Rüya restaurant in Dubai displays Ottoman-influenced contemporary design

Designed by london-based Studio Conran and Partners, Rüya’s interiors blend traditional Anatolian hospitality and Ottoman-influenced contemporary design.

Named Rüya, the Turkish meaning for dream, the restaurant recently opened in the Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina, fuses the cosmopolitan spirit of Istanbul, diversity of Anatolian food and a vibrant and contemporary ambience.

The venue is the next chapter of restaurant concepts for d.ream, the partners in Coya, Nusret, and Zuma while the kitchen is led by executive chef Colin Clague, who most recently headed up Jean Georges Dubai and Qbara in the city.


Undertaking its first hospitality project in the UAE, London-based studio Conran and Partners has designed Rüya’s interiors.

The client’s brief to the design team was to create a vibrant and contemporary new brand to showcase the rich heritage of Turkish cuisine, eventually expanding the concept on a global scale.

Tina Norden, project director at Conran and Partners, says that the studio’s starting point for this and any brief is to research it thoroughly, making sure that “they get right under its skin”.


In the case of Rüya, this meant understanding the rich history of Turkey, from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires through to the present day, and interpreting these for a sophisticated, contemporary audience.

“This confluence of both Eastern and Western cultural influences suggested some of the materials, patterns, colours and textures we have used,” explains Norden.


The design team already collaborated with the owner, Umut Özkanca, on his three projects in Istanbul, so Norden adds it was a nice challenge to work with a client they were already familiar with, but in a new market.

“I’ve known Umut for five years now and we always talked about the idea of opening a contemporary Turkish restaurant, which is not for the Turkish market. When the opportunity arose to develop this concept in Dubai, we knew that if we can make it here, hopefully it can go to London, Miami and New York afterwards.

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