BLINK’s vision for the new W Dubai – Mina Seyahi

BLINK Design Group has created a stunning modern bohemian vision inspired by traditional dhow boats, the romance of travel and the ancient arabic storytelling tradition of Al-Halqa for the new W Dubai – Mina Seyahi

guestroom designed by BLINK at the W Dubai - Mina Seyahi

The global interior design group BLINK were taken on board to push the design boat out and set tongues wagging for the UAE’s latest W Hotel, located in the heart of Al Mina al Seyahi, the legendary ‘Port of Travellers’ district of Jumeirah Beach, home to the glittering Dubai International Marine Club and its 300-berth marina.

The Mina Seyahi port dates back to ancient times when the area was a thriving hub of the copper trade, and the Al-Halqa storytellers would weave their yarns to circles of spellbound travellers. The graceful swooping shape of the traditional dhow boats that once thronged the harbour along with the stories and intrigue of the trading enclave became the inspiration for the design. BLINK’s canvas is a hotel ranging over 31 floors, with 291 guest rooms and 27 opulent suites; a spectacular marina-front lobby, infinity pool and lavish spa, four state of the art meeting rooms and a selection of the most cutting-edge dining concepts in Dubai. The result is a design entirely of its place, colourful, eclectic with a touch of retro; a place where ancient storytellers’ tales will be given new life through its guests.

bar and pool on the terrace at W Dubai - Mina Seyahi

Image credit: BLINK / W Dubai – Mina Seyahi

“Dubai transformed quickly from an ancient outpost into an ultra-modern cosmopolitan city and one of the most famous travel destinations, for business or leisure. Despite this rapid modernisation, the thread of history is kept alive down the generations through the traditions of storytelling, one of the most sublime and respected art forms that runs through Arabian culture,” explained Clint Nagata, BLINK Founder and Creative Partner. “We drew deep inspiration from the timeless tradition of Al-Halqa, the storytellers’ circles as old as Arabian culture itself, where crowds would form around masters who would spin captivating yarns. It’s an art form that has been given World Heritage status in Morocco and still thrives for those who know where to look in the UAE.”

restaurant design inspired by dhow shapes and traditional materials

Image credit: BLINK / W Dubai – Mina Seyahi

“The more we researched the history of Dubai, the generations of traders and storytellers coming together to build this shimmering city by the sea, the more excited we became, ” continued Nagata. “The ‘Port of Travellers’ was the overarching inspiration, so we set out from the ground up to imbue this hotel with the soul of storytelling and the spirit of the souk, a place for people to meet and share the stories of their travels, and a haven for modern day traders, wheelers and dealers.”

The concept translated into guest rooms and suites laden with lavish touches and hints of intrigue, adventure and romance. The bed headboards are white leather, with ribs and shapes inspired by dhows, as well as fabrics with motifs drawn from local calligraphy and being playful with paper. Lights echo ancient lanterns in colours straight from the Arabian Nights. The suites have been envisioned as a place to gather with friends for predinner drinks and gossip, or for a casual meeting. The beds have a luxurious seating area, with a tilted minibar in brass and dark blue lacquer, a social space where drinks can be served and a perfect place for lazy grazing. The walk-in closets are enclosed with billowing curtains in a gradient of sunset colours, echoing the hues of the bay, as the design team play with the idea of the secrets behind the veil. The storytelling theme extends to the bathrooms via a calligraphy theme, with bold black and white colours to echo ink and paper. The bathroom has its own seating area, encouraging long bathing rituals, cocktails and conversation.

sunset on the pool deck at W Dubai - Mina Seyahi designed by BLINK

Image credit: BLINK / W Dubai – Mina Seyahi

The hotel’s signature dining experience, Ginger Moon, has been created as an eclectic and bohemian space for travellers, traders and modern nomads to gather, featuring a spectacular split-level ocean deck connected to the sparkling waters of the bay, with a restaurant and pool bar overlooking The Palm Island. The storytelling theme continues into BAR-B, the uniquely exotic spa experience.

Main image credit: BLINK / W Dubai – Mina Seyahi