or on our social media channels.
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Group Editor Catherine Belbin
Clockwise (from top): Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, Marco Piva, and Keiji Takeuchi