The Refurbished Buddha Bar in Dubai

China, Tibet, the Ottoman Empire and Buddha all contribute to the impressive renovation and remodeling of the Buddha Bat at the Grosvenor House Dubai Marina.

It’s not often that such as high-end establishment re-engages the same original design team to give it a fresh new look. But that’s exactly what happened at the Buddha Bar. It is a chain which first opened its doors in 1996 and has gone from strength to strength, with a presence in Russia, the UK, Mexico, Lebanon, Hungary, the Philippines, Italy and, of course, Dubai.

The Dubai venue opened in 2005 and was designed by LW Design. The owners decided that 2017 was a good time for a major refurbishment operation, but wanted to retain the original designers to freshen things up while staying true to the project’s roots.

Not an easy task! To help things along, the owners suggested for the design team to watch the movie Seven Years in Tibet, to get a feel of exactly what they were after. The centre-piece in this three-storey building is a two-storey high golden Buddha which sits in the lotus position, completely dominating the space. It was originally of stone colour, but the redesign saw him painted in gold.

The designers have used simple but modern dark woods and glass to complement the decor of the outside of the building, which makes extensive use of shuttered light. The designers also opened up the kitchen, allowing diners the unique experience of watching the chefs create their incredible dishes. The open kitchen has, in fact, become a feature in itself.

Minimalist chandeliers, which were installed in 2005, have been reinvented with fabric and paper to give the impression that they are floating while dragons have become a recurring feature in the embroidery of the seats and cushions as well as paintings on the walls and statue that line the bar.

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