Facts about the Metropolitan Hotel
Q: When was the first Habtoor Hotels / Metropolitan Hotels property built or established?
A: Metropolitan Hotel was the Habtoor Hotels’ first property. It was established in the year 1979
Q: Which property was it? Where was it situated?
A: It was / is the Metropolitan Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road
Q: What was the hotel chain’s first name? Why was it called Metropolitan?
A: The Hotels first chain was Grand Metropolitan, British Hospitality Chain and hence the name Metropolitan Hotel was born
Q: Why and when was the chain name changed to Habtoor Hotels?
A: Since Al Habtoor Group added 3 more Hotels, and hence these hotels were taken into flagship of one brand i.e. Habtoor Hotels
Q: When was this hotel established?
A: 10th February 1979
Q: Did this property always have the same name? What was the original name of this property?
A: This property was named as the Metropolitan Hotel and it now it is called Metropolitan Hotel Dubai.
Q: When the property was first established, how many stars did it have? How many stars is it now?
A: It had 5 stars and now it is a four star property
Q: How many rooms did the hotel have when it first opened?
A: It had 187 rooms when it opened
Q: What is current number of rooms in the hotel?
A: 192 rooms (Incl. 13 Suites)
Q: Did this property undergo any extensions? What year did that happen? What was the reason for the change?
A: Yes. In the year 1992 Oak Room (Tea Lounge), 5 suites, I2 Lounge (Flute Bar) and Fish Bazaar were added. In the year 2006 Met Suites Apartments – 63 suites were added and removed and handed over to the Al Habtoor Real Estate on 31st December 2009. Currently this property has 192 rooms
Q: Did this property undergo any renovations? How many? What changes were done?
A: Yes this property underwent renovations. One Major Face Lift was done by installing tiles for roof and reflective glass windows for all rooms. Interior Renovations were done 4 times on this property.
Q: When the property opened, how many outlets were there? Are they all still there? Was any outlet present there and closed?
A: 1979 10th February, the Hotel opened with 5 outlets, which were the following
Lafayette – Fine Dining French Gourmet Cuisine (That is closed now and is our Meera Suite, for Medium sized banquet events)
Red Lion Pub – It was the first English Pub ever to be opened in Dubai. It opened before the Hotel in 1978. Traditional English Pub ( still going strong after 32 years , it has become an institution in Dubai and is loved by many locals and long term Dubai expats who still to this date frequent visit the pub)
Al Saffa Coffee Shop ( still going strong as All day dining restaurant and has extended out into a atrium styled dining as well due to the high demand)
Lucifers Disco (is still a nightclub but called Platinum now)
Polo Bar which was lobby bar, and now it is our lobby coffee shop pastries area
Q: What are the major restaurants that you have in the hotels? Please name each restaurant and a brief about its history.
A: Don Corleone
It used be part of the hotel shopping arcade, it was actually a small seafood restaurant called Fishermen’s, opened in 87 lasted around 4 years, and as Dubai’s expat crowd grew in population, it was time to have an old time favorite “Italian themed restaurant” hence the dawn of “Don Corleone” it was an authentic home styled Italian cuisine opened by an Italian Manager by the name of Piero Gorgeoti, the theme was centralized around the famous Don Corleone Mafia boss. The restaurant has not changed since its first opening 1992 and has retained its old world charm and history. It is still recognized as on the most loved Italian restaurant in Dubai specially consistency in home styled Italian cooking
Summer Place (originally known as Summer Palace)
This was opened by the Philip Lao & Vincent one of the personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II delegate gala dinners, Philip Lao who personally created the menus for the Queens high profile dignitaries. He opened Summer Place (palace then) back in 87 and created a revolutionary in Chinese cuisine dining in Dubai. Since then the restaurant underwent a renovation of a 5 star standard 2004 and is still highly regarded as one the best Chinese Restaurants in Dubai
This restaurant was created when the hotel created its new tower which housed its presidential suites. The Restaurant is market style theme, where by the guests can shop around for live or fresh seafood cook their liking with sauces and compliments. With a view of iconic Sheikh Zayed road, it is must dine restaurant for seafood lovers
1993 , the king of all kings in India they said, Shahjahan restaurant has recreated the royal north Indian Mughlai cuisine that was once served to the great king himself Shahjahan. The restaurant in housed in the old library of the hotel, giving it a rich yet warmth feeling about it. It is still loved by the European and Indian Expat community in Dubai
Q: Which restaurants are your most popular? Is it an international chain (franchise) or is it a Habtoor brand?
