A new year is right around the corner and with it comes a flurry of fresh hotels opening in the Gulf.
The next year will have a number of new launches, with everything from the long-awaited Atlantis The Royal opening on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah to the uber-chic Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Muscat making the brand's debut in Oman.
For staycation inspiration for the coming year, here are 20 of the best new hotels opening in the region.
voco Dubai The Palm
Having pushed back its original 2022 opening, voco Dubai The Palm will open at Palm West Beach next month, bringing the brand's neighbourhood hotel vibes to one of the city's hottest hotel destinations. The boutique property has 143 rooms, a rooftop infinity pool and a sky-high rooftop lounge with views over Ain Dubai. Voco’s private beach will give guests access to one of the city’s most popular shorelines, and there’s also a fitness suite and a ladies-only spa plus the first beachside Maison Mathis, the home-grown Dubai restaurant known for its casual Belgian dining and laid-back atmosphere.
NH Collection Dubai The Palm
The first NH Collection property to launch in the UAE will open its doors on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah in February. The property is spread over two towers with 227 hotel rooms and suites in one tower, and more than 300 studios and apartments in the other. The towers are connected by a 45-metre rooftop infinity pool. There will also be five restaurants and bars, including Seen — a multisensory rooftop venue designed to be one of the best places in the city for sunset views.
Atlantis The Royal, Dubai
The much-delayed Atlantis The Royal is finally set to welcome guests. Set on the tip of The Palm Jumeirah, the six-tower, ultra-luxury resort looks like it will officially open in March, following a star-studded preview party in January. Soaring 43 storeys high with a whopping 795 rooms, including 44 suites all with private infinity pools and butler service, the scale of this hotel is quite something. It's also home to the largest jellyfish aquarium in the world, and the first permanent fire and water performance fountain in the Middle East.
A 90-metre-long skypool on the 22nd floor comes with private cabanas, plunge pools and amazing views over the palm, while the Awaken spa has a halotherapy salt room, chronotherapy lounge and a hammam sensorium. When it comes to dining, there will be an impressive 17 restaurants and bars on-site, headed up by celebrity chefs such as Gaston Acurio, Heston Blumenthal and Ariana Bundy. Nobu by the Beach will be the brand’s first pool and beach club, set among the hotel’s two kilometres of private shoreline.
SO/ Uptown Dubai
When: Early 2023
The first SO/ hotel by Accor will be launched in the Middle East in Dubai early next year. SO/ Uptown will follow in the brand's fashion-forward, creative mantra and is set to have a bustling social scene. Opening in the mega-tall Uptown Tower in JLT, all rooms at SO/ Uptown Dubai Hotel and Residences will come with breathtaking views across the city’s spectacular skyline.
Bab Al Shams, Rare Finds, Dubai
When: Early 2023
If the name of this hotel sounds familiar, it is because it's a reimagined version of one of Dubai's longest-standing desert escapes. Opening early next year as the first Rare Finds, a new collection of hotels by Kerzner, the new resort will be centred around food and beverage offerings, including a pan-Asian rooftop restaurant with sunset views, a Desert Spa and an upscale alcohol-free bar. Experiences and entertainment lie at the heart of the new family-focused property with guests able to stargaze alongside in-house astronomers, enjoy fireside storytelling or soar above the sand dunes on hot air balloon rides.
Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, Saudi Arabia
When: Second quarter of the year
Nestled in the desert dunes of the Red Sea Project, the Six Senses Southern Dunes is a 76-room resort that makes the most of this stunning region's inland wadis and mountains. On track to open by the end of next year, the resort centres around the Oasis, where the hotel reception, lobby and meeting spaces are. This is also where guests will find the Six Senses Earth Lab, a place where travellers can find out more about sustainable initiatives at the hotel and in the region, such as harnessing renewable energy from the Sun and water preservation. The luxury resort will have a shimmering all-day dining restaurant and an in-house cooking school where guests can learn how to create authentic dishes from local ingredients. Open-plan villas have been designed to reflect the desert surroundings, feature an outdoor terrace with plunge pools and majlis-style seating areas to allow travellers the chance to truly connect with the surrounding nature.
Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Red Sea, Saudi Arabia
When: Second quarter of the year
Azure waters, untouched beaches and private overwater villas mean this luxury retreat wouldn't be out of place in the Maldives. One of the first resorts set to open during the first phase of Saudi Arabia's ambitious Red Sea project, Nujuma joins an exclusive collection of Ritz-Carlton Reserves worldwide and is the brand's debut in the Gulf. Blending indigenous design and highly personalised services, the resort will also include a luxury spa, swimming pools, several culinary venues, a retail area and a range of other leisure facilities, including a conservation centre.
The St Regis Red Sea Resort, Saudi Arabia
When: Second quarter of the year
One of the first three hotels opening at Saudi Arabia's new mega-tourism project on the kingdom's west coast, The St Regis Red Sea Resort is scheduled to open its doors in May, which if it stays on track will make it the first St Regis hotel to open in the kingdom. And what a debut it is — set on a private island and offering travellers a real Maldivian-style experience complete with overwater villas and endless ocean views. In keeping with the brand, expect ultra-luxury at the all-villa resort that's been designed by Kengo Kuma, the renowned Japanese architect lauded for his ability to merge architecture with nature and social responsibility.
Kempinski Hotel & Resort Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
When: Second quarter of the year
Kempinski Hotel & Resort Yanbu is another new opening for the kingdom next year. Pitched to welcome guests in the second quarter, it is housed in an existing property that was formerly owned by Movenpick. The hotel has undergone extensive renovation including the addition of 23 spacious suites and an overhaul of all its interiors. There's also a 3,000-square-metre Ladies Spa and a sparkling infinity pool surrounded by palm trees. Nestled between the waters of the Red Sea and the mountain peaks of the Al Nakhil range, the upscale resort makes the most of its location with a private dive school, perfect for those looking to get out and explore beneath the waves.
Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab, Dubai
The anticipated ultra-luxury yacht-shaped hotel is the third and final property in Jumeirah’s oceanic trilogy, joining the seven-star Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Set at the tip of a peninsula at the heart of Dubai’s largest private beach, occupying the spot where 360˚ — a former stalwart of Dubai's nightlife scene — used to be, the new resort has been inspired by a superyacht, and travellers can expect the same standard of luxury.
All 386 rooms and suites, four penthouses and 83 apartments set amid private gardens have amazing views over the Arabian Gulf and there are four swimming pools. It will bring a host of new restaurants to Jumeirah with 10 curated venues, and a focus on social-led dining experiences.
The Jeddah Edition, Saudi Arabia
The first Edition hotel in Saudi Arabia is expected to open this summer, as the third property in the Middle East after Edition Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Set along the Jeddah Corniche, it has an envied location next to the Yacht Club & Marina as well as the Formula One racetrack, with easy access to Jeddah’s City Centre and the Mall of Arabia. The boutique-size hotel will have 63 rooms, including 11 luxury suites, and is set to feature a signature restaurant, lobby lounge, intimate bar, rooftop garden and infinity pool.
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Muscat, Oman
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Muscat will open in Oman’s Yiti Bay in autumn next year. Overlooking the Gulf of Oman, the luxury resort will combine music, dining and entertainment with its signature flowing white drapery and premium sunset views. It will have 115 rooms, 25 spacious suites and 30 beautifully designed upscale villas, each with its own private pool. The brand is also bringing its renowned beach club concept to the sultanate, with Nikki Beach Muscat opening adjacent to the hotel and promising stylish music-centric vibes, a swim-up bar and a glistening private shoreline.
Five Luxe JBR, Dubai
Dubai's party-centric hotel has a new address for 2023 on the waterfront at the city's popular Jumeirah Beach Residence. With endless Arabian Gulf views, a terrace of cascading infinity pools and seven culinary and nightlife venues, it will open at the site that was previously earmarked for The Meydan Hotel. With 222 hotel rooms and suites, a ReFive Spa, padel courts and sweeping views of Ain Dubai and Palm Jumeirah, it's bound to be popular. The private beach leads to what Five is calling a "Social Pool", which is likely to be where most of the action happens.
