DZ Design unveils its latest sustainable refurbishment project for Citymax Hotel in Business Bay, Dubai, achieving 40% savings through upcycling, reusing, and recycling existing furniture and finishes.

“The Citymax Hotel in Business Bay, Dubai, was ready to be opened to the public in February 2020. However, when the owner visited the hotel, he was not satisfied with the overall look and efficiency of the space,” explains Zain Belgami, managing director at DZ Design.

Given that the project was complete, allocating more funds for additional refurbishment was a worry. DZ Design was given AED3mn to rebuild and upgrade the lobby, public areas, public restrooms, three F&B units, the spa, gym, pool bar, conference rooms, and 22 suites, while 350 rooms will be refurbished during the second phase.

“Our team came on board the last-minute, proving that the design process that’s careful yet simplified can meet tight timelines and limited budget. This project is about the well-planned refurbishment that elevates and impacts the guest experience while recycling, retaining, and upcycling the existing finishes and furniture,” adds Dina Murali, design director at DZ Design.

Bold, warm, vibrant and full of life, Citymax is a distinctive hospitality experience focussed on delivering high-perceived value. Due to its typology, the hotel caters to long-stay business travellers and local guests; however, with greys and whites previously dominating the interiors, the client felt space was “too clinical”.

DZ Design chose a contemporary modern design, bringing warmth through timber finishes and indoor greenery associated with four-star hotels. The greatest impact was made in the lobby area. After the refurb, the lobby coffee shop doubles as a work café.

“They wanted us to look at the furniture details as they were unhappy with the overall look and feel and felt that the ethos of the brand did not stand out in any manner,” explains Murali. “We have reused existing storage counters, shelving, tables and chairs while existing sofas were re-upholstered. They’ve also created light fixtures from beer kegs in the bar instead of purchasing accent lighting. The furniture was also made locally, using the frames of existing units.”

DZ Design’s team also conceptualised the artworks in lobby and other lobby areas.

“Through thoughtful design and space planning, we’ve managed to increase the overall capacity in all public areas while adhering to the required social distancing guidelines. The lobby area was increased from 38 to 50 people; all-day dining from 60 to 91, and a roof-top pool bar from 20 to 30 people,” adds Belgami.