Have you been to UAE’s first-ever English-style hotel yet?
The famous Dukes Hotel, ‘birthplace’ of James Bond, brings English charm – and puddings – to Dubai.May 10, 2017
There is now a little corner of England in Dubai. Dukes Hotel is, remarkably, the first English style hotel in the UAE and it’s filled with flourishes that will make any Englishman homesick.
Portraits of the Duke of Wellington hang in the lobby, which has a black and white chessboard floor. Keeping watch on the Duke is a small statue of a sausage dog named Dukesy, the hotel’s mascot.
Dead ahead is GBR (Great British Restaurant) serving fish and chips, Paxton & Whitfield cheese, Lancashire hot pot and traditional puddings such as jam roly poly with custard – a treat that can make an Englishman go weak at the knees.
And it’s all served on fine English William Edwards bone china. (Khyber, a VIP Indian restaurant from Mumbai is also coming soon).
Elsewhere is Dukes bar that has wooden martini trollies zipping around velvet couches. The bar will display a hat from English company Lock & Co Hatters who were founded in 1676 and counted Winston Churchill and Lord Nelson as patrons.
Legend has it that the London Dukes bar is where Ian Fleming wrote many of his James Bond novels and where he came up with the ‘shaken, not stirred’ line.
The chap behind the project is Abdulla Bin Sulayem whose company Seven Tides owns Dukes in London. “Dukes in Mayfair is in the centre of everything,” he told EDGAR. “It’s historically important and is almost a London monument.”
Abdulla hopes the Dubai hotel will transmit that same London charm. “I want people to walk in and get goosebumps because they feel like they’re in London.”