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The Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain has merged the past with the present as the five-star property has revealed its first Ramadan tent with a traditional under-the-stars throwback fused with the best of modern engineering.
The kingdom’s newest resort property in Seef is staging iftar and ghabga feasts in its stylish transparent dome as it continues to establish itself as a hospitality heavyweight.
The dome took almost three weeks to construct by a 42-strong team, with a total team of 85 people working on the project at Design Creative for the past four months.
Project manager Jalal Mohammed said: “We wanted guests to feel like they’re outside but still protected from the elements inside. Most tents are enclosed but we really wanted to follow the tradition of being ‘under the stars’.
“Our mandate was to bring the hotel inside the dome. You can see everything all around – the villas, the sea, the people. We’re proud of what we have achieved.”
The benefits of the dome include excellent aerodynamics. Wind noise is almost non-existent thanks to the high ceiling and steep curves, so none of the communal atmosphere or art of conversation is lost.
Another major advantage of the design is the temperature control. Because of the height of the dome, it acts as a vacuum for the rising hot air, which is released through triangular vents on the roof, whilst cold air remains lower down. Once the air conditioning is turned on, the temperature is fully regulated within five minutes.
Design Creative managing director Raouf Nasser said: “We really covered every base when it comes to the dome. There are no columns at all in the tent to allow as much space as possible and the infrastructure is so strong that everything is hanged from the ceiling including a 200kg star.
“There are three emergency exits and the material of the dome shell is completely fireproof.”
The buffet itself is concentrated in the centre area with seating around it in a circle, a deliberate feature to minimise disruption with people milling around between tables.
As well as normal seating areas, there are enclosed private tables for families who want more privacy and also traditional Arabic seating on cushions. Live entertainment including oud players and contemporary singers will feature throughout the month.
At night, the dome is lit with purple lighting which bounces off the mostly white fixtures flecked with gold pattern.
The hotel’s marketing manager, Melissa Lalande, said: “In terms of the design, we picked white, purple and gold because they are the Jumeirah signature colours and lends a royal feel.
“It was somewhat of a risk to ‘go different’ and have everything white rather than bright and bold colours, but we felt it offers a relaxing, comfortable vibe which is very important after a day of fasting.
“Not only that, but all of the design patterns are consistent throughout, from the tables to the ceiling hangings. No effort has been spared.
“It’s out first year doing the tent and it’s important to learn as we go along as we want to do this for years to come. We’re improving it day by day.”
The Ramadan dome is sponsored by Mercedes this year, something Imran Ali, the marketing manager for the German marque’s dealers Al Haddad Motors, is proud of. “Mercedes as a brand believes that the Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain is an excellent location to be associated with,” he said.
“We have a Ramadan offer which includes voucher for iftar at Jumeriah and so it seemed natural to collaborate with them. Guests can check out a variety of our models which will be parked outside the tent throughout the month.”
Check out GulfWeekly next week to read Editor Stan’s Eating Out review for the new Jumeirah dome and its fare.