Designed by late architect Zaha Hadid, ME hotel Dubai is the architect’s sole hotel design, and it’s finally open! By Bayar Jain
Iraqi-British architect Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid – or simply Zaha Hadid – is not an unknown personality in the architectural world. Her gravity-defying, flow-y designs, and dramatic structures wowed audiences world over, as is evidenced by the many accolades she won throughout her career. In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in February, 2016 – the month preceding her death – she became the first and only woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. At the time of death, several of her buildings were still under construction, including the Beijing Daxing International Airport and the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar, a venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. One of these projects was the ME Dubai by Melia, a hotel in downtown Dubai.
This hotel too comes with the same liquid notions of the Queen of the Curve’s other designs. However, what truly sets ME Dubai apart is the fact that it is the first and last hotel to be designed by the creative artist. Located in The Opus by Omniyat building in Downtown Dubai, the project had been stalled for four years. However, the futuristic designs negate this time loss.
The hotel itself spans two million square feet, comprising two towers connected in a manner to form a cube, giving the illusion that it has been cut out from the centre of the building. Seventy-four rooms, and 19 themed suites like Passion Suite, the Vibe Room, and the Personality Suite complete the look. Each room is designed in either a midnight blue colour, or golden desert theme, and guests checking in can expect views over the Dubai Canal, up towards the towering Burj Khalifa, or both.
On entering the hotel, the typical Zaha Hadid vibe is instantly visible. The lobby itself houses curved couches that took three years to make. In fact, each furniture of the property was designed directly by the legendary architect herself, or chosen by her. This futuristic avatar resonates in the rooms as well. At ME Dubai, mini bars have been replaced with maxi bars, and the hotel’s in-house app controls lighting. Rounded sinks, oversized showerheads, and curvaceous soaking tubs amp the style further.
When it comes to down time, guests can splash around in their white marble clad swimming pool, while fitness fans can burn it out with the gym’s sleek machines and hydro-powered functions. Once done burning calories, guests can hog at some of the best restaurants the country has to offer – all within the hotel!