The first Corinthia Hotel is coming to the Middle East, here are the design details and experiences that this beachfront property would offer
As one of the biggest events—Expo 2020 is fast approaching; the emirate would witness the coming of major hospitality projects. One of the most-awaited luxury hotels making its way to the region is Corinthia Meydan Beach Dubai located on the prestigious JBR beachfront. Due to launch in 2020, this contemporary beachfront hotel marks the beginning of ambitious expansion plans by the hotel group. Design Middle East had a candid chat with John C H Kim from AE7 about his design vision for the property and Matthew Dixon from Corinthia Hotels to discuss the business strategy.
In conversation with John C H Kim, design director and board of directors at AE7, as he discusses his design plans for Corinthia’s first property in the Middle East
How would you describe your architectural style?
My personal architectural style is diverse, my design philosophy is borrowed from the modernist movement, where clean lines, simplicity, functionality, and materiality determine the architectural expression. However, as a practising contemporary architect, contextualism, and appropriateness to the project type provides the framework for the rigour of my design philosophy with imagination as the binding essence. The building should fit its purpose and program, for example, a hotel has
to feel like a hotel, but the architecture must still provide a story to resonate with the end-user.
What are some of the most significant changes in architecture in the region over the past decade?
The biggest transformation I have seen in the region is the effort to push the boundaries of construction technique and structural forms that are not traditional concrete construction. The region, especially Dubai, is defined by architectural superlatives with its mega projects but has been grounded in traditional construction methods. Now more and more architects and contractors are emboldened to partner in elaborate engineering feats, both large and small.
What kind of research do you do before beginning a new project?
When we start a project, we first listen to the client, to understand their desires and aspiration. We look at the project program and site conditions to understand all the variables. Then we look at relevant benchmarks both regionally and internationally, for context and insight. However, inspiration can come from a myriad of elements, whether a pure joy and romantic enchantment of the beach—as it was with Corinthia Meydan Beach Hotel or the beauty and splendour of nature, we can find brilliance from our surroundings.
How would you define Corinthia Meydan Beach from a design point of view? What will make it stand out?
Corinthia Meydan Beach is the epitome of understated elegance, with measured exuberance, a cocoon of opulence on the famed coast of the Arabian Sea. Although the hotel is on a beach, it is located in an extreme urban setting, visual, and aural cacophony abound. What sets this hotel apart is the instant sense of serenity and delight that drapes over you as you enter. The hotel is a refuge, urban seclusion that shelters you from the bustle and transports you into a calm, sophisticated surround that affords
you private vistas to the sea.
Is sustainability important to you? If so, how do you work it into your designs?
Basic understanding of solar orientation for façade design can provide immense relief in cooling load for the building or landscape strategy and plant selection to reduce water consumption and shading, all contribute to a sustainable approach. These passive solutions are augmented with active measures such as energy efficient mechanical units, condensate recovery, better insulation, and LED light fixtures. In addition to these measures, Corinthia Meydan Beach also incorporated—grey water treatment, solar panels system for hot water, planter drain water recovery and reuse, heat recovery wheels for the Fresh Air Handling Units (FAHU), efficient U value glazing and daylight sensors to reduce the use of lighting.
Matthew Dixon, area managing director, Corinthia Hotels, talks about the beachfront property and its offerings
What will make Corinthia Meydan Beach stand out from other luxury hotels in the emirate?
The hotel is perfectly positioned on JBR with spectacular uninterrupted views of the Arabian Sea to admire the iconic sights of the Dubai Eye and The Palm. We are creating exclusive culinary, leisure, and wellness experiences for every mood and moment. With fifteen dining destinations on site and over 50 more just a walk away, you can stroll where your culinary mood takes you. We are also bringing the first ESPA Life concept to Dubai and the Middle East. More than just a spa, the 5,000sqm ESPA Life at Corinthia Dubai will be the ultimate destination for well-being.
What is the USP of this project?
Corinthia’s unique position as both an investor, developer, and operator of hotels provides us with an exceptional level of insight into the world of hospitality and an opportunity to create a hotel with a strong identity which naturally differentiates itself from other properties in Dubai. With Corinthia Meydan Beach, we have strived to create Dubai’s most uplifting destination, a spectacular new beachfront resort that is exquisitely designed to capture the bliss of the beach and the excitement of the city.
What are the hotel’s main markets (in terms of business and nationality mix) and which areas will you focus on?
The property will appeal a range of guests owing to its intelligent design which provides different zones and exclusive experiences for every mood, age, and moment, whether a regular visitor to Dubai or visiting for the first time. We will attract sophisticated travellers from worldwide destinations including the Middle East, GCC, Europe, India, Russia, and the Stans. We will appeal to the local high-end professional market, premium corporate travel market, the luxury leisure market as well as diplomatic and VIP groups both from Dubai and further afield.
What are your expectations from the hotel once it opens its doors next year?
We want the hotel to deliver in a way that exceeds expectations and sets a new benchmark for service, quality, and attention to detail in the region. Over the last few years, we have developed a deep awareness and understanding of the region’s traditions and rich history and have sought to celebrate this throughout the property, for example, the authentic art which has been commissioned and carefully sourced is inspired by Dubai’s fascinating history. We very much hopeful and expect that the hotel will become part of the fabric of this wonderful city, a regular, and welcoming must-visit destination for local visitors and international guests alike.