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For what's shaping up to be our weekly Fantasy Friday post, we head back to Dubai (under better circumstances, this time, from earlier bad news) where the Raffles Resort is showcasing one hell of a dress—the world’s most expensive in fact--today and tomorrow.
How much does this frock cost? A whopping $5.65 million is the price tag for the Black Diamond dress created by British fashion designer Debbie Wingham.
Those at the hotel can ooh and ahh over the elegant sheath during a special Fashion Afternoon Tea this weekend featuring delicate pastry items like the Dark Chocolate Stiletto encrusted with sugar diamonds .
And just so you’re not sitting there eating cake and glumly lusting after sparkly things you can't afford, guests can enter a contest to win a pair of limited edition DCJ Black Diamond jeans worth $4,040. All you need to do is be able to spot the difference between the genuine Black Diamond dress and the “fake”, which is only worth a meager $16K.
The 26-year old employee, who is from India and worked in the reservations department, admitted to the crime and apologized. He was tried in Dubai’s Criminal Court and sentenced to six months jail time yesterday.
The crime occurred on September 27th when the Kempinski Hotel guest asked his bank about an unrecognized charge on his credit card bill from the airline. It was determined that the purchase date was the same as his stay at the Kempinski, located in the Mall of the Emirates. The guest then reported the incident to the police, who then tracked the name on the ticket and subsequently arrested the hotel employee. He will be deported after his prison term.
Remember The Palm and The World, the two giant land reclamation projects off the coast of Dubai? While The World remains mostly empty except for a single show home (and by some accounts, is sinking back into the sea), The Palm is adding another hotel to its list this fall: Fairmont The Palm Dubai.
Slightly more subdued in architecture, and admittedly, smaller, than its fellow Palm-resident Atlantis, this is still large-scale luxury. We’d wonder whether the current economy (in Dubai and elsewhere) could really support another big, expensive hotel, but then the upcoming opening of the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai (1,608-rooms and the world’s tallest hotel) begs to differ.
Let’s look at the numbers for the Fairmont shall we? 381 guestrooms and seven restaurants, including pan-Chinese and Brazilian options, and the now seemingly ubiquitous cigar room with walk-in humidor. Four pools, a private beach, and a giant Willow Stream spa with 13 treatment rooms. A dedicated floor for Fairmont Gold, the group’s concierge level. Over 3,000 square meters of meeting and conference space, including a ballroom capable of holding 600+ people.
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Former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger had a really good run in Dubai recently – including a 45-minute performance that netted her a million bucks – but promptly wiped out all that positive press last night in the heat of an LA nightclub. A photo emerged today that shows her and rapper Chris Brown getting awfully comfortable, and it kind of sort of looks like they’re kissing if you commit yourself to drawing inconclusive conclusions. Her reps are rabidly denying the report, suggesting it portrays a close conversation at a kicking club.
Press is press as they say, though, and it once again shines the spotlight on Scherzinger, who has made headlines of late for her reoccurring presence in Dubai. Last week she received $1 million to perform a short 45-minute set for Emirates NDB Bank at the Dubai World Trade Center, and back in August she made her home at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray for a few days as part of her role as a judge for X Factor UK. She and Grammy-winning R&B artist Ne-Yo held up in the Grand Imperial and one-bedroom suites, respectively, filming the Judges’ House scenes throughout the hotel property.
GulfNews reports that the hotel is predicting 80% occupancy over the first two years of its opening—that's roughly 1,300 out of the hotel's expected 1,600 total rooms, all filled. Never mind that Dubai is one of the world's most hotel-saturated cities, JW Marriott Marquis has apparently found its "sweet spot" (their words, not ours), and isn't at all worried about whether the demand will meet the supply.
But if the hotel's $1,200/night price tag is making you uneasy, consider this: for just a quarter of the price (and probably a tenth of the snobbery), Mina A'Salam offers an impeccable beach that sits right next to the Burj, so you can bask in the sail-shaped hotel's glory without ever having to break the bank. It's what we like to call "Dubai DIY."
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It's been called Las Vegas on crack, and, frankly, it hasn't really done much to debunk that reputation. With over 570 hotels to choose from—garish, sexy, family-friendly, record-breaking...they're all here—Dubai can be a little intimidating for first-timers. Here are our picks on where to stay when you go.
Emirates Towers is undoubtedly one of the classiest hotels in the Jumeirah collection, which is owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed, and includes nine hotels in Dubai alone. The five-star hotel is comprised of two opposing triangular towers, connected by a central podium which in turn houses a mini mall. Rates from around $289/night.
What happens when you combine food- and water-deprived cab drivers with a well-stocked hotel kitchen eager for some good PR? Mayhem, most likely. But that's not stopping Starwood from going ahead, for the third year in a row, with its "Iftar For Cabs" program, which offers free packaged meals at sundown to any cab drivers who have been fasting for Ramadan.
30 Starwood hotels across the Middle East will be dispensing the prepared packs of iftar, which is traditionally the first meal eaten at sundown after a long day of fasting. Understandably, things might get a little frantic around the lobbies of these participating hotels—you might want to play it safe and stagger your dinner reservation accordingly. Or simply order room service.
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Walking into the XVA Art Hotel, guests are hit with a refreshing change of scenery. A green neon light shaped like a fruit fly hangs over an armchair illustrated with a vintage movie still from the 1960s. Not exactly the kind of "furniture" you'd normally expect from a hotel in Dubai.
Giant crystal chandeliers, an army of see-through elevators, 5-ton boats hanging from the ceiling—yes, that's all standard fare in the City of Gold. But actual, imaginative, fun-to-look-at art? It's as if we'd stepped into another world.
Since no food can be eaten between sunrise and sundown during Ramadan, it is common for two (and sometimes, even three) meals to occur after dark: iftar, the fast-breaking dinner served right after sunset, and then another meal served right before sunset to start the day (or end it, depending on how late you've stayed up!) called suhoor.
And since, as we all know, hotels are pretty much the perfect place to enjoy a hearty midnight snack, we were curious to know just what a hotel-prepared suhoor meal might be like. So, the other night during our stay at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, we called down to room service to find out.
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You know the deal: you excitedly check into a hotel in a brand new city, ready to see all the sights and take all the tours. But sightseeing doesn't come cheap, and soon enough you're blowing an extra $20 or $50 just to be shown a landmark that, with a little more planning, you might have been able to see for free from your hotel room.
PARIS— We've been a fan of Shangri-La Paris for a while now, and it was just recently, back in May, that we poked around inside an Eiffel Duplex Suite. Balcony? Check. Free WiFi? Check. Killer Eiffel Tower view? Yessir.
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Situated along the beach on Jumeirah Beach Road (square in between Le Meridien and Hilton Dubai),Ritz-Carlton, Dubai is easily one of the nicest waterfront properties in Dubai. And though it's still in the midst of a major renovation (which will double the guest room count to a whopping 301), the public spaces are looking as nice as ever.
Take a look at our photo gallery below for a quick look around!