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Design showcase: ASMA restaurant in the Dubai Mall

ASMA, a new restaurant in the Dubai Mall in the UAE, has been inspired by the food and hospitality offered by the mother of the entrepreneurs behind the venue.

The founders of the parent company – called 3 Emirati Siblings – commissioned H2R Design to create the interiors for the restaurant. It plays homage to traditional kitchens of the region, with a contemporary twist.

Features and materials that are distinctive to Arabian homes are featured in the restaurant, which seeks to bring together elements, textures and tones to create an authentic and nostalgic experience for diners.

Copper detailing is evident throughout the space, linking it to the pots and pans that are a familiar sight in local homes. Terracotta tiles decorate the concrete floors, while wooden profile strips and large serving plates nod to domestic kitchens.

Diners enter the restaurant via a foyer designed to evoke the feel of a sidewalk café, while petrol blue tiles cover the exterior of the bar to help it stand out – the striking colour was chosen to emphasise the sense of a domestic space of which the kitchen area is the heart, and to emphasise the preparation space in a long, slim unit. Wood and wicker chairs introduce softer materials, while bespoke banquettes introduce shades of salmon pink, muted yellow, and orange.

Backlit terracotta panels at the rear of the restaurant highlight a semi-private dining space, while artworks depict a range of Jordanian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian and Emirati scenes.