Allure is Abu Dhabi's new superclub
Is hip new party spot Allure the venue Yas Island has been waiting for? 1 Comments
Just a matter of 18 months ago, Yas Island was little more than a dusty desert bowl, consisting of a freshly laid racetrack, the aluminium skeleton of Ferrari World and a cluster of half-finished hotels. Two highly successful Grand Prix weekends later, Abu Dhabi’s floating annexe is slowly turning itself into a worthy visitors' destination in its own right. Ferrari World has been in business for almost a month now, five of Yas’s restaurants received nods at TOAD’s 2010 Restaurant Awards, and the island’s current series of big-name Show Weekend concerts are providing solid evidence that the city’s live music appreciators are willing to suffer the half-hour schlep along the Sheikh Khalifa highway.
But what about a world-beating nightclub, capable of securing big-name international DJs and catering to your hedonistic whims until the wee hours? Enter Allure, the latest addition to Yas’s burgeoning portfolio of crowd-pullers, from hospitality heavyweights Cipriani. Name ring a bell? So it should – they’re the folk behind some of the globe’s most exclusive, luxurious lounging dens, with venues in New York, London, Venice and more, oozing class and pulling in celebrity regulars like some sort of botox-attracting electromagnet. And, true to Cipriani form, Allure has wasted no time in establishing its own roster of famous fans.
According to the club’s VIP Operations Manager Joseph Locker, Basement Jaxx – in town the week before last for Flash’s Skybar parties – dropped in to check the place out and were so bowled over they returned the following night for an impromptu DJ session. Meanwhile, the first man through the doors of the restaurant below the club was F1-owning billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, who was apparently so impressed with his lunch that he came back for dinner the same day. Elsewhere, stars dropping in to continue the party after Prince’s post-race concert included Richard Branson, Michael Schumacher, Hugh Grant and even The Purple One himself.
The surroundings are certainly befitting of an A-list crowd. Inside there’s a nod to the geometric design principles of the nearby Yas Hotel, with gleaming triangular panels creeping up the far wall and on to the ceiling, creating the impression that you’ve just stepped into some sort of ergonomic ice cave. Stunning as the interior is, it’s apparently not quite finished yet, and, with plans in place to stud the ceiling with 2km worth of LED strip lights that pulse along to the club’s sound system, Allure looks set to become the most visually intriguing venue in the city. Indeed, factor in a large open-air terrace, a stunning view of the twinkly Yas Hotel and a shisha bar to rival the city’s finest, and you’ve got yourself one extremely desirable party spot.
But is Murtaza Akbar, president of Cipriani MENA and Asia, worried that the venue’s location – tucked away behind Yas Marina – may leave the city’s revellers reluctant to make the trip now that the F1 buzz is over?
‘We actually think the location will cater to a bigger crowd. People from Dubai aren’t going to go to the Corniche, but they will come here. We like everything that’s happening on Yas Island, and we like the vision of everything that’s being built here.’
Joseph agrees. ‘With regular concerts happening over at Yas Arena, we’re hoping people will be making their way over here to continue their night. It’s basically the ultimate after-party venue. We’ve already captured that rhythm over the F1 weekend.’
Only time will tell if Allure can continue its early success, overcome its out-of-town position and find favour with Abu Dhabi’s party people. The world-famous reputation, slick design and promises of big-name international DJs ought to be enough to ensure the city’s VIPs come flocking every weekend, and with hotel, car and entry packages being lined up, there are even affordable options for the common folk. Sure, the inescapable vibe of exclusivity attached to the Cipriani brand might deter some, but, for everyone else, Allure might have just raised the bar for sophisticated revelry in the capital.By David Clack
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
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