PO Box 121800, Wafi City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Recommended for:
- Business travellers, Foodies, Nightlife, Relaxation
Expert review of Raffles Dubai
Shaped like a giant pyramid and covered in hieroglyphics, the Raffles – sister to the famous pad in Singapore – is an absolutely unmistakable Dubai landmark. Dubious historical references aside (last time archaeologists checked, the pharaohs never made it to Dubai), it’s still a somewhat spectacular (and ever-so-slightly tacky, perhaps) complex and offers a rather different type of luxurious experience for those not heading for a beachside resort. I’m particularly fond of the wine list at the indulgent and opulent Fire & Ice steakhouse restaurant.
Raffles Dubai sits on Sheikh Rashid Road in the Oud Metha district, which connects the main hub of the city to the airport. It's connected to the Wafi City mall, which is among Dubai's older consumer outposts (and one that keeps with the Egyptian theme), but still has a good selection of fashion stores, but is looking quite dated compared to the newer malls. The hotel is just a few minutes drive from the creek area, and about 15 in the other direction to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. The nearest beach is about 15-minutes drive away, while the airport will take just five minutes.
The standard signature rooms are among the biggest in Dubai, well designed and with plush and comfortable furnishings. Browns and creams are used to great effect, with a luxuriously large red headboard adding to the feeling of opulent cosiness. Thankfully, the Egyptian-theme has taken a breather, and instead Middle East and Asian styles flow throughout, with a gorgeous Persian-style carpet and various intricate wooden patterns. Each comes with a private balcony. Free WiFi is offered in all rooms.
Following the grand, pillared and heavily Egyptian-themed entrance, the vast lobby carries on with the story, with plenty of comfy seats, a sparkling marble floor and hieroglyphics scattered liberally about. On the roof, and overlooking Wafi Mall (visible through an impressive glass dome) sits an eye-catching and well-maintained botanical garden, ideal for a romantic stroll or frolic.
Within the pyramid sit several gastronomical delights. Fire & Ice, well laid out with mood lighting and contemporary wooden designs, has recently decided to focus its attention on steak, with excellent results. Its wine list is among Dubai’s finest. Further up the hotel, with panoramic views across the city, the relatively new Noble House is already considered the best Chinese restaurant in town, with a menu of modern Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine (that comes at a price, of course). At the very pinnacle of the pyramid, the New Asia Bar has over 110 cocktails (including the dubious ‘Dubai Sling’) to enjoy while admiring city skyline in the distance. It’s a little posy and has a somewhat ridiculous door policy at times (note: dress smart), but still a unique spot to enjoy a nightcap.
Raffles’ Amrita Spa is a highly regarded pampering house in a city with several bazillion spas, with a wide rage of international treatments. The nicely-designed outdoor swimming pool, found on the fourth floor, is remarkably tranquil despite the fact that a bustling main road is just a stone’s throw away.
Excellent - friendly and extremely helpful.
Both Western and Arabic guests stay at Raffles Dubai, its services (and name) attracting the tourist crowd and location finding fans among the business travellers. The restaurants are popular with expats, in particularly the New Asia Bar which can get quite crowded at weekends.
The best rate for a standard Signature Room can be found when booking 14 days in advance, inclusive of charges and taxes. The rate doesn’t include breakfast.
More information on Raffles Dubai:
- Price from:
- PO Box 121800, Wafi City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Business Centre, Room Service, High-Speed Internet, Fitness Centre, Restaurant, Parking, Swimming Pool
- Oud Metha