Shortlist announced for AHEAD MEA 2019 hospitality awards

Dezeen promotion: a concrete grocery store converted into a boutique hotel and a series of remote timber-frame cabins on the Namibian coast are some of the projects shortlisted in the 2019 AHEAD MEA awards.

This edition of the AHEAD MEA awards celebrates outstanding hospitality projects completed in the Middle East and Africa between January 2018 and February 2019.

Submitted projects have been arranged into 11 categories, which recognise everything from the most eye-catching spa and wellness spaces to the best event spaces and resorts.

Shortlist announced for AHEAD MEA 2019 hospitality awards
The AHEAD MEA 2019 shortlist includes the Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge

The shortlist has been assembled by an expert panel of architects, interior designers, hoteliers and industry commentators.

Figures this year include Leila Abdul Rahim, design director of Hilton Worldwide, Pinar Calimano, director of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and Nick Acton-Adams, director of design at Meraas/North25.

Al Faya Lodge by Anarchitect, photography by Fernando Guerra
Anarchitect’s Al Faya Lodge has been shortlist in two categories

The Al Faya Lodge desert retreat and spa , located in the city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, has been shortlisted in both the Guestrooms and the Renovation, Restoration & Conversion categories.

Designed by Dubai-based architecture studio Anarchitect, the spa retreat previously operated as a clinic and grocery store, housed inside two single-story stone structures from the 1960s.

Since abandoned, Anarchitect converted the buildings into a luxury, contemporary boutique hotel and restaurant, with the addition of a newly built saltwater spa building to “offer relief from the intensity of the city”.

Shortlist announced for AHEAD MEA 2019 hospitality awards
The Gorgeous George Hotel is also shortlisted in two categories

Another project on the shortlist is the Gorgeous George Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, which has also been recognised in two categories – Suite and the Renovation, Restoration & Conversion.

Designed by Urban Citizen Architecture, with interiors by Tristan Du Plessis, the 20-room, 12-suite hotel blends an “18th-century grandeur” with the “raw, industrial edge” of central Cape Town.

Shortlist announced for AHEAD MEA 2019 hospitality awards
Shipwreck Lodge in Namibia has also been shortlisted

Also in the running are a series of remote lodges by Namibian studio Nina Maritz Architects , which were inspired by the hundreds of shipwrecks strewn along the country’s Skeleton Coast.

Each of the timber cabins has a bedroom housed inside a structure designed to evoke broken pieces of ships, which is connected to a bathroom in a pointed bow-like section.

Shortlist announced for AHEAD MEA 2019 hospitality awards
The Al Manara hotel in Jordan in has also been shortlisted

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Dubai’s Caesars Forum on 13 November. Tickets for the event can be purchased via AHEAD’s website .

The Middle East and Africa region is one of four regions covered by the AHEAD awards, which also looks at projects from Asia, Europe, and the America. Champions from each region will go on to contend in a global biennale, where worldwide titles are up for grabs.

See the full shortlist below:


Bar, Club or Lounge

Alice & Fifth at Sandton Sun Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa
Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre, UAE
Toro Toro at Grosvenor House, Dubai, UAE
Wavehouse at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, UAE

Event Spaces

Aloft Hotel City Centre Deira, Dubai, UAE
Caesars Forum at Caesars Bluewaters Dubai, UAE
Grand Plaza by Mövenpick Media City, Dubai, UAE
Mandarin Oriental, Doha, Qatar

Guestrooms

Al Faya Lodge & Spa, Sharjah, UAE
One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda
Studio One Hotel, Dubai, UAE
Omaanda, Windhoek East, Namibia

Hotel Newbuild
Al Manara, Saraya Aqaba, Jordan
Mandarin Oriental, Doha, Qatar
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, UAE
Studio One Hotel, Dubai, UAE

Landscaping & Outdoor Spaces

Caesars Bluewaters Dubai, UAE
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, Seychelles
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, UAE
W Dubai, The Palm, UAE

Lobby & Public Spaces

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, UAE
The Merchant House, Manama, Bahrain
Zabeel House by Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
Omaanda, Windhoek East, Namibia

Lodges, Cabins & Tented Camps

Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, Chobe National Park, Botswana
One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda
Shipwreck Lodge , Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Omaanda, Windhoek East, Namibia

Renovation, Restoration & Conversion

Al Bait Sharjah, UAE
Al Faya Lodge & Spa, Sharjah, UAE
Gorgeous George, Cape Town, South Africa
Zabeel House by Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE

Resort

Four Seasons Hotel Tunis, Tunisia
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, Seychelles
Jumeirah Royal Saray Hotel, Seef, Bahrain
Zuri Zanzibar, Tanzania

Restaurant

Indya by Vineet at Le Royal Meridien, Dubai, UAE
Lah Lah at Zabeel House by Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
Netsu at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, UAE
Tasca by José Avillez at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, UAE

Spa & Wellness

Four Seasons Hotel Tunis, Tunisia
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, Seychelles
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, UAE
Away Spa at W Dubai, The Palm, UAE

Suite

Gorgeous George, Cape Town, South Africa
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, UAE
One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda
Zuri Zanzibar, Tanzania

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