Just 259,00 km² and a population of around 262,000 inhabitants. Ajman, the smallest of the UAE’s seven member states, is a heavenly patch of land that boasts lagoons, mangroves and exceptional flora and fauna biodiversity. Since 2017, it has been home to The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah.
Designed to connect its guests to the rhythms of the surrounding nature – the ocean and the forest –, it is the result of a group project led by the Lissoni Associati firm, which was responsible for the masterplan, architecture, interior design and graphic design, working in close collaboration with Vandersandestudio for the styling, local architect NORR Architects, French firm Ilex Paysage Urbanisme and Cracknell Landscape Design for the landscaping. FEBC international, a firm specializing in procurement for hotels, palaces and high-end residential units, took part in the project as a consultant and intermediary between the owner and supplier and manufacturer for the duration of the project.
The team wanted to take a contemporary approach to traditional oriental architecture for the luxury accommodation complex made up of several structures: the hotel, private villas, restaurants and spas – completed by the pools and private beach – all overlook the sea and are carefully positioned according to their function.
The main hotel consists of several buildings connected by striking walkways that almost touch the water of the pools that extend inside the courtyards, whose surfaces reflect the concrete volumes enhanced by wooden panels that modulate the light and shadow. Private villas are the resort’s key element.
The villas with three bedrooms and facades covered with white stucco offer a combination of large terraces that face the Persian Gulf.
The residences with two bedrooms differ due to their large wooden cantilevered slabs that shield and create a series of indoor and outdoor living areas. They all come with a temperature-controlled swimming pool.
The spa is the supreme ‘temple’ of peace. Secluded and inspired by the layout of an old medina, it is also formed of various architectural elements linked by open-air threadlike passages; inside, stone floors and Venetian stucco on the walls provide the backdrop for personalized treatments in special therapy suites, while wood dominates the 24-hour gym. Finally, the beach restaurant overlooks the waves crashing on the shoreline: it is a lively place where you can enjoy international cuisine and an aesthetic that is once again defined by wood and ceramic.
Lissoni Associati also paid great attention to the choice of furniture, selecting, in addition to custom-made pieces by Uno Contract and iron creations by Antonio Sciortino, the best Italian and international products by firms including Living Divani, Porro, Glas Italia, Cassina, De Padova, Vitra, Carl Hansen, Baxter, Ton, e15, Boffi, Flos and CTO.
Still not convinced? Then try out the 18-hole golf course designed by champion Jack Nicklaus or the library, which offers a select collection of literary works.
Al Zorah Development (Private) Company Ltd
Solidere International Limited
Six Construct Ltd
The Oberoi Group
Lissoni Associati, NORR Architects
Ilex Paysage Urbanisme, Cracknell Landscape Design LLCC
Uno Contract, Living Divani, Porro, Glas Italia, Cassina, De Padova, Vitra, Carl hansen, Baxter, Ton, Antonio Sciortino, e15; Flos, CTO (Lighting); Boffi (Bathrooms)
courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts