Hospitality/Leisure, Outdoor

Lighting festival puts a spotlight on Dubai’s famed hotels

An aerial photo of a bright highway surrounded by dark brooding buildings
Top lighting design studios have been challenged to illuminate high-profile Sheikh Zayed Road hotels

A 10-DAY lighting festival to celebrate Dubai’s famed hotels has opened in the region.

The eye-catching initiative is designed to showcase the resilience of the Emirate’s hospitality community in the face of the pandemic.

Top lighting design studios have been challenged to illuminate high-profile Sheikh Zayed Road properties as The Hotel Show Dubai.

Each hotel has been partnered with a  lighting design firm with full creative license to construct a custom exterior façade installation under the theme titled a ‘Celebration of Lighting and Hospitality’.

‘Following an extremely challenging trading year for the hospitality industry in 2020, and the knock-on effect that the pandemic has had on those industry sectors that support tourism GDP contribution, we wanted to shine a light on the importance of this vital economic backbone,’ Jasmeet Bakshi, group event director at dmg events, told Lux.

‘With global research firm STR reporting a preliminary figure of 71 per cent occupancy for the city’s hotels in December 2020 – the highest since last February – Illuminate Dubai will also build on this new momentum and create excitement among the hospitality industry, lighting professionals, and the general public, as we unite to work towards re-energising business in 2021,’ he added.

Participating hotels and lighting designer pairings include Fairmont Dubai and Light Touch; Millennium Place Marina and Light Fusion; Crowne Plaza Dubai Marina and dpa Lighting Consultants; Mercure Hotel Barsha and Neolight; Radisson Blu Residence Dubai Marina and Studio Lumen; Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai and LW Design; Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City and KEO International Consultants; Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel and ATI Consultants; and Dusit Thani Dubai with Nathan Savage Lighting Design.

David McNeil, director of dpa lighting consultants, unveiled his design for the Crowne Plaza Dubai Marina, which has seen the team work hard to create an installation that brings the twin industry celebratory theme to life. 

‘Dubai has been a tourism pioneer for decades, from planning and delivering its architecturally iconic skyline to developing an exceptional tourism offering that attracted 16 million tourists in 2019. 

‘Illuminate Dubai is a wonderful opportunity for us to highlight our work and the ever-evolving appeal of the emirate’s hospitality sector.’  he said.

‘Innovative lighting design has helped put some of Dubai’s most well-known structures on the map and we are thrilled to be one of the companies supporting this first-of-its-kind event. 

‘We’re confident this will add immeasurable value to the city’s tourism experience and hopefully, light the way for a positive business year,’ added McNeil.

The commercial appeal of Illuminate Dubai has also attracted a duo of high-profile industry sponsors, including Silver Sponsor, Sylvania Lighting Middle East. 

For Samer Moukalled, vice President of headline sponsor Scientechnic Lighting Solutions: ‘The hospitality industry has long been a backbone to the thriving tourism sector of the UAE, and the idea of using light to reestablish its importance is a major boon for lighting experts like myself. 

‘Lighting is often termed the unsung hero and Illuminate Dubai has created a platform to showcase its true power. We are lighting up the city, and what better medium than on the facades of globally renowned hotel chains strategically located on bustling Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.’