DUBAI: The coronavirus disease pandemic hasn’t delayed the opening of London’s esteemed Arts Club’s first international outpost in Dubai. Located in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) in a building designed by Foster & Partners, the club’s first international branch will occupy four floors, spanning a total area of 65,000 square feet. The idea was to create a space replicating a beautiful home, where like-minded members can mingle, relax and work throughout the day.
“The development of the Arts Club Dubai is well underway, and we are very much looking forward to opening our doors before the end of the year,” said its COO Ajaz Sheikh.
“As the first international outpost of the Arts Club in London, we will be celebrating its vibrant legacy, reinterpreting its values and traditions, but also reimagining the experience to match the richness and diversity of the region and all the exciting things that are happening here, especially in arts and culture,” he added.
While an exact date has yet to be set, the club is scheduled to open late 2020.
Established in 1863 by notable literary figures to provide a haven for the arts, literature and science, over the course of its existence its members have included writers such as Charles Dickens, Thomas Huges and Wilkie Collins; artists such as Walter Sickert, John Everett Millais, Frederic Leighton, Auguste Rodin and James McNeill Whistler, alongside several eminent surgeons and other professionals.
In 1896, the club relocated from its original home on Hanover Square to its present 18th century townhouse at 40 Dover Street. It has survived two world wars, including a direct hit on the building during the Blitz of 1940.
“We are sure our members will embrace the spirit of our beautiful new club and we look forward to giving them unparalleled experiences in both hospitality and programming,” added Sheikh.
A design firm, the name of which has yet to be disclosed, has been commissioned to design the club’s interiors, which will feature contemporary fixtures alongside a collection of art deco and historical pieces of furniture coupled with sumptuous and plush fabrics.
It will also encompass four meeting spaces and private dining rooms and five lounges. It will also have three restaurants, including the much-loved brasseries from London and two new homegrown concepts. There will also be eight craft cocktail bars, with each to be manned by a specialist team of waiters, bartenders and sommeliers all on hand to guide members through the meticulously sourced list of drinks. The club’s 23,000 square foot rooftop will offer uninterrupted views of the iconic Burj Khalifa, which will house the club’s nightclub, offering progressive music featuring international DJs. There’s also a cigar lounge with private cigar cabanas, a sleek event space and a library.
Applications are open to individuals interested in the arts, music, design, science, literature, health, technology, wellbeing, science entrepreneurship, business, philanthropy, law, finance and fashion.
Membership for the Arts Club Dubai is split into four categories: Full, second* (for married couples), under 30s and international. For the full membership there is a one-off 15,750 dirham ($4,288) joining fee, followed by a 15,750 dirham annual fee. The under 30s membership is priced at 7,875 dirhams for the joining fee followed by 7,785 dirhams for the annual fee. For married couples, the membership does not require the joining fee, and the annual fee is 7,875 dirhams.
International membership can be added to all three tiers of membership, allowing access to the Arts Club London and the upcoming outpost in Los Angeles, among others. Its annual fee is for this is 5,780 dirhams.