2024 is set to be an exceptional year for hotel openings in our dynamic region, with much-anticipated and stand-out properties across the Gulf set to open their doors – many groundbreaking or paving the way in a new category. From elite brand debuts and cool city hangouts to palatial island resorts, cultural boutique offerings and the opening of Saudi Arabia’s mega-projects – here are the Middle East hotel openings we’re truly excited for in 2024.
The Lana – Dorchester Collection, Dubai, UAE
Opens: February 2024
Set to take Dubai’s Business Bay neighbourhood and canal to new, elevated heights, The Lana, Dorchester Collection will open in February. From the group behind global properties like the eponymous Dorchester in London, The Beverly Hills Hotel and Paris’ Plaza Athénée, the new hotel and residences occupies a visually striking 30-storey waterfront property and boasts 225 luxurious guest rooms (of which 69 are suites). Guests can expect neutral contemporary design – furnishings in gold, olive and taupe – and leading facilities like a vast, transforming rooftop space – complete with lounge, bar and pool – and a wellness centre. Dining outlets are some of the most exciting in the city – with eight concepts by big names like Martín Berasategui, Jean Imbert and pastry Chef, Angelo Musa. Other concepts include a speakeasy, The Veranda, The Gallery and Bitter Honey. Guests can enjoy boat rides from the property to One at Palm Jumeirah, Dorchester Collection’s original Dubai property to use the beach facilities.
The Jeddah EDITION, Saudi Arabia
Opens: March 2024
Perfectly timed ahead of the biggest event in Jeddah, the F1, the highly anticipated Jeddah EDITION will be the first property to open at the shiny Jeddah Yacht Club (and the debut EDITION property in the Kingdom itself). Bringing a slice of its super chic London-meets-Miami vibe to the Red Sea city, The Jeddah EDITION will deliver all the hallmarks fans of the Ian Schrager-created brand will love – the soothing neutral colour scheme, exclusive boutique feel, fragrant public spaces and ultra cool restaurants and bar. Located at the Yacht Club, with the racetrack on one side, and Jeddah Corniche, superyachts and cool restaurants on the other, this is set to become one of the most sought-after hotels in Jeddah and Middle East hotel openings. Guests can look forward to a high-tech fitness centre, cool rooftop, indoor and outdoor pools (not confirmed as to who they will be open to) and a rooftop lounge.
Anantara Mina Al Arab, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
Opens: beginning of 2024
Anantara is currently working on what could just be Ras Al Khaimah’s most modern and luxurious hotel, and a property that could alter the Ras al Khaimah tourism landscape forever – the stunning Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort. The beachfront resort will be designed to resemble a Maldivian escape, with private stilted villas perched over the turquoise waters with dreamy neutrals, woods and oceanic hues (and a wide range of beautiful rooms and suites peppered along the seafront). A 9,000 sqm private beach will overlook the stunning eco-reserve lined with mangroves and the world-class Anantara Spa will offer traditional Thai healing treatments and with a whirlpool, sauna and steam and beauty parlour. Padel, watersports and beach games will keep guests entertained, while dining is enjoyed in six outlets – not including Anantara’s signature dining by design – popular in its iconic Far East resorts.
Our Habitas Ras Abrouq, Qatar
Opens: January 2024
Our Habitas is known across the world for its laid-back, wellness and community-oriented resorts and now, the brand has announced its newest home, Our Habitas Ras Abrouq, marking its second resort in the Middle East and first in Qatar. Lying on Qatar’s peaceful west coast, bordering the UNESCO-protected Al-Reem Biosphere Reserve, the hotel will form part of a new multi-destination hotel circuit in the region. Framed by desert, guests will reside in 42 striking tented private pool villas overlooking the Arabian Gulf and can enjoy the Qissa Restaurant, a terrace lounge, beach club and bar, wellness centre, state-of-the-art gym, watersports adventure hub and padel courts. A central swimming pool fringed with sunloungers will overlook the ocean – reminiscent of the brand’s now iconic swimming pool at Habitas AlUla. While seemingly remote and secluded, Our Habitas Ras Abrouq is set just 1km from one of Qatar’s most popular attractions, Richard Serra’s iconic sculpture, East Meets West, and the property aims to use the surrounding desert as a place to stage art exhibits, one of a kind pop-up dining experiences, film screenings, concerts and more.
