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Friday, May 24, 2024

The return of an old favourite

by Joanna Andrews

The Metropolitan Hotel Dubai is back. After a three-and-a-half-year hiatus, the four-star hotel has re-opened its doors in a new location on Sheikh Zayed Road courtesy of the Al Habtoor Group. Joanna Andrews takes Al Shindagah readers down Memory Lane and inside the latest version of the historic hotel.

The Metropolitan Hotel was a landmark building on Sheikh Zayed Road for many years. Built in 1979, it was once one of the first hotels in Dubai and the only building for miles. The hotel soon became a firm favourite amongst the British and Irish community – who were drawn in by the famous Red Lion traditional English pub.

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor said, “When people were driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, they knew they had reached the city as soon as they saw The Metropolitan.”

The hotel is engrained with history; it was once used as a place of refuge for British and American soldiers during the Gulf War, and even had royalty staying, including Britain’s Anne, Princess Royal.

As Dubai was taking shape and metamorphosing into the world-class city it is today, the hotel was eventually one of many buildings lining the Sheikh Zayed Road expressway.

In May 2013 it was demolished to make way for progression and today the plot of land is home to the Al Habtoor City urban resort which boasts three five-star hotels and three residential towers along the new Dubai Water Canal.

“I had to decide to either keep the hotel as it was or to grow with the UAE,” Al Habtoor said, “I decided to grow with the country. But I promised the Metropolitan’s loyal customer base that I would bring back the hotel, and that’s exactly what I have done.”

Just three years later the Metropolitan Hotel Dubai is open for business in its new location on Sheikh Zayed Road, on Al Thanya Street.

Its return has also seen the re-birth of the Red Lion English pub, one of the oldest pubs in Dubai, and Don Corleone Italian Restaurant – another popular destination for residents of the city.

The hotel features 320 rooms including 18 suites, a well-equipped gym, rooftop swimming pool and spa. It is also home to Al Safa, an all-day dining concept serving global cuisine, Al Sheif Shisha Lounge serving Arabic cuisine and Tropicana, a pool bar.

Guests have the added benefit of being able to ultilise the pool and beach facilities at the Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection a short drive away.

Sanjay Luthra, the General Manager the hotel said, “We look forward to welcoming returning customers and new customers to make this premises just as popular as its predecessor.”

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