Travel Unpacked: Siro One Za'abeel opens in Dubai and best country for road trip named

The National rounds up the most interesting tourism news you might have missed

Dubai's new Siro One Za'abeel hotel focuses on fitness and recovery. Photo: Kerzner International
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It has been a busy season of hotel openings in Dubai, with One&Only One Za'abeel, The Lana and now Siro One Za'abeel, the city's first fully fitness-themed escape.

Over in London, the world-renowned The Connaught has launched a one-of-a-kind suite featuring crafts by artisans across Jordan, Syria, Afghanistan and more.

Here's a round-up of recent travel and tourism news – in case you missed it.

Siro One Za'abeel opens on Monday

Siro One Za'abeel, where The National recently took a pre-opening tour, opened to guests on Monday as Dubai's first fully fitness-themed hotel.

The property, by Kerzner International, the company behind brands such as Atlantis Resorts, occupies seven floors of the newly opened One Za'abeel dual towers.

The concept is based on five “biohacking pillars”: fitness, nutrition, sleep, recovery and mindfulness. There is a dedicated Recovery Lab for mindfulness practices, holistic classes and advanced treatments, as well as a Fitness Lab, with wide-ranging gym facilities, from specialised studios to the Refuel Bar.

This is the first location for Siro, with further destinations planned for Montenegro, Japan and Mexico.

Aman unveils design for new Beverly Hills hotel

Designs for Aman Beverly Hills, which is set to open in 2027, have been revealed.

The 78-key, all-suite property comprises a hotel, branded residences and Aman Club in the seven-hectare One Beverly Hills development on the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards.

The architecture reflects Los Angeles' urban spirit and artisanal craftsmanship, emphasising the hotel's garden setting. Interiors harness a neutral colour palette reflecting Californian nature, and the project makes use of natural materials throughout, including an abundance of stone and wood.

It will be the brand's fifth urban destination, following the opening of Aman Nai Lert Bangkok this year and Aman Miami Beach in 2026.

Dubai hotels receive most stars in Forbes Travel Guide

Forbes Travel Guide – an independent global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruises – last week unveiled its 2024 Star Awards, and Dubai received the most five-star hotel ratings of any market.

Five properties were newly given the accolade: Address Beach Resort; Armani Hotel Dubai; Atlantis, The Royal; The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai; and The St Regis Dubai, The Palm. This takes the city's total up to 12 five-star hotels, as per the guide.

The 66th annual list spans more than 2,000 properties around the world, featuring 340 rated with five stars and 600 with four stars. There are 503 “recommended” properties.

This year, the ratings guide also expanded to new destinations, including Makkah in Saudi Arabia and Rabat in Morocco.

Neom announces Xaynor, a beachfront private members' club

The latest announcement from Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megaproject is a beachfront private members' club called Xaynor.

Neom has revealed plans for a secluded seafront location on the Gulf of Aqaba's coastline with a canopy entrance and architecture that blends in with the natural landscape.

The complex will include private pools, beachside lounges, dining outlets, a signature entertainment venue, spa and wellness centre – details of which have not yet been announced.

There will also be boutique shopping and leisure options, as well as members-only experiences.

New study names best countries for a road trip

Spain is the best country in the world for a road trip, according to a new study by Compare The Market AU. The research is based on six factors, including road quality, petrol prices, accidents, congestion and car hire costs.

Canada and the US came in second and third position, with the UK and Portugal rounding out the top five.

The UK had the most monthly searches for road trips per month (19,800).

Serbia ranked lowest on the list, with the least searches for road trips, but also the second-worst levels of road quality.

The Connaught London unveils a special new suite

Mayfair hotel The Connaught has revealed a unique new suite called The King's Lodge, which is a collaboration between interior designer Guy Oliver and Turquoise Mountain, a charity founded in 2006 by King Charles III that supports artisans across the Levant, Afghanistan, Myanmar and India.

The King's Lodge is designed to showcase the highest level of craftsmanship from these countries, with artisans commissioned to create every element of the suite, including intricate woodwork from Jordanian and Syrian artists, as well as handwoven carpets and miniature paintings from Afghanistan.

The one-bedroom suite showcases historic Mughal style on the hotel's fifth floor. Fabrics feature a zigzag motif inspired by chevrons from Mughal columns, while the woodwork was created using walnut jali fretwork, a craft found across Afghanistan.

Emirates to relaunch daily service to Adelaide

Dubai's flagship airline is relaunching its daily service to Adelaide on October 28 on the Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. It will depart the UAE at 2am, arriving in Adelaide at 8.50pm local time. The return flight takes off at 10.35pm, arriving in Dubai at 5.15am.

By December 1, Emirates will also reinstate its second daily service to Perth. This, combined with current flights to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, means there will be 77 weekly routes to and from Australia with capacity for up to 68,000 passengers per week. This is a return to pre-pandemic figures.

“The reinstatement of direct daily Emirates flights into Adelaide is expected to generate more than $62 million in tourism expenditure alone – a major boost to our state’s visitor economy,” said Zoe Bettison, South Australian Minister for Tourism.

Updated: February 14, 2024, 9:27 AM