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For our next few issues, The Insider will be hopping from continent to continent, as we take a look at some of the most significant luxury hotel openings. We continue our journey in the Middle East, featuring four hotels that amply illustrate the region’s amazing diversity of destinations.


Hotel Indigo Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman

Having financed an extraordinary period of modernization through developing its oil and gas reserves, the Sultanate of Oman is now investing heavily in tourism infrastructure as a means of diversifying the national economy. A state-of-the-art international airport terminal opened in 2018, and in recent years the country has seen numerous luxury hotels and resorts springing up along its coastline.

Hotel Indigo Jabal Al Akhdar (pictured below), which opens to guests later this year, is not a beachside property. It is located amid the stunning scenery of Oman’s principal mountain range, Jabal Al Akhdar (the ‘Green Mountain’).

The property marks the Omani debut for the upscale Indigo brand belonging to IHG Hotels & Resorts. It features 176 rooms, plus outdoor and indoor swimming pools and a spa. There will also be three F&B options, featuring “local flavors and specialties”.

At roughly 2,000 meters above sea level, the hotel will command 360-degree views of the scenic mountains. Guests will be encouraged to get out and enjoy their surroundings, with a range of leisure and cultural activities such as mountain biking, hiking, cave exploring, and visits to the Fort and Souq (market) of nearby Nizwa.

Hotel Indigo Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman.

Nobu Hotel Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Hotel Nobu Riyadh exterior artist’s impression.

Describing itself as “an urban oasis in the heart of downtown Riyadh”, the Nobu Hotel Riyadh is set to become the first five-star luxury boutique hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when it opens its doors later this year.

The hotel will offer 119 stylish guestrooms and suites, which feature the work of the internationally-renowned interior designer, Rockwell Group. Custom furnished with subtle Japanese and regional influences, the luxuriously appointed rooms combine visual appeal with state of the art functionality.

Among other attractions, Nobu Hotel Riyadh will offer a spa, a full-service fitness facility, an executive club lounge, well-equipped meeting rooms, two ballrooms, and – of course – the Kingdom’s only Nobu Restaurant.

With several important luxury hotel openings set for Saudi Arabia this year, the Kingdom is making good progress with its Vision 2030 strategic framework, which aims to diversify the economy by growing sectors such as tourism and hospitality. As a school, we’ve been delighted to play our part in this initiative, having welcomed a number of Saudi Arabian students to campus in recent years. Among them is BBA student Alanoud Alourfi.

Chedi Katara Hotel & Resort, Qatar

This is a rather significant year in the life of Qatar. In November, the Gulf state becomes the first Middle Eastern country to host the FIFA World Cup, and the Chedi Katara Hotel & Resort (see also main image) is one of the luxury properties which aim to be open and trading in readiness for the global soccer showpiece.

Chedi Katara Hotel & Resort.

Comprising 59 rooms and suites, as well as 32 chalets and villas, the hotel is located in the Katara Cultural Village of Qatar’s capital city, Doha. With a design that pays homage to the glories of Indian Mughal architecture and Ottoman influences, the new Chedi’s main building features a lobby lounge with 180-degree views of the sea, together with food & beverage concepts including an exclusive cigar lounge. Guests can also indulge in a luxurious spa and fitness facility incorporating beachfront swimming pool and infinity pool.

“The Katara Cultural Village is a microcosm of everything that Qatar stands for and what it aspires to be,” said Tommy Lai, Chief Executive Officer of GHM, which operates the Chedi brand.

“Our resort shall be both a springboard to, and a respite from, one of the most invigorating experiences to be had in the region. It is an oasis of calm and heritage in the middle of a dynamic and modern city.”

Rooftop pool at The Lana, Dubai.

The Lana, Dubai

No trip through luxury hospitality developments in the Middle East would be complete without a stopover in Dubai! Our selection from the many pipeline projects in the Emirate is The Lana (pictured above), which will become the first regional presence for Dorchester Collection when it opens in the last quarter of 2022.

This striking, modernist building is the work of globally-renowned architects Foster + Partners, while interior designers Gilles et Boissier have taken their inspiration from the sparkling waters of the marina, which the hotel overlooks.

The hotel’s marketing states: “Space, light and extraordinary views are to be the defining features of the 225 rooms and suites, where our designers combine traditional elements with contemporary touches inspired by the spirit of Dubai. Tall windows frame views of the Burj Khalifa or the sun-baked desert, stretching endlessly towards the horizon.”

F&B options will include a modern Mediterranean restaurant and an Italian café – both of which will have indoors and outdoors seating space – while the hotel’s signature restaurant and lounge is located on the 18th floor. One of the biggest draws is sure to be the extraordinary rooftop infinity pool, on the 30th floor of the main tower, which will transform into a lounge and nightlife destination in the evening.

  • Watch out for issue 7 of The Insider, in April/May, when we will be scouring another continent for its most exciting luxury hotel arrivals…

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