The Metropolitan Hotel Dubai, one of the city’s oldest hotels and home to its oldest pub, the famed Red Lion, was knocked down in 2013 to make way for the colossal Al Habtoor City. But this didn’t signal the end of the Dubai institution and by the end of this year, “The Met”, as it became affectionately known, is set to re-open in a new location. Here’s what you need to know about the iconic hotel.
1 It’s steeped in history A landmark, an institution, call it what you will. Established in the 1979, the original Metropolitan Hotel Dubai was one of the first hotels to be built in the emirate and was the only hotel between Dubai World Trade Centre and Abu Dhabi. “When I first opened the Metropolitan Hotel back in 1979, it was in middle of sand dunes,” said Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, at an event celebrating company’s 45th anniversary. Given its legendary status in the city, many long term Dubai residents were sad to hear of The Met’s demolition in 2013, but just three years on, the new Metropolitan is set to open its doors once again.
2 It has a brand-new address From its previous location in Business Bay, The Metropolitan Hotel Dubai has moved just ten kilometres down Sheikh Zayed Road. Set in Umm Al Sheif, close to Al Barsha and in what is now known as New Dubai (no longer are those duenes), the grand opening is expected to take place before the end of the year.
3 The Red Lion will return… The much-loved and missed traditional English pub will, to the delight of many a long-time expat, throw open its doors once again when the all-new Metropolitan Hotel Dubai throws open the doors. Like its original, which first began serving the public back in 1978, this incarnation of The Red Lion promises to offer the same dose of good old Brit charm, as well as hearty pub grub. Sports fans will also be glad to have somewhere else to frequent in this part of town, as the venue will screen live matches and events. There will be a quiz night to get involved with, and live music, too.
4 Don Corleone is back and three new restaurants will arrive As much as The Red Lion has been missed, so has the traditional Italian Trattoria-style Don Corleone. But the landmark hotel couldn’t lose its legendary restaurant named after the lead in one of the most iconic movies ever made. And so the dining spot returns to the Metropolitan Hotel Dubai, red and white chequered tablecloths and all. It will, as ever, serve up the classic and authentic Italian dishes it was always known for, including fresh pastas, pizzas and salads. The Metropolitan will also feature all-day dining restaurant Al Safa, which will serve global cuisine, and Al Sheif Shisha Lounge, which will serve traditional Middle Eastern dishes. There will also be the relaxed pool bar, Tropicana.
5 Great value awaits You’ll struggle to find spacious, wellequipped, four-star rooms from Dhs297 anywhere in Dubai, let alone on Sheikh Zayed Road, but that’s exactly what you’ll find among the 320 rooms (including 18 suites) here. Even the Premium Plus suites, which are more lavish, sleeping three and featuring a lounge area, are priced from just Dhs477. It’s a perfect example of how Dubai’s hotels are becoming more and more accessible.