Background: When Jumeirah Mina A’Salam opened in 2003, it was one of the earliest hotels to do so in the Madinat Jumeirah complex. Twenty years on, the Mina A’Salam has undergone a massive refurbishment where every single one of its 291 rooms and suites has been renovated, as has the resort’s lobby, restaurants, and events spaces.
Where is it? Situated on Jumeirah Beach Road, it’s very close to the iconic Burj Al Arab – also a Jumeirah property – and the upcoming Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab hotel. Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah are only a few minutes away, while to get to Downtown Dubai, it’s not more than a 20-minute drive in the opposite direction.
What’s it like? A world away from the soaring skyscraper hotels that are characteristic of Dubai’s hospitality scene, this seven-storey hotel resembles the traditional local architecture styles of Dubai. The refurbishment hasn’t altered the external façade of the hotel and instead focused on the interiors. The lobby exudes that sense of heritage with the image of an 1851 map of the Arabian Gulf region placed on the ceiling.
Rooms: We stayed in the Arabian Deluxe room. A passage at the entrance has a spacious closet at one end, and is adjacent to the bathroom which has a marble bathtub and a separate rain shower cubicle too. Besides the large king-sized bed, the sofa was also extended and converted into a full-sized bed. Add to it a centre table and a unit below the TV which housed the mini bar – and there was still plenty of space to move freely about the room. Additionally, a full-sized balcony had unhindered views of the Burj Al Arab. The design palette included a beautiful Arab architectural motif featuring arches and lattice work on the wall above the headrest of the bed and a soothing beige vibe around the room. In a push towards sustainability, all the bottles of complimentary drinking water available during our stay were bottled on-site itself.
Food and drink: There are five restaurants in the hotel and we’d recommend trying the Saturday afternoon brunch at Zheng He’s which has an excellent Dim Sum trolley featuring an exhaustive selection including black truffle with mushrooms and lobster dumplings. Make sure you watch the chef in action as he kneads, twists and pulls the dough to make fresh hand-pulled noodles in a theatrical display during the brunch. For breakfast, we headed to Hanaaya and discovered a lavish buffet. From sushi and masala omelettes, to croque monsieur and falafels – whatever you wished you would find in the breakfast buffet before going to bed the previous night, is probably what you’ll find here in the morning.
Business: As part of the refurbishment programme, the Majlis Al Salam and Majlis Al Mina ballrooms were renovated as well. For larger events, the Madinat Jumeirah conference and events centre is a couple of metres away. At Mina A’Salam, there are four main executive meeting rooms. You’ll find one more eight-seater boardroom in the renovated Amal Club Lounge on the second floor of the property too.
Leisure: There’s a 2km stretch of private beach. There are shared facilities between the different Jumeirah properties here too. Mina A’Salam guests can use the Talise Spa in the nearby Jumeirah Al Qasr property, while the latter’s guests need to come over to Mina A’Salam if they want to use the gym. There’s a 3km lagoon built within Madinat Jumeirah. You can use the hotel’s complimentary abra service to make your way between the different properties. If you’re travelling with kids, a great option is the complimentary access to the nearby Wild Wadi Waterpark.
Verdict: A hotel with brilliant business and leisure facilities, its renovation programme has given the property a contemporary facelift, though ensuring that it doesn’t disregard the heritage appeal of a property that in many ways reflects the emirate’s roots.
Its long stretch of private beach with uninterrupted views of the Burj Al Arab
An abra tour around Madinat Jumeirah
Internet rates for a midweek stay in May start from Dhs1,760 for an Arabian Deluxe room
Jumeirah Street, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim 3, Dubai; +971 800 623 4628; jumeirah.com