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23 May, 2005

DIEC disaster food

Imagine an international business executive coming to Dubai for a conference. It's his first trip to Dubai, and he has heard endless buzz and hype about the emirate's fabulous Arabian hospitality, its five-star service and all-round outstanding luxury.

His timetable is tight, so after arriving at his hotel the night before from a late flight, he doesn't bother with room service and goes straight to sleep. The conference starts early, so he skips breakfast at the hotel, deciding instead to go straight to the event and grab refreshments there. He arrives at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre, by now fairly ravenously hungry, and keen for a coffee and a taste of Dubai's legendary, gourmet cuisine.

Imagine, then, his horror when confronted by a stale array of dry, gelatinously-glazed, leaden croissants and Danish-defaming pastries. His shock and awe at the cups of lukewarm, weak coffee-flavoured water, brewed for hours in a plastic thermos-jug. His sheer disbelief as he searches for a jug of fresh milk to find only tepid, plastic one-serve mini-cartons of "tastes like milk!"

The business executive remembers in confusion the glossy brochures and internet pictures of Dubai. Men in white robes enjoying a sheikhly feast of glittering food at a beachside hotel. Smiling palefaces sipping freshly brewed Arabica at a traditional cafe. A photo of the spice souq, with its sacks of colourful condiments. The restaurant menus in his hotel displaying finest seafood, glossy exotic fruits and exquisite Lebanese pastries.

He turns back to the table. Looks again at the sad, tired, non-food laid out on metal trays and cheap paper doilies. The dreadful beverages. Above all, he remembers the multi-thousand-dollar ticket that he bought for this event and his wife's suggestion that if all goes well, the family should consider Dubai for a future holiday.

And he phones his secretary, and instructs her to book a fortnight in Barbados.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will they learn? I swear - none of us wants to see a mini croissant or a mini pastry ever again.
If you're unfortunate enough to be stuck at the Convention Centre, take a tip from a pro: eat at Cafe Convention for breakfast, Cubo for lunch and Lotus One for cocktails and dinner. There isn't a single dry, curled up cheese sandwich to be found ...

24 May, 2005 10:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its the same frikkin story at emirates towers 11 o clock events.

24 May, 2005 11:39  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Oh no - that food is ambrosia by comparison. Jumeirah International catering - nearly always delicious.

24 May, 2005 13:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be honest i rate Eat and Drink, Al Reef and Antar, Good food for 10 Dhs.

02 June, 2005 00:23  

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