Identity - - ID -

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.

PS. Please don’t for­get to fol­low us on Face­book and In­sta­gram!

Group Edi­tor Catherine Bel­bin

Clock­wise (from top): Lu­dovica + Roberto Palomba, Marco Piva, and Keiji Takeuchi

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