Located in the burgeoning city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates the W Dubai was designed on a waterfront quay along the Dubai Creek. The landscape plan was inspired by the pearl diving history and culture of the creek. A distinctive glow gives pearls their unusual allure. The reflection of light rays not only shimmer on the surface, but also bounces off the concentric inner layers of mother-of-pearl. A diminutive convex mirror that makes light appear to emanate from within, the pearl provided a source of local wealth in the Emirates, long before the discovery of oil. Unlike gemstones, the living organisms that make pearls possible date back some 530 million years and point to a unique habitat where water meets land to produce extraordinary treasures. If the W represents a unique, modern sensibility that embodies luxury, style and the soul of place at the intersection of comfort and design, the iridescent glow of the gem that transformed the Emirates coastal culture and paved the way to modern day Dubai seems an apt vehicle with which to inspire the process of design.