Dubai is, famously, the city of replication. So far, the emirate has set its sights on reproducing snow (with the world’s largest snowdome); a Central Park-size version of the French city of Lyon; and The World (a 334-island “map” of planet earth). So what next? (OK, what next besides The Universe, which will recreate a multi-billion-dollar archipelago of the sun, planets and stars?). How about a spot of understated elegance — or, at least, understated by Dubai’s standards? The new Raffles Dubai forms a 19-story pyramid in keeping with Wafi, its neighboring Egyptian-style mall “lifestyle complex,” and boasts a botanical sky garden showcasing 130,000 tropical plants inspired by Singapore’s garden-city landscape.
On a recent visit to the property – which forms the first Middle-eastern outpost of the Raffles hotel group – globorati was faced with the sort of menu anxiety that comes from choosing between 11 in-house restaurants. Though at least we could relax in an oversized jacuzzi, which, with the bathroom’s French-doors flung open, afforded city vistas through the private terrace directly from the tub. And the understated elegance, you ask? That would be the Balinese Crossroads Cocktail Bar, where we ordered a Singapore Sling — a replica, if you will, of the historic Raffles drink created at the flagship Raffles Hotel Singapore.