Raffles Al Areen Palace Bahrain
Taking Bahrain’s hospitality scene to new luxurious heights, Raffles Al Areen Palace Bahrain has opened its doors, seeing the Al Areen Palace hotel – built in 2006 – renovated to dizzying new heights and transformed into a five-star resort with 78 elegantly landscapes and secluded private pool villas. The property sits on the Island of One Million Palms and is set in acres of lush, verdant greenery – creating the feeling of a mini oasis near the desert and ocean. Villas are mini palaces, and all come with private pools and beautiful terraces where private dinners and barbecues can be organised by guests’ personal Raffles butler. The property focuses on intimate and memorable dining experiences, from private dining around the resort’s grounds – including picnics, brunches and outdoor lunches – to the elegant main restaurant, Palma. An iteration of Raffles’ iconic Writer’s Bar is also a highlight – a sultry, vintage-inspired space with a moody dark colour scheme, statement lighting and high ceilings reminiscent of a members’ club. The space pays homage to literature with an activating book collection and spaces to host literary events.
Dar Tantora, AlUla, Saudi Arabia
Opens: Beginning of 2024
AlUla’s hotels are currently dotted around the ancient landscape, but a new property will allow guests to stay right in the heart of the bustling, cool and historical Old Town. Dar Tantora will be the latest addition to Saudi Arabia’s living museum and one of the most interesting of Middle East hotel openings – located in repurposed mud-brick buildings in the charming Old Town village and offering a true boutique experience with just 30 rooms. The hotel offers a more intimate, guest-house-like experience than other hotels in AlUIa, with Saudi-inspired design and details, textures and furnishings, and five rooms can be booked with minimal modern technology for a true step back in time to the AlUla of yesteryear. Breakfast is served in-room or in the verdant oasis-like garden, and the rooftop is home to a trendy artisan coffee shop offering views of the maze of mud-brick buildings.
Lux* Al Bridi and LUX* Al Jabal, Sharjah, UAE
Opens: February 2024
Exciting news for the northern Emirates – as luxury resort brand Lux* is opening not one, but two, beautiful properties across Sharjah. The first, Lux* Al Bridi, is set inside the 1,690-hectare Al Bridi Nature Reserve – a private tented resort in the midst of the Al Bridi Nature Reserve (the largest safari park in the world outside of Africa home to lions, elephants, giraffes, rhinoceros, deers and gazelles.) Reinventing Shajrah’s tourism scene, the property gives UAE residents and travellers even more of an excuse to explore this cultural and naturally beautiful emirate, and enjoy the resort’s restaurants and spa.
On the other side of the UAE, though still in the emirate of Sharjah, backed by the Soueifa Mountain and overlooking the Arabian Sea, LUX* Al Jabal will be a five-star eco-resort with a difference. Introducing travellers to the outstanding natural beauty of this coastline and its charming towns like Khorfakkan, the resort will have 45 eco lodges, a clifftop restaurant, gym and kids’ club.
Anantara Santorini Abu Dhabi Retreat, UAE
Opens: February 2024
The UAE has no shortage of mega-hotels, but what it’s distinctly missed is a boutique offering. Hoping to plug that gap, Minor Hotels has announced the opening of what could be the UAE’s first true boutique hotel and one of the most exciting Middle East hotel openings – Anantara Santorini. Offering just 22 keys and set away from the city in the peaceful enclave of Ghantoot, Abu Dhabi, Anantara Santorini will offer a unique escape for both Dubai and Abu Dhabi tourists and residents. The hotel sits near the former site of Blue Marlin and is a 30-minute drive from Dubai Marina and a 35-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport. The property itself has been designed to reflect the iconic buildings of its namesake island, with low-rise, white-washed buildings blending with the natural landscape and looking out onto the Arabian Gulf. Guests stay in whitewashed villa-inspired accommodations and can enjoy a private beach, expansive outdoor swimming pool overlooking the ocean and indoor cinema with private screenings.
The St. Regis Red Sea Resort, Ummahat Island, Saudi Arabia
One of Saudi Arabia‘s first tangible mega projects, Red Sea Global (or The Red Sea) has opened to the public, and with it, a string of gorgeous open – and upcoming – hotels. One of the most impressive is the St. Regis Red Sea Resort, a secluded hideaway on the idyllic white sands of Ummahat Island and reached by boat or seaplane. The private island is a dose of the Maldives in the Kingdom, with beachfront villas with their own pools and sundeck – perfect for watching the sunset – and mangrove forests, a watersports centre and conservation area – including some of the most untouched coral reefs on earth. Dining is also enticing – Levantine and Japanese being highlights – and a spa brings Red Sea-inspired treatments.