When it comes to luxury hospitality, Dubai is a prime global destination.
But before the turn of the century, the city was still working to establish itself in that regard, and the opening of the Ritz-Carlton 25 years ago represented a milestone in Dubai’s luxury credentials.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai was officially opened in late September 1998, becoming one of the hotel chain’s first addresses in the Middle East and North Africa. The resort was built in the area that has since become The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence. This was years before Dubai Marina, The Palm Jumeirah and Bluewaters came into existence.
At the time, the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai was unlike most hotels that preceded it. It was one of the earliest five-star establishments in the emirate – laying the foundations for a city that would become renowned for its hospitality.
Even after a quarter of a century, the property is still a lavish one. It has about 300 rooms and suites, six pools, nine dining venues and tennis courts, a spa, health club and extensive gardens.
The resort is the highest-rated Marriott hotel on TripAdvisor and ranks 15th on the website’s list of 969 hotels in Dubai. It is also the recipient of the 2023 Travellers' Choice Best of the Best on TripAdvisor.
In 2022, it won the Dubai Quality Award, an achievement it first attained in 2001. The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai was also the first UAE hotel to be granted the Dubai Quality Gold Award, receiving the accolade in 2005.
“As we celebrate our remarkable journey of 25 years in creating memories, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment in our storied history,” Jeroen ElMendorp, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, said about celebrating the anniversary.
“Since we warmly welcomed our very first guests in 1998, the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai has evolved significantly, adapting to the changing landscape of luxury hospitality while preserving the core values that have made us an enduring icon.”
ElMendorp said the hotel was looking to the future with "an unwavering commitment to excellence".
“Our vision extends beyond the horizon, where we see endless possibilities for elevating the guest experience, innovating our offerings, and setting new benchmarks in luxury hospitality," he said.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai will also soon undergo renovations and room redesigns that are scheduled to be completed in 2026. Several other Ritz-Carlton hotels have since opened throughout the UAE, including at Dubai International Financial Centre and in Abu Dhabi.