The only hotel at the Expo 2020 Dubai site is gearing up for its official opening in just over two weeks.
Rove Expo 2020 will open to the public on October 1, the same date that the “world's greatest show” will welcome guests for the first time.
Stepping into the lobby of the property, it's obvious it's a social hotel with open-plan dining, soundproof phone booths and modern co-working spaces. There’s also a 24-hour gym, foosball tables and a garden, where al fresco events will take place.
The Daily is the hotel's huge all-day dining restaurant and there's a central bar and a grab-and-go Rove Cafe for guests who don't want to waste any of their time at Expo not exploring the site.
And with complimentary access to all of the 192 country pavilions included for each guest for the duration of their stay, there's no shortage of things to see and do.
Rooms overlooking Al Wasl Plaza
Rove Expo 2020 has 331 rooms and suites, and guests checking into the property will be almost within touching distance of Al Wasl Plaza Dome, the shaded amphitheatre space that has been dubbed the heart of Expo 2020.
Designed in a style that's in keeping with Rove's other hotel rooms, Rove Expo 2020 offers four categories of room, from the smaller Cosy Rover rooms to the spacious Expo Suites, with interconnecting doors available for families or groups.
Each room has a grey, white and yellow colour palette with sunshine walls adorned with Expo-inspired art that has all been produced by regional artists. There are motivational sayings and phrases printed on the walls, as well as black and white graffiti-style art in the hallways. Arabian-style prints adorn cushions and curtains in each of the rooms and black-rimmed doors artfully frame the bathrooms in the largest suites.
From almost every balcony, guests will be able to see what’s happening at Al Wasl Plaza, with the amphitheatre clearly visible beneath the dome’s trellis exterior.
The best view in the house, however, is reserved for the rooftop pool. Beyond a glistening infinity pool lined with turquoise sunbeds and parasols, Al Wasl Dome shines under the sun. At night the dome lights up, putting on its own spectacular show for guests.
It’s here that Expo 2020 Dubai will begin, with a star-studded opening ceremony on Thursday, September 30, during which images will be beamed on to the world’s largest 360-degree projection surface. Rooms at the hotel for the launch of the event are almost sold out.
It's a trend that Paul Bridger, chief operating officer at Rove Hotels, is hopeful will continue.
“We’re super-excited to be the only hotel on-site at the Expo 2020 and, as part of your booking at the hotel, you will also get full access throughout your stay into the Expo site. We are forecasting for the hotel to be full throughout the event period and currently we’re seeing really strong demand, and some of the key dates are already starting to sell out.”
Despite the global pandemic, international visitors look set to be among the many Expo visitors over the next six months. Dubai's two airlines, Emirates and flydubai, have already announced they will be giving free passes to Expo 2020 for all travellers flying with them to Dubai during the event period.
“We’ve already seen strong international demand recently with the Saudi market and, just in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of pick-up from the UK market,” said Bridger.
Rooms at Rove Expo 2020 start from Dh842 ($231) per night for the smallest Cosy Rover Rooms, with average rates being Dh1,000 per night, which is a lot more than the affordable rates the hotel group is typically known for.
But when you're the only hotel at the "world's greatest show", perhaps that's to be expected.
Rove hotels planned for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Oman
It’s been a busy week for Rove Hotels. The groups newest hotel opened to guests on Tuesday. The launch of Rove City Walk Dubai means that there are now 3,400 Rove rooms in Dubai, and new Rove hotels are set to pop up all over the UAE.
“We’ve got a plan to initially expand to the other emirates, to Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah," said Bridger. "Beyond that we want to expand across the GCC to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Oman … and Abu Dhabi down the line.”