My Favourite Building: Rose Rayhaan by Rotana
Building inspired Faithful+Gould’s David Clifton to work in the UAE
I still look at the Rose Rayhaan by Rotana after having first visited Dubai in 2008 when it was under construction. At the time, it represented the bright lights and massive development growth Dubai was undertaking.
When I came out of my room, I was immediately hit by the sheer scale of the buildings under construction and the fact that the main highway passed between the two distinct sections of Sheikh Zayed Road. This development hit a nerve, once I understood its intent.
That was the day that Dubai grabbed me and I realised I didn’t want to just work within a European remit anymore. The UAE was where you needed to be to develop relationships and be involved in the most interesting projects.
Still now, looking at the development, I find the architectural cap quietly interesting and the fact that it achieved the highest hotel building in the world intriguing. The complexity of the design and construction isn’t overly difficult, but still renders something to the viewer. I like the slightly overstated, but modern look. The facade is too much for anywhere else I would suggest, but fits the Emirate perfectly.
Why else would you choose it? Who else would set itself the ambition to build the best and highest hotel / serviced apartments – and then look to surpass it (JW Marriott Marquis, opened 2013).
The tower was originally to be 380m but design modification reduced it to 333m. The developer, Bonyan International Investment Group, invested $180mn in the project which officially opened with 482 rooms, suites and penthouses in December 2009.
We always go on about iconic this and that in this region, but a practical, well-delivered hospitality building is still a tick in the box, and with hotel rooms more in demand than ever, Rotana has a gem on its hands.
David Clifton, Director, Faithful+Gould
Clifton has worked in the industry for 14 years, having been employed in the USA, UK and the Middle East. He has been living in the region for the last four years and has been responsible for securing a variety of projects from a project, programme, client representative and planning management function in the aviation, infrastructure, mixed use, healthcare, oil and gas and hospitality sectors, and possesses a great deal of local industry knowledge.
Clifton previously worked for Hill International within the business development unit in the Middle East and led the major accounts team at ThyssenKrupp Elevator in the UK.
Clifton’s knowledge covers all phases in the development cycle of a project, from concept to commissioning. He is employed as regional development director for the Middle East.