HAUTE DUBAI Magazine / Travel /
at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
When it comes to accommodation, artistically-inclined travellers today are becoming all the more interested in “art hotels”. And while some still walk the line between hotel and gallery, others make the smarter choice – staying in hotels that present both, side by side.
In Dubai, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel seems to pride itself not only on its hospitality but also on its role as curator. The hotel’s intriguing, even controversial art collectiondrawssavvy, art-obsessed clientele, who arrive here to encounter much more than the usual insipid “paintings” found in the average hotel lobby.
Committed to providing a renewed perspective on Middle Eastern contemporary art, the specially commissioned art collection is artistically placed in nearly every nook and cranny of the property, making it hard to discern where the hotel stops and the art begins. The collection, curated by Camelia Esmaili, comprises of 482 works by over 51 artists, and spans over different media including painting, sculpture and other installation. It also brings together both acclaimed artists and emerging talents from the region.
Art in all its forms
The architecture of the property – exposed concrete walls and high glass ceilings like those of an art gallery – whispers with the same artistic breath of the contemporary art found within. Besides this extra, guest-engaging layer, Jumeirah Creekside delivers all the other comforts guests are accustomed to receiving from the Jumeirah brand, a brand synonymous with hospitality excellence.
Essentially, paintings and sculptures are not all there is to admire here – five unique restaurants and bars dish out a range of culinary options in both casual and formal settings. At the vibrant steakhouse, Blue Flame, the leisure of cultivating your skills at culinary art is serviceable through the state-of-the-art Cooking Pod and frequent cooking classes.
With the landscaped gardens of the adjacent Aviation Club and the lush Dubai creek Golf and Yacht Club in proximity, the hotel is also well-positioned to offer its guests a myriad of sporting and leisure activities from body workouts at the gym to tennis and golf.
Blue Flame restaurant
Finding the hidden within
While most works can be discovered by guests through chance encounters, some are not so easy to spot and may be mistaken for interior design. In fact, these works, just like 90 percent of the collection, are specially commissioned to the hotel. But you don’t have to turn your stay into an art hunt as the hotel offers guest a tour of the collection every Thursday, when these hidden or less-obvious pieces are revealed. The tour also takes you through all the pieces found in the hotel and explains the meaning behind every one of them. Here is a closer look at some of the more impressive ones…
Flying Carpet by Halim Al Karim
Flying Carpet is a major and self-referential work by the artist, a reference to joy and happiness, expressed in its highest form through an electric pink colouring. This giant flying carpet refers to a soul leaving its being via a symbolic Arabic mashrabiya repertoire.
Belly Raining by Asmae Alami
The artist’s practice is, in essence, an exploration of the invisibility of human thought which is virtuously expressed in Belly Raining. A large-scale sculptural work exclusively commissioned for the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, it shows a calligraphic-styled, Arabic letter through the ‘Water’ element symbolising heavy rains.
Untitled II by Marzieh Garamli
In her series Dream in the City, Garmali presents us with two surreal scenes. Reminiscent of the computer-generated graphics of a video game, a group of women wrapped in traditional attire, their faces covered, parade across the picture plane. The strong colours add to a sense of fun and game-playing evoked stylistically, yet the women appear compelled in their movements, as if controlled by the game player. In this sense, Garamli depicts the high wire act that women must perform in a world that remains to a large extent the playground of men.