As the only member in the Middle East of the prestigious collection of Design Hotels, the newly opened Form Hotel Dubai aims to offer original hospitality experiences to guests within a timelessly-designed environment.
The technology-driven upscale design concept hotel opened its doors in May near the newly extended Dubai Creek in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Al Jadaf and Culture Village and enjoys direct access to three of Dubai’s most prominent throughways – Sheikh Rashid Road to the north, Al Khail Road to the south, and Oud Metha Road to the west.
Set behind a striking façade conceived by the internationally renowned Architecture-Studio of France, this 136-room boutique property targets forward-thinking travellers through a visual language of custom-crafted spaces, guestrooms, and experiences.
Architecture-Studio, the architect and interior designer on the project, has focused on four key areas when designing the project: timeless and relevant aesthetics, guest practicality, operational productivity and cost efficiency.
Owned by Kay Real Estate Development, Form is operated by Smartotels Hospitality International.
Among other key players, Dubai Contracting Company was the general contractor, while Studitalia Décor carried out the interior fit-out works.
The owner’s concept was to develop a hotel that would be highly accessible and attract the hyper-connected, hybrid novel traveller, Tarek Daouk, managing partner of Form Hotel Dubai, tells Gulf Construction.
The aim is to empower today’s health-conscious travellers to customise their personal journey via integrated brand obsessions, and curated add-on services, amenities and experiences, he adds.
Commenting on the overall design concept, Daouk says, the focus has been on creating different ambiances as well as high-quality spaces.
“The white and pure facades contrast with the coloured and timeless interior spaces. The play of light and shadow is an inspiring design theme in a city like Dubai, and we have worked to maximise the soft shadows,” he says.
The facade is punctuated with printed glass to provide daylight and a pleasant mood in the guestrooms. The random guestroom window sizes create various atmospheres depending on the time of day, as well as a large and unique view on the city of Dubai from each room.
To achieve its objective of timeless and relevant aesthetics, the designer has concentrated on key features from the Art Deco era, converging on neutral colours, geometric motifs, rounded forms, and sharply defined outlines.
“The lighting design is a key point and we were constantly working on how light interacts with spaces and materials,” he says.
As a member of the Design Hotels collection, Form Hotel Dubai has custom designed all its guestroom furniture, resulting in a unique, aesthetically-forward and efficient space. When custom-designing the furniture, the focus has been on suspended furniture allowing for effective use of space, increased transparency and airy spaces and easier cleaning and maintenance of the FF+E (furniture, fixtures and equipment). To cater to the modern traveller, strategically positioned universal plugs – with a USB-dedicated plug – have been placed throughout the rooms.
The toilets comprise two separate spaces, the shower room and the WC (water closet) to allow for maximum efficiency for double occupancy.
“Value engineering the fit-out was key, focusing on sourcing materials that are durable and aesthetically fitting. Colouration and light create different visual experiences and moods. The public spaces such as the lobby and the restaurant are designed with large openings which connect the hotel spaces to the city,” Daouk says.
The key colour scheme focuses on natural tones – whites, blacks, greys, brass detailing and walnut woods – which is consistent throughout the property. One of the first steps taken was to design both the hotel spaces and materials at the same time.
“We chose to use few materials and the colours we used are of the materials – the main ones being white plaster, light stone and walnut wood (mainly sourced from Italy), which create a bright and warm atmosphere,” he says.
Meanwhile, aspects such as the acoustics are very important at the Form Hotel: every single space has been designed with a different acoustic approach, Daouk explains.
Key facilities at the hotel include the ‘roots kitchen by parlour’, the all-day dining restaurant which serves globally-inspired health-focused cuisine; Salus Housetop, the poolside well-being retreat; and the Concept Boutique, the in-house retailer offering locally-sourced and thoughtfully-curated items.
“Well-being is at the core of the property’s DNA and, therefore, Form is a 100-per-cent smoke-free property. The restaurant (roots kitchen by parlour), poolside retreat (Salus Housetop) and the Concept Boutique focus on healthy positive eating, highlighting locally sourced ingredients and highly-nourishing offerings. The mini fridges in the rooms offer organic snacks and beverages,” says Daouk.
Other facilities include a 22-m-long half-length Olympic rooftop swimming pool and a state-of-the-art rooftop gym with Life Fitness equipment. For nurturing smart business and linking like-minded individuals, Form has initiated a creative zone called co.lab space.
When setting up Form Hotel Dubai, the focus has been on developing a technology-driven facility with state-of-the-art internet access.
“At Form, guests can immediately access a custom-designed web-based application to control their stays upon logging on to the proprietary WiFi network. Through the weFORM platform, the application provides the ability to order amenities, services and experiences all from handheld devices, which get automatically processed without requiring a phone call. However, the option of calling the staff is available,” Daouk points out.
These guests can benefit from Form’s five essential built-in offers: a custom-crafted luxury bed, walk-in high-pressure rain shower, complimentary high-speed WiFi, 49-inch HDTV with Google Chromecast, and a complimentary breakfast.
“Moreover, guests are able to stream their content on their in-room television screens, a tool that is extremely valuable and relevant given that most travellers prefer controlling or already have purchased their content,” he points out.
Speaking about the main challenge during project execution, Daouk says it was the site accessibility. However, he says various Dubai government authorities fully supported its teams’ efforts to advance the development.