WATG-Designed Four Seasons Dubai to open in November

Arabic style merges with modern design in Dubai's newest luxury hotel


Irvine, September 2014

Sprawling 14 acres along the pristine waters off Jumeirah Beach, the Four Seasons Resort Dubai is a magnificent sight to behold. Influenced by the neighboring seaside, the structure is filled with various textures and shades to create the epitome of classic Arabic architecture mixed with a more contemporary design.

Located on the Arabian Gulf, the five-star hotel is comprised of 237 spacious rooms — including 49 suites — giving guests some of the best views of the Gulf, Burj Khalifa and rest of the downtown skyline. With spas, swimming pools, family activities and 10 luxurious restaurants and lounges to keep visitors entertained, the Four Seasons, which is set to open later this year, is changing the way visitors experience Dubai.

Designed by award-winning architecture and design firm WATG, the hotel was inspired by characteristics often found in Andalusian-style architecture. This includes using classic spatial proportions and resources in order to create the perfect ambience to accompany multiple recessed entries, balconies in each room and a wealth of windows to allow natural light. Also reminiscent of Mediterranean designs is the spacious lobby, measuring 33 feet. This space is topped with an octagonal dome complete with gold-leaf finishing, which compliments the interior’s marble structure seamlessly.

“The incorporation of distinct Arabic-influenced materials and accents helped to make this building a unique, one-of-a-kind structure that will stand the test of time,” said Mike Chun, senior vice president of WATG.

And he would know, considering this is not the company’s first time in the region. In fact, the Irvine, California-based team has worked on several projects in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the past.

In his 35 years with the firm, Chun has been involved in directing a multitude of projects throughout the world, including the Middle East. As a matter of fact, Chun led the WATG team on the development of Atlantis, The Palm, a 1,500-room hotel and 60-acre water theme park also located in Dubai. This 23-floor hotel is reminiscent of the Atlantis Bahamas, which was also designed by the WATG. It features a bold yet classic design and boasts 1,539 rooms.

Since its completion in 2008, The Atlantis in Dubai has won an assortment of awards, including being named the 2013 and 2014 Best Hotel Suite from The Middle East Hotel Awards; the 2014 Middle East Leading Resort from World Travel Awards; and the 2014 Top Hotel for Families in the Middle East from the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards.

Known for creating remarkable structures since 1945, WATG has planned, strategized, designed and landscaped more than 12 completed projects in the Middle East, including the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi and the One&Only Royal Mirage in Dubai. In fact, the Emirates Palace has also won numerous awards, including ranking on the Best in the World: Top 100 Hotels & Resorts, Reader’s Choice Awards in 2011, as well as various recognitions from the World Travel Awards three years in a row.

With other projects in the UAE currently in progress, the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach is slated to open November 1.

Situated on the longest natural beachfront in Dubai and only minutes from a bustling commercial district, the Four Seasons has an ideal location where guests can experience natural beauty and tour in downtown Dubai. It did, however, present designers with a few challenges.

Mark Yoshizaki, vice president at WATG, has worked on numerous projects in the UAE since 1999 and has brought his knowledge of the area to the design and development of a variety of ventures in the area. When it comes to the Four Seasons, Yoshizaki stated that the location of the hotel itself was a determining factor when designing the building. “Situated along Jumeirah Beach, surrounded by low rise buildings, we needed to ensure that the design made a statement without being out of context,” he said.

This included acknowledging local culture by respecting the privacy and security of visitors at a private club located adjacent to the hotel, as well as designing a structure that would not infringe on the beautiful ocean and city views enjoyed by those in surrounding buildings.

The company combated these challenges in an assortment of ways. “We utilized a variety of massing, single-loaded corridors and heavy landscape strategies to respect our neighbors,” Yoshizaki said.

Backed by an extensive track record in the region, WATG has once again been able to create an outstanding destination that is unique yet classic, elaborating on the timeless, traditional architectural structures found in Dubai.

About WATG

WATG is one of the world’s leading integrated design firms and ranked as 2nd in the world among hotel architectural firms. WATG’s interior design firm, Wimberly, was ranked 11th by Interior Design Magazine in their 2015 Hospitality Giants survey.

With over 70 years of design excellence, WATG and Wimberly, have become the world’s leading design consultants in the industry since starting in Hawaii in 1945. With offices in Irvine, Beverly Hills, Seattle, Chicago, New York, London, Miami, Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and Honolulu, the multi-disciplinary design firm is best known for creating internationally acclaimed destinations in 160 countries across six continents. WATG offers integrated design solutions comprising strategy, planning, architecture, landscape, and interiors for urban, tourism and resort destinations. WATG’s projects are renowned not only for their design and sense of place but also for their bottom-line success.

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Ashley Fauguel
+44 (0)20 7906 6600

Krystal Solorzano
+65 6227 2618