How long has Embassy Dubai been in the works?
Nearly five years. The most wonderful thing, and the most annoying thing, is that it’s sitting on the top three floors of the Grosvenor House Tower Two, which has only just been finished. Usually when you sign a deal, you have a premises. It seemed like a very long wait, but now it feels as though it was yesterday.
What do you make of the nightlife scene in Dubai?
I think nightlife has changed all over the world, and the scene in Dubai has changed along with it. Four years ago, people were taking nightlife from London and adapting it to suit Dubai, but I believe Dubai is now beginning to lead, especially with Embassy opening as a supper club and a members’ club and everything, which is cool.
Will Embassy Dubai be members-only?
You can be a member, you can book for dinner, you can ask to go on a guest list or book a party, and then obviously members, hotel guests and diners get preference. But if you’re nice, you can come in.
Embassy London is reopening as Embassy Mayfair this month. Are you deliberately realigning the concept to fit with Dubai’s supper club?
With all of my businesses, I’ve always tried to anticipate the next trend, and if you look at what’s going on now, people want better value for money the world over. I’m sure there are a lot of places you’d visit that probably don’t have the best food, the best music, probably not the best anything, but you still go there because it’s a great social scene and you know people there. That’s certainly the case in many places, but why can’t you have everything [in a club]?
Is Embassy tailored to a specific type of person?
I don’t think it is. I said very cryptically, ‘if you’re nice, you can come in’. There’s definitely a market in the world for a great night with great food, great ambience and a touch of glamour, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re famous, infamous, on holiday or living round the corner.
What will persuade people to visit Embassy Dubai?
First, it’s extremely unusual to have a nightclub on the 43rd, 44th and 45th floor, and there’s been no expense spared. A lot of the nightclubs you see in Dubai, just like in London, are in basements, in old ballrooms, in places that nobody can think of anything else to do with. But we have the view, the food, the excellent mixed drinks, and the fact there’s no hurry to pack the place full. We would rather have a couple of hundred people every night enjoying themselves than the ubiquitous thing that clubs do everywhere: cram in as many people as they can, make as much cash as possible, then they’re gone.
Embassy Dubai is now open, with an official launch party on November 15. Grosvenor House Tower Two, Dubai Marina (04 399 8888).