Walking into Zabeel House, The Greens, I checked and then re-checked my Google Maps to make sure I hadn’t done a Kevin McCallister in Home Alone 2 and accidently jumped on a plane to Berlin rather than Dubai. There were no Rolls Royce Phantoms parked out front, no golden horse statues lining the driveway and no imposing chandeliers in sight. Instead there were wood-panelled walls, kitsch Arabic artwork and modern architecture that would fit perfectly in a trendy European hotel. And what a refreshing sight it was.
Opened in 2018, Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens is relatively new to the Dubai hotel scene. The third Zabeel House by Jumeirah hotel – the upscale casual brand of Jumeirah Group – to open in the city, a stay here comes at a much more reasonable price than what is usually on offer in one of the most expensive places in the world.
Designed by LW Design Group, the décor is inspired by New York living and it is safe to say they nailed it. Quirky artwork and inspirational quotes adorn the lobby walls, the furniture is perfectly Insta-worthy and cosy nooks abound. The mood is millennial, hip and on-the move. In fact, it’s not like anywhere else you will find in Dubai – an impeccably designed, immensely cool space that locals would also actually want to hang out at, too.
Zabeel House is an ideal choice for freelancers or those travelling for business, boasting a huge well-designed workspace in the lobby with strong Wi-Fi and plenty of power sockets. There’s also the Study on P2 – head there if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet as the lobby area does get very busy very quickly. Don’t think I didn’t notice the free tea and coffee up there, either.
Check-in was quick, and I was whisked to my room no more than 10 minutes after arriving at the hotel. Zabeel House comprises 210 rooms, and I was lucky enough to be upgraded to what they call The Apartment – the only room of its kind in the hotel, and definitely worth it if you’re looking to splash a bit more cash.
Just like the lobby, the interiors were impeccably designed with no detail gone unnoticed – when else has your mini-bar been a Smeg fridge? The living and dining room also boasted an espresso machine, a mini-kitchen, huge TV and workspace, making for the ideal spot to both chill out with a beer or take a conference call.
Moving into the bedroom I was greeted by a king-sized bed dressed in crisp white linen and pillows emblazoned with a ‘sleep in’ logo, as well as a sizeable walk-in closet and even more fun artwork. The overall theme was simplistic monochrome with bursts of colour – very 2020 – with the star of the show being the huge all-glass bathroom. It might not allow for much privacy, but with a stunning free-standing tub at one end and separated closed off toilet and shower at the other, there’s plenty of room to share.
Boasting what they call a ‘small but mighty restaurant offering,’ there are just two restaurants on site. LAH LAH, the hotel’s Pan-Asian eatery is up on the rooftop (choose to sit indoors or outside by the pool), has a slick and laid back feel with real greenery (rare for Dubai!) and chic wooden elements that offer a bright and light space during the day and a sultry, cosy vibe come nightfall.
Dishes hail from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore, with the menu helpfully divided into rice rolls, small bites, salads/starters, grills, dumplings, noodles and rice, cast iron wok creations, sharing dishes, charcoal roaster specials, soups and desserts. That’s quite a choice, yes, but you’ll struggle if you’re not a fan of Asian food as other options are limited. LAH LAH does get top marks for its ‘living’ dining table of herbs, though, where you can pluck from your choice of coriander, mint, thyme and rosemary.
As with most Dubai hotels, Tuesday evenings is ladies night, which means three complimentary drinks from 6pm to 11pm for females, and I’m told there’s a hip R’n’B-themed brunch on Fridays where you can eat and drink to your heart’s content for just £55.
Zabeel House’s second restaurant, Social Company, is an all-day eatery just off the lobby that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. As expected from a boutique hotel, the breakfast is tasty, yet not as extravagant as at some of the larger hotels. Trays are cutely emblazoned with the logo ‘I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry’ and can be filled with a mix of continental, Arabic and Indian dishes, as well as fresh fruit, cold cuts, cheese, cereal, vegan spreads, breads and pastries.
There’s also a made-to-order eggs station, but when I visited there was only one chef making dishes for both hotel guests and outside visitors, meaning a long wait for my scrambled eggs. However, there are worse places to wait for your breakfast than on the sun-drenched terrace which, another first for Dubai, welcomes well-behaved dogs.
The hotel’s rooftop swimming pool is a great spot to splash around in, however keep in mind it loses sun around 1pm so you’ll have to grab a taxi to the beach in the afternoon if you want to top up your tan. It is, however, surrounded by plenty of sunbeds, and as most guests seem to be visiting for business, I never had a problem securing a prime poolside spot.
I even managed to get a couple of workouts in during my stay, and I’m confident in saying that the fitness centre, Native Club, is one of the best-equipped hotel gyms I’ve seen in a long time. It has everything you need for weight, cardio and functional training, and there’s also a 40m outdoor running track perfect for an al fresco workout.
The Native Club also houses the first organic spa in Dubai, and while I wasn’t able to try if for myself, it provides bespoke spa treatments including luxury facials, detox seaweed wraps and sport specific massages if you’ve gone a little too hard at the gym.
A handy added extra, there are also bikes and rollerblades available should you wish to explore The Greens and the surrounding areas.
In a nutshell
Zabeel House by Jumeirah the Greens is dubbed the ultimate neighbourhood hangout, yet it’s hard to imagine that Dubai, with its towering skyscrapers and larger-than-life architecture, actually has neighbourhoods. The Greens is as close as they come.
Only a short ten-minute taxi ride from the beach and 15-minutes to Downtown Dubai and its luxury cluster of restaurants, the hotel boasts a pretty good location, but if you’ve chosen Dubai as you’re holiday destination to simply laze on the beach and sip gold-plated martinis from your balcony while enjoying sweeping views of the Burj al Arab and the Arabian Gulf, then this hotel might not be the one for you. However if you’re travelling for business or you simply enjoy extremely-attentive service, extremely cool interiors, a hip crowd and great food – all at a reasonable price tag – look no further.
Rooms can be booked from £60 per night for a Popular Room and from £250 per night for The Apartment. Rates depend on period of booking and are subject to change.
Address: The Greens, Dubai
Phone: +971 4 519 1111