Navigate Design uses pastel shades for Morah restaurant in Dubai

When the team behind Toronto’s and Miami’s Byblos restaurant decided to bring their Eastern Mediterranean concept to the UAE, they commissioned a Toronto-based studio Navigate Design to create Morah, a 149-seat restaurant located on the 71st and 72nd floors of the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The team, which previously delivered interiors for the Weslodge Saloon in the same hotel, approached the progressive design under a refresh of the brand, catering to the Middle East market, especially the Dubai dining crowd.

“ICON Legacy Hospitality, a full-service hospitality management company aimed for a progressive design under a refresh of the brand and name,” Ken Lam, principal at Navigate Design, tells Commercial Interior Design magazine.

While the design team set out to monopolise the 270-degree unblocked view of Dubai skyline, they also faced several challenges working with the specific architecture, which resembles a sheriff star with hard converging angles at all corners.

“To balance such overpowering architecture, we had to soften the space to work with Morah’s feminine brand,” explains Lam.

Guests arrive at the 72nd floor via a private elevator into an intimate peach-hue reception filled with greenery and candle-lit lanterns. A pair of resin oil paintings set the tone for what’s to come, with colors resonating the interior palette with subtle gold leaf accent.

Further in, the dining room opens up into an airy space with the panoramic views of the Dubai skyline. A sculptural spiral staircase ties the duo-floor restaurant together as it unwinds around a cascading chandelier down to the 71st floor.

The concentric design is also reflected in the ceiling, where wooden flower petals are staggered inside a circular light cove.

Commenting on the overall feminine colour palette, Lam says that the warm and neutral shades, along with a prominent curve detailing, were incorporated to soften the otherwise rigid architecture.

“On the 71st floor, hues of peach, salmon, mint-green and turquoise were used throughout,” he says. “Antiqued mirrors, weathered planters, softly lit palm trees, eclectic lanterns and sea creatures in solid brass are placed throughout to create the cosy and warm ambience.”

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