W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island

dwp completed a landmark hospitality space weaving together color, vibrancy, culture, and unique style throughout the expansive W Abu Dhabi Yas Island, the largest W hotel in the world.

W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is the largest W Hotel in the world, and the second W Hotel by dwp in the Middle East, following the recent completion of the W Dubai The Palm. Overlooking the spectacular F1 race track and Yas Marina, The hotel is a sweeping, futuristic form housing 499 guest rooms and suites. Since its completion a decade ago, it has become an icon of the city – but was in need of a refresh in time for the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to reflect the development of The W brand by Marriott.

Global architecture and design house dwp | design worldwide partnership has crafted a new identity for the luxury hotel through a complete refurbishment of public areas, including the entrance and lobby, a new F&B concept, The W Lounge, and the WET Deck. Working to a tight deadline and with the hotel fully operational throughout the refurbishment, dwp transformed the traditional idea of luxury with a bold and witty play on the culture, traditions and stereotypes of the region.

Not everything is as it appears. The refurbishment of W Abu Dhabi responds to the location, and is driven by a curated design approach based on research and creative interpretation, bringing to life the idea of the “W Insider”. As the team explored the historical, physical and social context of Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital was revealed as a place of fascinating juxtapositions and contrasts. As a vibrant, modern city rich in ancient cultural traditions, it challenges preconceived notions and stereotypes of the Middle East.

Based on these findings, a multi-layered concept was developed around the theme of “Mirage”. Inspiration was drawn from the diverse elements that form Abu Dhabi today, from centuries-old Bedouin customs and the natural attributes of the country itself, to the modern face of the city and the riches it is known for. As a result, the refurbishment imbues the hotel with a strong sense of place that celebrates Abu Dhabi and delivers a truly memorable W experience.

Design: dwp
Photography: courtesy of dwp