VAGA Restaurant and Bar is the latest food and beverage hotspot on Bluewaters Island. The restaurant boasts extraordinary views of the world’s biggest and tallest Ferris wheel, Ain Dubai and world-famed Jumeirah Beach Residences.
4SPACE was awarded to create the VAGA concept around the story of a magical vagabond who travelled through various times, places and worlds, experiencing larger-than-life adventures on his way. The vagabond travelled through portals that opened into modern Arabia; he travelled through arid deserts and spice routes to marvel at the spices that form the base of so many dishes. He collected forgotten rare ingredients that now form the true essence of ancient Urartu lands.
VAGA dishes up an experimental menu of Armenian and Arabic plates including signatures such as gapama, chicken tagine, imam bayaldi and khorovats. The name VAGA is drawn from the word vagabond, meaning nomad which is the inspiration behind the concept. VAGA sets the inimitable scene of a world-fresh time traveller.
4SPACE provides quality, distinctive architectural, interior design and design solutions for commercial premises, restaurants, entertainment venues, retail spaces and private residences throughout the United Arab Emirates and further afield. 4SPACE continuously innovates and intentionally disrupts interior design in one of the world’s most extraordinary cities, Dubai. Recognised as one of the finest interior design companies in the region, the company prides itself on blending light and space with delicate, well-considered features to create memorable aesthetics. 4SPACE has brought to life the vagabond and brought his wonderous worlds together and created a land of fantasy and fusion.
Designers have melded two traditional distinct and vibrant cultures taking diners on an exhilarating journey. VAGA contracted 4SPACE to design a contemporary restaurant that would be home to Arabic cuisine and the colourful Armenian culture. 4SPACE has created a vibrant and futuristic lifestyle destination on Bluewaters Island. The exceptional space is fluid and gives a sense of movement representing the wandering, explorative nature of the namesake vagabond.
VAGA is spaciously spread over two floors. Downstairs, diners can enjoy one of the four exclusive pods, which sit directly beneath an eye-catching chandelier of large metallic rings that cascade dramatically from the ceiling. Each halo is painstakingly decorated with intriguing symbols and letters from the Vannic alphabet. This extinct Hurro-Urartian language was spoken only by the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Urartu. Intense blue theatrical lighting highlights the unique appeal of the sculpture and links with the nomadic theme. The minimal red staircase transitions between the ground and the first floors. Diners appreciate a sense of kitchen drama. Two large windows are framed with copper tiles and open onto the kitchen and the busy chefs. Impressive textured and reflective steel ceilings are throughout the ground floor, giving a sensual visual depth to the space.
Upstairs is where VAGA comes alive. The impressive bar takes centre stage in the dining area, and the interiors are in keeping with the lower floor with its muted terracotta tones and blue highlights. The rippled steel ceiling adds mystery and an illusion of an upside-down parallel world. VAGA’s resident DJ is central in a rotating booth in the main bar. For revellers who want a hint of secrecy, the DJ can also play in the private room. Enter the secret room through an old red Arabic wooden door into a world of speakeasy fantasy.
VAGA juxtaposes two distinctive cultures, traditional and contemporary, Arabic and Armenian. It takes each guest on an exhilarating journey of discovery. There are three terraces throughout the restaurant, one that boasts views across Jumeirah Beach Residences coastline and into the pods of the Ain Dubai. The other terraces are inside and are perfectly temperature controlled.
4SPACE has intricately designed two separate spaces whilst retaining various design influences and ensuring that the various elements are connected with a sense of harmony. The ground floor represents the Armenian culture, whilst the first floor is Arabic-inspired. What lies between are times undiscovered and the mysterious elements discovered in the time portal. The sphere-like pod becomes the centre of attention to diners and late-night revellers. Diners access the secret speakeasy room through a heritage red Arabic door.
The designers have ensured sensitive authenticity throughout. The internal walls are constructed with red tuff stone. 4SPACE sourced and imported exquisite volcanic ash stone slabs from Armenia. Glorious orange-hued stones cover many Armenian buildings; the depth and warmth of colour are reflected throughout VAGA and contrast beautifully with turquoise and grey chairs.