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Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort and Spa, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Thursday 21 Apr 2011

A mix of traditional and modern design

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Dubarch maintains local Arabic architecture and traditions while creating a hotel with its own distinct identity 

The client identified the opportunity to develop a world class retreat and tourist destination in the Empty Quarter desert, Abu Dhabi, UAE. The project brief required that the design team incorporate local Arabic theming and functionality into one homogenous design so to penetrate the market, while satisfying superior design requirements for quality and value for money. Taking cues from the local, indigenous architecture of the Bedouin fort structures of the Al Ain/Abu Dhabi region, the design of the hotel complex reinforced local building design and traditions while updating it to satisfy today's sophisticated travellers.

One approaches the hotel on a bridge structure recalling ancient roadways, yet this causeway and most of the hotel complex itself sits on  tencate-earth retaining walls, a time and cost saving method over typical concrete retaining walls. The entry courtyards crafted in local materials, including stucco and stone,combined with the site and sound of fountains, welcome the visitor to the hotel.The exterior building made from stucco creates traditional mud architecture of the region but also is an insulating modern building material. Inside reception, an Arabic themed interior, creates a simple, rich and inviting background for guests arrival and check-in. To make this happen, however, advanced technology systems are merged onto a single system, and are integrated well enough within the architecture of the hotel as not to disturb the traditional aesthetics.

Windows and doors are meant to evoke antique artifacts yet are actually thermally insulated to the highest international building standards. Interior furniture and fabrics recall the beauty of traditional Bedouin tents, while finishes and fixtures meet the highest standards in luxury design. Signage graphics throughout the site employ traditional Arabic geometries but are produced with cutting-edge laser technology. Ground cover, trees and palms are native to the area; therefore not only requiring less water than foreign plants, but add to the authentic aesthetic of the resort.

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Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort and Spa


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