Dubai’s top travel expo has first-class suggestions
Dashing about the cavernous halls of Dubai’s World Trade Centre, 7DAYS was on a hunt to find seven of the most eye-catching things on display at this week’s Arabian Travel Market.
We weren’t disappointed. How about a Shisha sommelier? Truly, put that in your pipe and smoke it. Fancy gold leaves in your soup or your own personalised, tailor-made kandura? Not a problem.
We must admit though, when it comes to bling - there were a couple of things that disappointed us.
We all remember the picture of the tiger hanging out of the backseat of the 4x4 in JBR a short time ago. Taking a (gold-plated) leaf out of Hollywood hit ‘The Hangover’, we wondered whether any hotel had a luxury cage in its basement where said gentleman could keep his big pet cat. Sadly, none did.
We also wondered whether any hotel offered animal-shaped swimming pools - such as a dolphin or octopus. Not yet - but this being Dubai, expect one sometime soon.
The top things to check out before you check in...
THE SHISHA SOMMELIER
The Ritz is renowned for quality and luxury around the world. Now they’ve outdone themselves at the DIFC Ritz Carlton by adding a Shisha sommelier. “He can talk you through the different types of shisha and the history of shisha,” says the brand’s regional PR director, Sarah Walker-Kerr. He can also, quite literally, “match a pipe to a person”. We love it.
THE MISSONI KANDURA
Missoni, the luxury fashion house turned boutique hotelier, has gone over the rainbow and beyond. At its Kuwaiti hotel, not only will a lobby attendant serve you an afternoon cuppa bedecked in Missoni’s own unique multi-coloured kandura - but you can also have one tailor-made for you.
FLAT OUT CLASSY
Anyone who has had the demoralising experience of trying to sleep in economy class will be green with envy. Qatar Airways’ business class is all flat beds. It also boasts onboard showers and top bubbly.
GOLD LEAF SOUP
Tom Yung Goong was just a rather tasty bowl of Thai shrimp soup. Until the Dusit Thani decided to go and put a gold-plated leaf inside it. It will now set you back around $1,000 (Dhs3,673) a bowl. According to Leon Salinel at the Dubai hotel, it’s a favourite with wealthy guests.
THE GATE TO THE GLOBE
Thanks to Movenpick’s Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, you can now go round the world in seven days. Honestly. Without even leaving your hotel. Fancy one night in India, followed by a stay in China, then Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Spain, Morocco or Russia? With rooms on separate floors themed to each of those countries, it can be done. “Why not?” says GM Philippe Bonnot. Why not, indeed.
IN THE PINK
Ladies, lend me your ears! Have Travel Café and Dubai Exotic Limo Services gone and got the wheels for you and your gal pals, or what? All of the waiting staff at Dubai’s Travel Café are in actual fact professionally trained travel agents - dressed as flight attendants. They’ll sort out your hol and then take you to the airport in their ladies-only pretty pink limos.
Fussy about which pillow you lay your head upon at night? Plush hospitality brand W Hotels offer your very own pillow menu. Yep, completely true. We’re suckers for a goose-down number ourselves…