CHECK IN: Inside Dubai's New Oberoi Hotel

CHECK IN: Inside Dubai's New Oberoi Hotel

31 Jul 2013

Ahlan!'s inside guide to the region's best hotels. This month, we've been exploring Dubai's new Oberoi, boasting the region's only chef licensed to slice deadly delicacy fugu fish!

Currently being rebranded as ‘Burj Area’, Business Bay is a growing cluster of residential and office towers with a metro station on the doorstep. Rubbing shoulders with Downtown Dubai, it offers some pretty impressive views of Burj Khalifa (hence the planned name change), and the suites at the newly opened Oberoi hotel boast some of the best. From the Indian hotel chain responsible for The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur – voted the best hotel in Asia by Travel + Leisure magazine, and ranked the best hotel in India and fourth best in world by Conde Naste Traveler in 2012 – extreme luxury is a brand signature. With a focus on fine dining at the Dubai branch, its pan-Asian Umai and North Indian Ananta restaurants are set to become a draw for serious foodies. If you work or live nearby, gym membership is also an option, and the spa is to die for. Unlike many business-orientated hotels, the outdoor pool is huge. Hot on the heels of the launch of the nearby JW Marriott Marquis hotel, the Oberoi opening is further fuelling the buzz around Business Bay, and if you haven’t hung out here already, now’s the time to visit while the special introductory offer is available.

We love the red accent in the interior design; it’s refreshing to see an injection of colour in a five-star hotel when so many adhere to varying shades of beige. Obviously the Burj Khalifa views are a bonus, especially when enjoyed from the free-standing bath tubs.


Sashimi aficionados will be blown away by this place, open in the evenings only. The head chef is the UAE’s only cook licensed to prepare fugu, the famous puffer fish, which – despite being highly poisonous – is a delicacy in Japan. Prepared correctly the poison can be safely removed leaving a delicate white flesh. After all the excitement of dishes like that, you might need a cuppa. Marvel at the kung fu tea service in which your hot brew is spun in the air before being poured. Sashimi platters cost from Dhs145. Fugu is only available in season from December to February and costs vary.

In this small North Indian restaurant, dinner service comes with a smile from ladies in stunning cobalt blue saris. Food on offer ranges from authentic comfort food to contemporary cuisine. Seared black cod with chili, black pepper and garlic, Mojito sorbet, coriander and ginger chutney and salmon bhel (Dhs150) gives a taste of the more adventurous starters, while mains include classic lamb roganjosh curry (Dhs160).

The spa suites are spacious and spotless. As well as a wide range of treatments from Balinese and Thai massages to posh Australian Sodashi facials, we recommend trying some Indian Ayurvedic specialities. Try the 45-minute shiroabhyanga (Dhs400), a shoulder, neck, head and face massage focusing on the vital ‘Marma’ (energy) points, or the 60-minute shirodhara (Dhs700), where warm medicated oil is poured continuously over the centre of the forehead (the third eye) to combat insomnia and stress. Inside tip: Spa therapist Ruma is fabulous.

• Room rate: From Dhs1,000 per room per night. 
• Signature spa treatment: the two-hour Indian Magic ritual, including herbal bath and massage, priced Dhs990.
INFO: The Oberoi, Dubai, Business Bay, Dubai, 04 444 1444,,

For just Dhs1,000 get a Deluxe Room, breakfast at Nine7One, Dhs200 credit on dining, plus early check-in and late check-out. Offer valid until 31 August 2013. (Price subject to 10 per cent Municipality tax and 10 per cent service charge).