The Lana, Dorchester Collection, Dubai
Designed by Foster + Partners, the same architects that built Lusail Stadium where the Fifa World Cup 2022 final was held, Dorchester Collection will launch The Lana, a play on an Arabic expression that translates as “for us” and a Hawaiian phrase that means “floating in calm water”. With 225 guest rooms in Dubai’s Business Bay, travellers will have views over the Dubai Creek, and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The striking 30-storey tower has stunning interiors, designed to accentuate the city's various vistas, with stone parquet flooring, triple-height ceilings, dark marbles, sculptural furniture and gentle hues of gold, beige and olive green.
St Regis Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia's capital will welcome a new hotel by The St Regis in September next year. Opening in the city's Diplomatic Quarter, close to the embassies and central business district, the hotel will have 83 rooms, including 23 suites, along with two signature restaurants, an outdoor pool, fitness centre and spa. It will provide many of the brand’s signatures, including its renowned bespoke butler service. The St Regis Riyadh will be part of Via Riyadh, a luxury mixed-use development with retail and entertainment outlets that’s a cornerstone of the kingdom's Riyadh Season.
Liwa Hotel, Autograph Collection, Abu Dhabi
When: Fourth quarter of the year
Marriott's Autograph Collection will make its debut in Abu Dhabi's Western Region at this desert resort at the gateway of the Empty Quarter. Opening late in the year after extensive renovation and a rebrand, Liwa Hotel, Autograph Collection, Abu Dhabi, the hotel will offer 66 rooms and suites including three expansive three-bedroom villas. Making the most of its remote location, rooms will have views over the region's red sand dunes on one side, or the lush Liwa Oasis on the other. There will also be three new restaurants, a spa, fitness centre, swimming pool and a kids club.
Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort
This Maldivian-style resort is set to open in Ras Al Khaimah later in the year, and when it does it will be the UAE’s first eco-resort with floating villas, each of which has its own private plunge pool. Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort features 174 rooms, suites and villas plus a pristine stretch of private beach. It will also have an overwater Thai restaurant, seafood beach grill and a pool bar. Guests can unwind at the Anantara Spa, try out some water sports or learn more about the mangroves surrounding the resort at the on-site discovery and eco-learning centre.
Siro One Za’abeel, Dubai
Kerzner’s new fitness-centric hotel brand will debut in Dubai next year. The parent company of the world-famous Atlantis and ultra-luxe One&Only is opening Siro One Za'abeel towards the end of next year. The new sports-focused hotel brand is for those who take wellness seriously and will offer bespoke training programmes, recovery sessions, nutrition targets and well-being plans. Rooms will have the latest technology including an app designed to mitigate jet lag and elements to promote restful sleep. It will also have a two-level fitness suite, a recovery lab, refuel bar and a host of sporty excursions for guests to join.
One&Only One Za’abeel, Dubai
Opening as part of the flagship architectural masterpiece that is One Za'abeel, the newest One&Only property will be a fantastic addition to the emirate’s decorated skyline. With the opening date set for the last quarter, the hotel will make the most of its enviable location for city vistas, with floor-to-ceiling windows in every room perfectly framing the city. Rooms and suites offer chic city living with contemporary comforts, earthy hues and curated artworks. There will also be 11 bars and restaurants spanning Argentinian, Indonesian and Middle Eastern delights and a haven of relaxation with a 2,500-square-metre spa.
Raffles Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Inspired by Arabian heritage, Raffles Jeddah will open with 182 guestrooms and 120 branded residences overlooking the bustling corniche. Designed as a sophisticated haven, the new hotel will have a penthouse-level entertainment suite, a fully-stocked library and a gentleman's only lounge. There will also be a 1,200 square metre spa — including ladies-only areas and a high-tech fitness club. Six restaurants and lounges will also open in the hotel bringing new culinary picks to the Red Sea port city.