Form Hotel in Dubai invites guests to "curate their own experience"

Form Hotel founder Tarek Daouk explains how the new boutique hotel in Dubai allows guests to customise their stay, in this movie Dezeen filmed for AHEAD.

Form Hotel Dubai, which opened last year, is a new 136-room, four-star hotel located in the United Arab Emirates city's Al Jadaf neighbourhood.

The hotel won the Urban Hotel category at the AHEAD MEA 2018 hospitality awards in Dubai last month, and was also named New Concept of the Year

Form Hotel won the Urban Hotel and New Concept of the Year categories at the AHEAD MEA 2018 awards

Unlike many luxury hotels in the region, Form Hotel offers a relatively stripped-back experience as standard. But guests are able to customise their stay at the hotel by adding on different services, amenities and experiences when booking through the hotel's website.

Add-ons include familiar hotel items such as premium shaving kits and sets of toiletries, but also more unusual options such as a private butler, or even sky-diving experiences.

"Form Hotel is a bespoke hospitality experience, essentially introducing a retail model into the hotel space," said Form Hotel founder and CEO Daouk in the interview, which Dezeen filmed in Dubai for AHEAD Awards.

"We really allow the customer to curate their experience and that really helps further enhance their stay with us."

The lobby at Form Hotel Dubai, which won the Urban Hotel category and was named New Concept of the Year at the AHEAD MEA 2018 hospitality awards
The hotel allows guests to customise their experience through add-ons purchased during the booking process

Paris-based studio Architecture-Studio designed the hotel building and interiors.

The building features an all-white facade with irregular window openings. The interiors of the lobby and restaurant feature smooth white plaster on the walls, with marble, brass and dark wood furniture.

"The sense of continuity [from outside to inside] is very important," said architect Amar Sabeh el Leil, a former parter at Architecture-Studio who has since set up his own firm.

"There is this white, pure, simple facade. You enter inside and you still feel the white, but at the same time we used a few other materials. All the colours come from the real materials, to make it more warm as you enter inside."

The restaurant at Form Hotel Dubai, which won the Urban Hotel category and was named New Concept of the Year at the AHEAD MEA 2018 hospitality awards
Paris architecture firm Architecture-Studio designed the hotel building and interiors

The restaurant is situated next to the lobby, separated by a screen of wooden slats rather than walls, which is designed to encourage people to move freely between the two spaces.

"What you notice as you walk into the lobby is the seamlessness between the restaurant space and the lobby area," Daouk said.

"We want people to use that space effectively throughout the day, so you don't feel enclosed within a particular area."

The restaurant at Form Hotel Dubai, which won the Urban Hotel category and was named New Concept of the Year at the AHEAD MEA 2018 hospitality awards
The hotel's public spaces feature white plaster on the walls, with marble, brass and dark wood furniture

The bedrooms feature custom-designed furniture, which can be easily reconfigured to include a single, double or twin beds.

"All the rooms have custom-made furniture, every single piece" said Sabeh el Leil. "It's as simple and as minimal as possible."

A guest room at Form Hotel Dubai, which won the Urban Hotel category and was named New Concept of the Year at the AHEAD MEA 2018 hospitality awards
The minimal guest rooms feature custom-designed furniture

According to Daouk, there is a growing market in Dubai for independent hotels that offer something different from the usual luxury brands.

"If you look at the history of the Dubai hotel market over the course of 40 years, there's been massive focus of the large global brands coming into the market," he explained.

The rooftop swimming pool at Form Hotel Dubai, which won the Urban Hotel category and was named New Concept of the Year at the AHEAD MEA 2018 hospitality awards
The hotel aims to offer an alternative to the large luxury hotel brands that dominate Dubai

"But if you look at where Dubai is today and where it is going, there will be more and more room for players like us to compete and provide very unique experiences," he continued.

"The feedback from the market has been phenomenal. I think people have been looking for this kind of product."

Dezeen filmed this movie at Form Hotel in Dubai for AHEAD Awards. All photography is courtesy of Form Hotel.

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