A: Summer Place and Don Corleone is what we would call our star studded restaurants, these restaurants have been built purely on word of mouth and loyalty of our guests. The Summer Place restaurant has now moved to the Habtoor Grand Resort in Jumeirah.
Q: Has the hotel received many awards? Please list the most prestigious ones in a timeline manner and explain about each briefly
A: Yes. The most prestigious one was Chairman’s Best Unit Award from Al Habtoor Group and the Participation award from World Bank Group and IMF
Q: List the awards or reviews for each restaurant when available!
A: Fish Bazaar has been in the Awards and Finalist for What’s ON 4 years in a row
Q: How many employees do you have? And how many did the property start with when it opened?
A: As of January 2010 we have 506 employees working for Metropolitan Hotel Dubai and 220 staff when opened
Q: What is the ratio of people who are still with the hotel since it opened? Employee turnover
A: There is only one staff who is still associated with this property since its establishment His name is Muhammad Tariq Khursheed
Q: Who was the first manager of the property?
A: Mr. Graham Golby
Q: What are the biggest events that the hotel has hosted over the years? What is the biggest amount spent on an event? The largest number of people in one function?
A: We had been a host to many memorable events in the past like Dubai GoKart Racing, Dubai Motor Show, British Wek, Soft Ball, Dessert Charity Ball, Dubai Pet Show and Dubai Horse Show. Dubai Horse show had the largest number of people in one function and biggest amount spent.
Q: Any memorable events?
A: Too many but most significant ones were when Prince Micheal of Kent, President George Bush Sr. and Princess Ann visited this Hotel
Q: Who are the celebrities who stayed in this property?
A: Many world renowned personalities have stayed at our hotel and had visited our hotel. To name a few we had Prince Michael Kent, Princess Ann, President George W. Bush, Actor Omar Sherif, Arabic famous singer Sabah, Latoya Jackson, Jean Claude Vandame
Q: How do you feel that the hotel has evolved over the years?
A: Occupying an Ideal location on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai’s most dynamic commercial district that has many international companies headquartered a short distance away, Metropolitan Hotel stands tall and is renowned with visitors and Dubai residents alike for providing a warm and friendly welcome and best value for money. Metropolitan Hotel continues to be as one of the Dubai’s most popular Hotels.
Q: What are the best quotes that have been said about your company by important people? Such as renowned personality maybe…
A: Many famous personalities had termed this Hotel as “The Friendliest Place in Town”
Timeline the Metropolitan Hotel
1978 Red Lion Pub Opened (1st English pub in Dubai)
1979 Metropolitan Hotel Opened with Total of 187 rooms
1987 Fisherman's Opened (Small seafood restaurant that is now Don Corleone)
1986 Summer Palace opened by Philip Lao Vincent - one of the personal chef’s to Queen Elizabeth II
1987 Al Andulas Ball Room
1988 Shreif Restaurant (Current Rattle Snake)
1991 Extension of Hotel opened - added 5 units to inventory "Presidential suite & 3 duplex"
1991 Summer Place restaurant opened with New look.
1991 Fish Bazzar Restaurant open(sea food)
1992 Don Corleone opened and was managed by Mr Piero Gorgeoti,
1993 Shahjahan was opened (originally the hotel's library)
1991 Flute Bar
2000/2005 When did Venezia Open & Close - what was the seating capacity (104 Seats - facts about it…didn't you have to travel in a gondala there?
Famous people - do we have dates of stay & rooms stayed in?- Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Ann, President George W. Bush, actor, Omar Sherif.
British Motorshow - when was it held here and for how many years
Other major exhibitions?
2006 Opening of Met Suits & Apartments
1984 Horse Show……Live Telecast From Dubai TV.
1985 Motor Show
1985 Dog Show
1987 Sale of Century……exhibition
1989 Gocart Race(At Car Park)
2011 Refurbishment of Fish Bazaar Restaurant
2011 Major Re-development of the Sky Garden - 1.5 million spend on the garden