I decided to 'break' my London to Bangkok flights with a stop to see my Australian lawyer friend in Dubai. Little was I to know what a memorable three nights it would be.
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach; A Pre-Opening Guest Returns
It started taking the Emirates First Class limo straight to Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach for breakfast with Resort Manager Bob, who I know from when I stayed at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, when I was their 'First Customer' (and twice again after that).
A VVVIP Returns
As we approached the hotel I was stunned by the lavish foliage that had grown since my first visit.
Bob & his team were outside the hotel waiting for me. We eventually recreated the photo, with Mr Simon Casson, from my first stay in November 2014.
I was treated as a returning VVVIP, as I was walked through the hotel, with so many warm 'welcome backs'. I ended up eating breakfast with Bob & Mariana (their PR & Communications Director) outside on the Suq terrace.Veuve Clicquot was served, Executive Chef Gilles Arzur personally prepared a sublime egg dish for us with lobster, caviar etc and there were new 'members of the gang' on the table.
The Four Seasons conversations over breakfast were fascinating and time flew by. After photos as we were leaving, a complimentary Four Seasons BMW took me to my friend's place.
'Sunday Lunch' on the QE2 in Dubai
The next day, after some mouthwatering duck fat poutine at dinner at Barbary the night before, we had the Middle East equivalent of 'Sunday lunch' on the QE2 on a Saturday.
On our way to board the ship we saw some mega private yachts, including Dubai, which was commissioned by Brunei's Prince Jefi and is now the world's second largest private yacht (it can accommodate 115 people) and is HH Sheik Mohammed Rashid Al-Maktoum's 'boat'.
On the QE2 we both got roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish. The Lido (the only restaurant onboard open that lunchtime) is more cafeteria than First Class. We were given a table by the windows and its was too hot there. However, the quality of the Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes etc were surprisingly high.
We had paid for a tour after the lunch but a mix up on the QE2's side meant this never occurred and, after making complaints, have been told I will be refunded.
Burj Khalifa: Seeing the Private Residences
After this we went to be shown some of the private residences in Burj Khalifa. The views from there blew my mind.
Ending the Weekend Looking at Burj Al Arab & the Dubai Sunset
Next it was the beach at Jumeirah Al Naseem for cocktails watching the sunset and Burj Al Arab. There can be few places in Dubai with a view this good.
Four Seasons Hotel DIFC: Treated as a VVVIP Again
On my last evening in Dubai I returned to Four Seasons Hotel DIFC this time. I met their 'new' General Manager Lorenzo. I loved chatting to him about Armani Hotels, Dorchester Collection & Four Seasons.
We ended our meeting recreating my photo with Carlo (the previous General Manager, now at Four Seasons Amman, which I hope to visit again soon).
Next I had martinis with an ex-Qatar colleague in the Luna Sky Bar looking out at Burj Khalifa. Lorenzo was too kind and arranged for Four Seasons to cover my bill.
Ending My Dubai Stay in Style with Breakfast at Burj Al Arab
I decided, after such unbelievable stay in Dubai, I must end with breakfast in Burj Al Arab. This took place in the Sahn Eddar lobby lounge.
Breakfast was even more elaborate than I expected, served afternoon tea style (see the photo) with sashimi salmon, French cheeses etc.
I picked the lobster Eggs Benedict. My only moan would be I would have preferred lobster flesh, rather than the lobster salad 'sandwich filler' the eggs came on. However, this ex-Cayman Islands being given a Burj Al Arab turtle, to add to my 'gang', more than made up for this slight disappointment. I will call this gold edged turtle 'Dart II'.
A '7 teddies' (🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻) stay in a '7 teddies' city. Cannot thank Four Seasons and my Australian host enough for all they did not make it so awesome. My Tips:- do not be put off by the decor at Burj Al Arab & avoid sitting by the windows on the QE2 in Dubai.