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At the heart of the action

The Fairmont hotel has stood as a sentinel at the start of Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai for many years, looking over new Dubai. Virtuozity explores its charms

Fairmont hotels may all share a similar interior styling, but from the outside they couldn’t be more different. With properties across the world that vary from austere towers to beach front palaces, there is no generic feel. And so that trend continues with the Fairmont on Dubai’s famous Sheikh Zayed Road.

And as locations go, you could hardly do better. The hotel faces the Trade Centre, Emirates Towers, and with a metro station right outside the lobby, the delights of Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and far beyond the glitzy Marina are just a ride away.

The imposing pink/sand coloured building stands in opposition to the tall slender towers that surround it in what many describe as the start of ‘new Dubai’. As deep as it is wide, it stands like a lump of granite, with its heart chiseled back. Imagine a square sand timer laid on its back and you’ll start to get the sort of idea of the shape of the building.

Because of the unique shape of the building, one of the two swimming pool areas is always in the shade, whilst the other basks in the sun. This layout allows guests to enjoy breathtaking views of both sunrise and sunset over the stunning Dubai skyline from two different, albeit identical pools.

The lobby lives up to the usual high standards of Fairmont décor with soft furnishings and not a straight line to be seen. Guests can walk straight into Cascades restaurant which is entirely surrounded by the thankfully many lifts that slide up and down the central atrium, or continue through to further restaurants at the rear. 

Up above, the hotel has 394 guestrooms, suites and penthouses, with all the Fairmont Gold rooms coming with a complimentary lounge access, breakfast and evening sunset drinks. The choice of rooms includes standard, one and two-bedroom suites, a royal suite, imperial suite and presidential suite. The Fairmont Gold Lounge on the 33rd floor shares its space with a range of meeting rooms and conference areas, making the hotel ideal for business meetings.

The rooms are neat and modern, with neutral colours and a home feel that’s often missing from many hotels. Each room boasts an excellent view of either Dubai’s bustling main highway or out over the suburbs to the Gulf just a few kilometres away. 

 For the gastronomically minded there’s a wide range of restaurants to choose from with the New York steakhouse-inspired The Exchange Grill and Noire’s dining in the dark experience being the two standouts. But there’s also Dokuz for Turkish cuisine and Catch, the contemporary American seafood restaurant.

The hotel also houses two of Dubai’s top nightspots with international fashion designer Roberto Cavalli’s Cavalli Club and London Mayfair’s Cirque Le Soir both operating within it walls. If that’s a little too lively then there’s the more laid back Cin Cin and The Cigar Bar. 

For the health conscious there’s an in-house 40,000 square foot spa, with all the usual treatments and niceties, as well as a well-equipped health club.

As a hotel the Fairmont Sheikh Zayed Road is perfectly formed, well stocked with places to eat, drink and make merry, and as contemporary as you’d expect for such a well-known name in the market.

But what sets this hotel apart is its location. It fits so well for business, pleasure, an evening out, an office lunch or an important conference. They say it’s all about the location, and in this instance, they’d be absolutely spot on.

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