Hotel interiors of the near-future will be science fiction-inspired with the world’s fastest-growing hospitality markets such as Dubai leading the pack.
That’s the message from Issam Ezzeddine, project director and design architect at Dubai’s National Engineering Bureau, who said: “The future is closer than you might think – current projects are already answering the imagined needs and desires of the next generation.
“While much remains to be done, the young population and significant capital resources of the MENA states are key advantages. Hotels are scrambling to anticipate travellers’ future needs, and some changes already taking effect can help us get glimpse of what’s to come: bathrooms will get bigger; guest rooms will get smaller; air-conditioning will be controlled via mobile phones; rooms will be equipped with high-tech LED and other lighting features; rooms will have minimalist design and open shelving; and there will be more local flavour.”
He continued: “Lobbies will become high-tech multi-use spaces and overall, hotels will integrate high-tech amenities that border on sci-fi. Hotels are literally looking to science fiction to gain an edge on competitors, launching futuristic amenities like robot butlers (the Botlr, currently only at the Aloft Cupertino and Aloft Silicon Valley), robot luggage handlers (the Yobot at New York’s Yotel), virtual reality experience (WXYZ bars at Aloft Hotels), fingerprint scan room entry (at the Alma Barcelona), retina scan room entry (at the Nine Zero Hotel in Boston) and finally, infrared body scanners (at Seattle’s Hotel 1000).”
He tipped Dubai as one of the first markets outside the US to adopt these trends “given its tendency to take themes from the world’s best and create them into something uniquely impressive”.
“We can anticipate an interesting, high-tech future,” he added.
Ezzeddine will lead an educational session in the Design Theatre at the 16th annual The Hotel Show Dubai, which takes place next week (September 28 to 30) at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).