To see the future, head for Four Seasons Dubai IFC, smack in the middle of Dubai International Finance Centre, the main business hub of this essential world city (it’s right next to the Stock Exchange).
This 106-room sleek hotel embodies tomorrow, today. In 64 sqm Studio Suite Burj Khalifa #417, for example, you look out through one of two all-wall windows at Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, at 829 metres. You also see part of the three-dimensional concrete jigsaw of DIFC – but, if you turn 90 degrees, you look over still-virgin countryside. Sand and tufts of greenery. Barefoot on the room’s undulating carpet feels like walking on sand. Designer Adam Tihany has gone sensual here. Smell the newly-introduced Diptych toiletries, and a vase of fresh flowers. Taste a welcome mango trilogy, fresh, dried and puréed.
Head up to the hotel’s top, to the eighth floor Luna bar and lounge. Favourite outdoor Luna areas give uninterrupted views of the Burj, twinkling evening long. Wrapped in immediately-proffered cashmere pashminas, snack off truffle flat bread and wagyu takati to complement thinnest-stemmed glasses of Le Volte dell’Ornellaia, Toscana, 2020. Feel good. Continue, upstairs to what is essentially floor 8.5, for your favourite No 1 in Churchill cigar club, or go down, to see what’s going on out at the seventh floor’s 14-metre glass-sided pool.
There’s also global tradition. The hotel’s day-long brasserie, named for Michael Mina, one of America’s lasting celeb foodies, is plausibly Left Bank, tiled floor, and white pots of dried lavender on oversized white linen cloths. At breakfast, smell, taste and adore croissants and the like, baked here, inhouse. A highlight has to be bite-sized oval brioches filled with fresh olives – top chef, perpetually-smiling Beiruti, Rami Nasser, offers the recipe. In future, the perfect snack.
On which tack, it’s only nine minutes’ walk from Four Seasons DIFC to the Dubai’s Museum of The Future. This is breathtaking, for young and old (no wonder the online ticket waitlist is several weeks, so book way ahead). Even the building’s unique, a flattened bagel shape set, longer sides horizontal, the whole rising seven floors high. Locally-based architect Shaun Killa has produced, in effect, a giant shiny stainless sculpture with cut-out Arabic calligraphic homilies. The whole’s so beautiful it doesn’t matter that you may not understand even the gist of what it all says.
Allow two hours for a space experience that seems minutely aimed at you, personally. Guided by real and avatar astronaut facilitators, enter a lift with 360° augmented reality and emerge, in reality, at the Museum’s summit. Thereafter, working your way down, at your own pace, undergo astronaut assessment, to see your very self, in 2070-style space gear, on a gigantic video wall. Touch and feel space engineering reality. Walk through future rainforests with thousands of genetically preserved blossoms and bugs. Take sense therapy to the next level. See what’s already happening, say immunity-enhancing copper jackets. The immediate effect evolves to retrospective enthusiasm of what is to come.