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April 8, 2024

Dorchester Collection’s first Middle East hotel is ready for business

The Lana touches down in Dubai’s ‘Business Bay’ – and Spear's was first on the guest list

By Edwin Smith

As your breakfast of avocado and quail eggs arrives, palm fronds sway in the breeze, yachts bob in the marina and walkers stride along the promenade, you could almost be on the French Riviera. If you squint, that is.

[See also: Spear’s reports from Necker Island as it opens for bookings]

In fact, you are on the terrace of the newly opened Lana hotel, which is the Dorchester Collection’s first hotel in the Middle East – and a sight to behold. The 30-storey Foster + Partners-designed building is the product of a project by Dubai property developer Omniyat and boasts 225 rooms and suites, all of which have floor-to-ceiling windows and their own terrace. There were also 33 serviced residences and six penthouses for sale, but at the time of Spear’s visit – before any other media outlets were permitted – all the residences had been sold, leaving only penthouses up for grabs.

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A photo of the rooftop pool at The Lana Dubai
The rooftop infinity pools boast views of the tallest building in the world, the 830m-high Burj Khalifa in one direction, and desert plains in the other / Image: Dorchester Collection

The Lana’s interiors are the work of Parisian design duo Gilles & Boissier, whose CV includes New York’s Baccarat hotel and the Mandarin Oriental in Marrakech. If there is an official colour, it’s the dusky pink that is used throughout. There are also 50 artworks in the property, including a stunning multilayered cascade of gold that adorns a wall in the lobby.

Star power at The Lana

The first Dior Spa in the UAE launches here in April, and there will be eight restaurants – sorry, ‘dining concepts’. The most notable may be the offering from superchef du moment Jean Imbert. Still aglow from his success at the Plaza Athénée in Paris, Imbert has taken a more low-key approach here that is as refined as it is relaxed.

[See also: Chef Jean Imbert on taking the helm at Plaza Athénée – and winning over the critics]

The lobby of The Lana hotel in Dubai
There are 50 artworks in the property, including a stunning multilayered cascade of gold that adorns a wall in the lobby / Image: Dorchester Collection

So the Lana does not lack for star power or brand recognition. If there is a drawback, perhaps it’s the location. One local told me it was peculiar for such an upmarket hotel to arrive in a neighbourhood that was ‘Dubai’s equivalent of Shepherd’s Bush’.

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‘Business Bay’ as it’s known, or Marasi Bay to give it its more official name, has not historically been the place to be and be seen. But this is something that Mahdi Amjad, founder and chairman of developer Omniyat, freely acknowledges.

‘Standing today in Marasi Bay Marina, the Lana marks our dedication to transforming the area into the ultimate luxury enclave in the heart of Dubai,’ he says.

[See also: Original FX Mayr: in search of ‘the cure’ at the world-renowned medical spa]

And need we remind ourselves that Shepherd’s Bush does not have a marina? Nor, notwithstanding the Soho House in White City, does it boast rooftop infinity pools like the one here – from which you can see the tallest building in the world, the 830m-high Burj Khalifa in one direction, and desert plains in the other.

In one of the fastest-changing cities in the world, there’s every chance the decision to invest in ‘Business Bay’ will soon look like a very good deal.

For more on The Lana, visit: dorchestercollection.com

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