Location: Manzil Downtown By Vida, Dubai

Interior Designer: Mahsa Gholizadeh (DBM)

Hotel Group/Developer: Abu Dhabi National Hotels

Photography: Alex Jeffries Photography Group

DBM, have created Reef and Beef a restaurant that reawakens the classic New York steakhouse with a fresh twist as it draws inspiration from not only historic steakhouses from 1920’s New York, but Reef & Beef’s German roots, and also regional elements from the Middle East. This is a dining experience that transcends time and borders.

Spanning an expansive 12,550 square feet, the design posed various spatial challenges, both vertical and indoor/outdoor. Despite the large footprint, DBM succeeded in crafting a warm and inviting atmosphere that fosters a sense of community and encourages guests to stay and socialise, while also creating a seating plan in which each seat is desirable. The design encourages customer engagement and creates multiple dining experiences, seamlessly connecting five distinct offerings: The Grand Dining Gallery, The Reef Bar, The Manhattan, The Terrace, and The R&B Lounge.

The Grand Dining Gallery welcomes guests with its elongated space, featuring exquisite arabesque archways leading to a 7-meter high wine cellar. On the opposite side, an impressive display of over 900 wine bottles, individually supported by leather straps, adds to the ambiance. Classic 1920s-style “quarter” booth seating arrangements and a wall of fame paying homage to New York icons further immerse diners in the restaurant’s nostalgic atmosphere.

The design achieves a remarkable fusion of inspirations from New York, Germany, and the Middle East, executed with a subtle and captivating touch. Upon entering, one’s imagination is transported to the vibrant ambiance of 1920s New York. However, as you delve deeper and absorb the intricacies, you come to appreciate the thoughtfully incorporated regional tones, designs, and materials. From stunning Persian-inspired tile works to the exquisite arabesque archways, the design seamlessly merges the essence of the East and West, creating a harmonious symphony of cultural influences.

Display rooms throughout the restaurant showcase various elements, such as a wide selection of wines, a raw bar with seafood, a dry-aged meat display, a cocktail exhibit, and an open grill cooking station. These features enhance the overall customer experience without overwhelming the space.

Situated in the heart of Downtown Dubai, surrounded by modern skyscrapers and the bustling energy of the city, the restaurant’s dark facade and historic elegance create a captivating contrast which draws visitors in. In a city known for its ultra-modern architecture and rapid growth, DBM’s design stands out as a divergence, inviting residents, tourists, and UAE nationals to indulge in a unique culinary and visual experience.