Rain street in Dubai: Where it pours heavily every hour for some splashing fun

Still in its soft opening phase, the Côte d’Azur resort is divided into four parts representing four cities of Europe - Monaco, Nice, Cannes and St Tropez

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Rain street at Monaco Hotel in Heart of Europe, Dubai. Photo: Neeraj Murali
Rain street at Monaco Hotel in Heart of Europe, Dubai. Photo: Neeraj Murali

Published: Tue 16 May 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 16 May 2023, 10:05 PM

When I first heard about the 'rain street' in Dubai, I couldn't help but be sceptical. How could an entire street in this desert city experience rain? However, being born and raised in the UAE, I knew better than to dismiss anything as impossible in this country.

Dubai has a reputation for making grand promises and actually delivering on them. The city has mastered the art of turning seemingly impossible dreams into reality, so much so that its residents have become somewhat nonchalant about it. They've witnessed incredible architectural wonders like the Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah, and the Dubai Mall rise from the desert sands.


So, it didn't surprise me when news began circulating about a street that simulated rainfall. I wasted no time to grab the opportunity to witness another marvel in Dubai. Located on the Heart of Europe island, which is part of the World Island, the rain street is in Monaco Hotel of the Côte d’Azur resort. The website said, at the 1-kilometre-long climate-controlled street, it would rain and even snow on demand.

The only means to reach the island is an exclusive yacht operated by the hotel. The vessels operate on a strict schedule every alternate hour going to and from the island. The 2pm ferry service was fully booked, but I found a spot in the 4pm vessel. The approximately 10-seater yacht takes around half an hour from the Heart of Europe jetty to the island.


The iconic hotel

Still in its soft opening phase, the Côte d’Azur resort is divided into four parts representing four cities of France - Monaco, Nice, Cannes and St Tropez. Currently only Monaco Hotel is functioning and is expected to have its grand opening later this year.

When you alight from the yacht, the hotel is catches your eye with its bold and bright summery colour palette. From bright red to green and blue, the colours of the hotel blend into each other giving it a very vibrant look.

After we arrived, I was shown into a long corridor that led us to the lobby of Monaco Hotel. As soon as I arrived, the first thing that I saw was the bright red exterior of the La Brasserie.

As I stood there, the rain started to fall in the street behind the La Brasserie. I audibly gasped because I was not expecting it as soon as I arrived and it looked so real. I felt like I was transported into a different country. Much like the rest of the group that had arrived with me, I rushed to the window of the restaurant that opened out into the street.

The narrow cobbled street had buildings on either side of it. To one side was of course the Monaco Hotel and on the other side was the a building that had little windows with (fake) honeysuckle growing on its grills and striking red polka dot awnings. Rain was pouring and it felt like I had been caught in the heavy showers on a French street.

All of us guests walked up and down the periphery of the street that was on the edge of the rain and looked up. It was fascinating to watch how the rain battered down for about a minute. Just enough for your heart and eyes to cool from the summer heat. While most of the seating of La Brasserie is inside the restaurant, there are a few seats outside from where you can extend a hand and feel the rain while sipping on a coffee or hot chocolate.

I was there for the full experience so, I immediately settled down. The next rainfall was almost an hour later but it was worth every second of the wait. I sipped my tea while it rained around me. This was an experience that I have very rarely had in the UAE and I savoured it.

The next morning when I arrived for breakfast at La Brasserie, I caught myself a seat inside the restaurant but beside the window. Sure enough, halfway through my meal, the downpour began and I enjoyed my omelet and sausages along with it.

I could have sat through every schedule of the rain thereafter but sadly it was time to go home. The bottom line is, if you are a pluviophile then a visit to the Monaco Hotel should be on your cards.

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