THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCESM
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES

Meet the man behind Dubai’s most unique hotel, 25hours Hotel One Central

Mads Wolff reveals why 25hours One Central is so unique in the city, how he’s building community and his favourite thing about the hotel

Near+Far

30 April 2024

25hours Hotel Dubai One Central

‘The only thing you cannot use as an outside guest are the bedrooms,’ says Mads Wolff, with a glint in his eye. The 25hours Hotel One Central general manager is revealing what makes the hotel so special – seeing all visitors as equal guests and creating a thriving community. And he’s not wrong. The GM and his team have built something extraordinary in the city – a vibe that’s felt immediately upon entering the lobby, bustling with guests, co-workers and creatives. This unique feeling continues around the property, to the courtyard with pop-ups, the indoor-outdoor gym with memberships and of course, the award-winning f&b concepts that trot the globe. This year, the property also opened its very own version of Dubai’s beloved Arthouse cinema, Cinema Akil, offering complimentary screenings of independent and blockbuster movies.

The Danish native has helmed Dubai’s coolest arrival, 25hours Hotel One Central, since 2023, a hotel known for bringing Euro-cool energy to Dubai. Like the German-born 25hours brand, the property focuses on creatives and community, with laidback and approachable spaces, with playful design chronicling the journey from Bedouins to Arabs on Mars, and five-star facilities. A hospitality veteran with over 20 years of experience in the industry, Wolff joined the hotel pre-opening as Hotel Manager and, as a result, knows the property inside and out. We sat down with him to chat about why it’s still the city’s most unique offering, what makes 25hours Dubai so special in the city, his – surprising – favourite place and plans for the future.

mads wolff general manager 25hours hotel dubai one central
GM, Mads Wolff

You’ve been at the hotel since it opened in December 2021 – how has it developed. Has the vision for the property been realised?

25hours Dubai exceeded many expectations. Of course, we’re performing regarding numbers and profitability, but more importantly, it’s about what 25hours has become in the market and the community we’ve formed and are forming around 25hours – that’s what’s really unique about the property. It needs constant attention to bring it to life and keep it alive. In Dubai, if it’s not new, it’s often not interesting anymore, and you get replaced by new things, so we have to stay relevant and keep innovating. If we did the same things we did for the opening, we would not be on top of things. It’s constant innovation.

For those looking to book a hotel in Dubai or looking for a staycation with a difference, what would you say makes the property stand out?

On the surface, the hotel’s design and soul look and feel so different from any other property. The word ‘lifestyle’ is thrown around in Dubai; I don’t think lifestyle explains what it actually is as it’s so overused. As soon as people enter the property and see the fountain and the lobby, they feel the community and the people. There are people just hanging out, but they’re not staying with us. It’s people from outside, people who came to work to use the gym, for a meeting or a coffee, and that’s the first impression they get – and they feel the vibe. It’s a different feeling. The second is that you have that feeling of home. There are many luxury properties, but very few people feel really at home in a luxury property; it’s great and all shiny, but you’re not going to kick your shoes off. We want guests to feel like they can.

lobby at 25hours hotel dubai
The hotel’s welcoming lobby – home to thousands of books

You talk about this unique vibe. How do you ensure your staff keeps this alive and embody it?

Usually, you hire people, and you tell them all the things they can’t do. What they can’t look like, you tell them ‘you cannot wear your hair like that, your earrings, you can’t have your nails on’. Then they give them a very boring oversized uniform, and they say, ‘Now go and be vibrant and be energetic’. And you have just removed everything that person was about. For me, it has always been a thing when you hire people, yes, you hire the right people, but after that, it’s about supporting them and letting them be themselves. 

Tell me about somewhere in the hotel where you’d happily spend all your time. Where do you think is the one place that sums up the vibe of the property?

My personal favourite is sitting at the coffee bar at Nomad Day Bar, where I spend most of my days. I might as well just move my office there; I have thought about it, if I were to just have my desk and sit and, you know, permanently work there! You see so many things. One part is seeing the property and what’s happening, but it’s all about the property and the crowd – you see everyone coming in and out of the hotel. It’s just a cool place to sit.

co-working spaces at 25hours hotel dubai one central
Creative co-working spaces are at the heart of the property

The hotel is now in its third year; you mention innovating and changing. Where do you see the hotel in five years?

I’m sure we will have had more competition coming in five years. But I see 25hours Hotel One Central keeping its same energy and vibe, but it being even more established. The ‘come as you are ‘and ‘we’re all no-mad here’ slogans. It has the potential to become a stable force – it will become one of these incredible places and spots in the city. And as long as it continues to stay relevant, we do activations, pop-ups, and collaborations. This is what 25hours is about. As long as this is kept up, we keep striving, and you can keep developing. Over the next year, we have they get so many new offerings coming to the property, and I say it’s only very exciting.

How does the hotel benefit the community as much as guests? What do you offer above your competitors?

We have our co-working spaces, downstairs in the lobby and Nomad and also on the first floor with top facilities and meeting rooms. People can also come and use the pool, both external and hotel guests, and we also offer a gym membership. The only thing you cannot use as an outside guest are the bedrooms. We also have a ‘Work From’ programme in the co-working space, which is an exclusive office space, so you can rent an office or a desk, and it’s in the hotel space. There are more amenities, and that’s something we might extend, too.

Trade Centre 2, Dubai; 25hours-hotels.com, @25hourshoteldubai

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