March 04 2010
March is the art world’s glittering, global high season. The European Fine Art Fair (www.tefaf.com) in Maastricht kicks off next Friday, while the Armory Show (www.thearmoryshow.com) is in full swing in New York this weekend (Manhattanites should make haste to Piers 92 and 94), and in Dubai the fourth annual Contemporary Art Fair (www.artdubai.ae) opens on the 17th.
Having proven itself as a legitimate stop on the international circuit over the past three years, Dubai’s fair – despite the recent downward turn in the Emirate’s fortunes – will once again host prominent dealers from as far afield as Vienna, San Francisco and Seoul. Among them there’s likely to be some buzz about the Armani Hotel Dubai (www.armanihotels.com; doubles from about £684), opening the same week on 11 floors of the Burj Khalifa tower.
What to expect from the fashion designer’s maiden hotel venture? The 160 rooms and suites (pictured) are joined by the first Armani Spa, a nightclub (Armani Privé), a bespoke florist specialising in rare blooms (ArmaniFiori), not to mention Japanese, Indian and Mediterranean restaurants. All will be awash in the rigorous neutrals and conspicuously hushed Zen calm on which Mr Armani is purportedly rigorously and endlessly insistent.