Case study: Artistic grandeur of St Regis Dubai

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CID visits the newly opened ST Regis Dubai hotel to explore the interiors and exclusively commissioned artwork, solely done by UAE-based artists.

Guests may not choose a hotel for its art, but they would certainly remember their stay if the artwork on display made an impact on them. Whether just a digital graphic, simple calligraphy or a large scale mural, pieces of art can greatly influence the aesthetics of a hotel and the overall guest experience.

The artwork of the St Regis Dubai, located in the hotly anticipated new location of Al Habtoor City, incorporates both the rich history and traditions of the original hotel and is solely done by UAE-based artists.

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Louise Duggan, founder of Ophelia Art Consultancy, exclusively commissioned the art pieces for the St Regis Dubai.

She says: “As an art consultancy based in Dubai, for me, it is really important to support the local market, to promote locally-based artists and to give them a chance to show their work. It doesn’t make sense to go, buy and ship artwork from abroad when we have a base of artists here who are fantastic.

“They range from artists who work just in their spare time, creating amazing pieces that they don’t show to anybody, to well-known artists that we use for some of the feature pieces, like Brazilian Roberto Raad who painted the signature mural in the lobby. Our idea is to promote them and to get their work in a public space. We have all the facilities to do the framing, printing and the stretching of the canvas. From the concept right through to art being on the wall, we take full responsibility, making sure every piece is absolutely perfect.”

Duggan describes the artwork concept as one that reflects “the home of a man who has travelled extensively around the world”.

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She says: “The artwork must have some reflection of the interiors. We wanted to create a residential feel but obviously with a commercial aspect. So, the concept was to tell the story, this is someone’s home, this is where they lived and the artwork they’ve collected, but their roots are in the UAE.

“So, originally from the UAE, our traveller spent some of his childhood in India, before joining the navy where he visited Singapore, China and the Mediterranean. His career then took him to West and East Africa,” says Duggan. “During his travels, he collected artwork and artefacts from all around the world, including photographs from Africa and street art from Asia, but his collection was always based on his love of the UAE. The St Regis Dubai reflects his eclectic collection and his life journey.”

She explains that every piece of art in the hotel has been selected to reflect the rich culture of the Middle East with the mural at the check-in desks being the most important.

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