If you’re one of Dubai’s long-term residents, you might well remember the original Metropolitan Hotel, which used to stand on the side of Sheikh Zayed Road. It opened way back in 1979, and as such was one of Dubai’s oldest hotels, until in 2012 it closed its doors for good. But it made way for Al Habtoor City, a development of hotels, restaurants and apartment buildings.
Al Habtoor City now stands on the shores of the Dubai Water Canal and is home to three hotels – The St. Regis Dubai, which opened first, towards the end of 2015. Hot on its heels were W Dubai and The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City, both of which opened earlier this year.
Between the hotels stands The Atrium, currently home to bars and restaurants including The Rose & Crown, a traditional English pub, Zoco, a Mexican restaurant and bar, Blind Dragon, an Asian-themed karaoke bar, and The City Grill steakhouse.
Expected to open later in 2017 is La Perle by Dragone, a 1,300 seat state-of-the-art theatre. One of the first venues of its kind, it has been designed by Franco Dragone, one of the founders of Cirque De Soleil. It will feature performances with acrobats and gymnasts taking part, and it will house an “aqua stage” with more than two million litres of water (make sure to take an anorak with you if you don’t want to get soaked in the front row).
Also under construction are three luxury apartment blocks. The finished development will include a marina, too, which will jut out into the Canal, giving you somewhere to park your yacht while you watch a show.
Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.alhabtoorcity.com (04 394 1444).