DUBAI: I really got scared when Jessica at Rose Rayhan Rotana told that I would be living at the 65th floor. Later, Karim Nahas the hotel General Manager invited me for a creamy Cappuccino and revealed to me that up till 2012, the Rose Rayhan was the tallest hotel on earth, exactly 333 meters high! Apart from the glittering chrome façade of the sophisticated lodging chains, the city enjoys an entertaining, vibrant touch.
World Events. Rory Mcllroy, the Irish wizard was performing exceptional golf talent during the World Championship in Dubai while Abu Dhabi was hosting veterans of the Formula1 sensational contests at Yas Marina Circuit. Passionate Formula1 fans debated whether Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton would score the trophy. I used every trick in the net to cover the Formula 1 Finale, but the show was sold out.
Reunion in Abu Dhabi. Early Friday I reunited with graduates of Alexandria Hotel College, Tareq, Sameh and Samer, now based in Zurich. We consumed sizzling Falafel & spicy Hummus while speedboats were feverishly cruising the Marina Abu Dhabi. What a contrast of tracks, grass and aquatics! The UAE celebrates its national day in early December and glamorous festivals includes air shows and flower parades. Images of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, the legendary founder of the UAE appear everywhere.
I missed visiting the grand mosque that carries his name. It is an Islamic architectural icon of the 21st century. Manal Almasry, the business specialist at the US embassy lured me to join the International Franchise Conference & Exhibition held at Jumeirah towers. The Expo is loaded with food, textiles and bright minds of all doses.
Rose Rayhan Hotel. The Emirati hospitality industry and MICE (meetings, incentive, conference & events) must be a global driving force in the annals of travel services. I was thrilled when Karim told me that the average occupancy rates at the Rose Rayhan is close to 85% for 2014. A crew of 300 professional staff smoothly manages the 462 rooms originally from 27 nationalities. The good news is that women make up 40% of the brigade.
New height. Investing in travel & tourism enterprises In the UAE is a smart choice. The return is quick, slick and chic with minimal risk! It is evident that the construction boom is slowing down in Dubai and in the capital as well. I watched Burj Khalifa (828 meters) from the speedy car, but another Giant Nakheel Tower (1,200) meters will soon be challenging high in the open sky.
Like Havana. In Abu Dhabi I stayed at Le Meridien hotel, which was highly recommended by my friend Hany Khalil. The old property sounds like Havana in 1942! Acropolis is the Greek eatery where I received a rewarding Moussaka portion highlighted by a cinnamon flavoured, honey soaked Baklava!
The well-groomed Dubai displays a rapid fleet of taxis and a colourful stock of classy, tanned frequent-flyers supported by fluid, engaging expats. It is true that “Beauty Is in the eye of the beholder!” while being in Dubai you shall behold a lot! Your vision will be dazzled by exclusive boutiques, exotic perfumes and provocative merchandise techniques, so indulge and beware!