Friday, November 26, 2010

Travel notes from the United Arab Emirates

The Armani Hotel in Dubai – in the world’s tallest building, the 828-metre Burj Khalifa – serves an excellent black truffle risotto. And the rooms are splendid, as they ought to be for $NZ3000 a night. (That’s the Burj Khalifa in the distance on the left, above.)

Getting on a camel is easy. Riding one is like being on an undulating horse. It’s the getting off that is a challenge.

There is a lot to be said for spending a Saturday afternoon on a 148-ft super-yacht watching the Louis Vuitton Cup races with a bunch of attractive young Italians.

Flying Emirates business class is nicer than cattle class. First class is nicer still – they serve Dom Perignon whereas in business it is merely Moët. (Merely.) But even in cattle class you get the 1200-channel ICE system (information, communication, entertainment). Heading north I listened to Palestrina and Monteverdi (and a little Webern and Schoenberg, just because I could); coming south it was all Rossini and Haydn, plus a little AC/DC to wake myself up before arrival.

In short, I have had worse overseas trips. It was a sybaritic press junket to end all sybaritic press junkets, but one of the main pleasures was to be reminded how much I enjoy the company of proper journalists – they were smart, funny, interested in and informed about all sorts of stuff.

I don’t have jet-lag, but I am suffering from luxury-lag big-time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Boast some?

Hope you condescended to tip the coolies.