Sunday, May 16, 2010


So, finally, I made it to the Armani…and it was worth the wait. I was there for a work party, and we were actually the first event that they had hosted since the opening. What can I tell you? Overall, it was a great, great night, with some hilarious stories at the end of it.  Highlights:

• The Burj: To get to the hotel – which is in the Burj – you access it via a long drive,with lots of security checking that you have a reservation. And then you’re there, in front of the Burj. It’s a beast. I see it all day, every day, but nothing prepares you for standing right at the foot of it, looking up at it against an inky sky. Breathtaking.
• Décor: It’s Armani, darling, so as you would expect, it is the epitome of stylish, minimalist chic. Greys, browns, muted colours and textures…..achingly elegant.
• Staff: Amazing. Despite dealing with 400 rowdy, drunk, very excitable people, they were always polite and efficient. Oh, and girls: great uniforms (silver space age styles dresses with huge angular shoulders.)
• Food: Divine. I really don’t know how they did it given the huge numbers of people they were catering for. Starter was fish, then there was some sort of potato soup, then it was a medallion of beef (unbelievably good and melt in the mouth, and considering I was vegetarian for 18 years before moving to Dubai, this is quite a verdict), all finished off with a chocolate tart type thing with after eight ice-cream. Thanks heavens for the roomy vintage Halston dress I’d dug out of retirement!

I won’t go into the event itself, suffice to say that the entertainment was an acquired taste, and the singer murdered many, many popular tunes, but let’s just say: there was a stage, and we were dancing on it.

I couldn’t tell you what time that ended, but the second phase of the evening was Armani Privee – the nightclub within the hotel. It involved leaving the Burj and re-entering through a different door – don’t ask me how exactly and if you paid me money I’m not sure I could show you again….

The club is very typical Dubai and the sort of place I usually avoid. Visually it’s again completely Armani, with what looked like mother of pearl booths….the whole space is dominated by a giant, and I mean giant, screen, which plays Armani fashion shows over and over again. Not sure why anyone would ant to watch these when in a club, but who am I to argue. Couple of points to note:

• If you try to remove your shoes and dance barefoot (blisters) they will come and tell you off and make you put your shoes back on
• If you try and dance on the seats/tables, they will come and tell you off and make you stop
• If you try to enter the club whilst wearing a dish-dash (not me, obv) they will tell you off for trying and refuse you entry
• If you start breakdancing, they do not try to stop you
• If you start spank-dancing, they do not try to stop you

On the last two points: please do not take my word for it. By this time it was 3 am and the staff were probably too exhausted by our antics to stop us.

So overall, it’s an amazing experience, and the food alone was worth the trip. Apparently it came from the Italian restaurant (not sure of the name) we will be back. Next time I will try my best to remember more of it….

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