Posted by: englishdubai | May 21, 2008

Your Name’s Not Down

Hopping around the middle east for business nowadays is starting to feel like the travel I use to do out of the UK. You know – flights full of guys in suits playing with there blackberrys dragging their Tumi flight cases behind them.

I ended up getting a little surprise on a trip to Doha last week. As per company instruction, I booked into the Sheraton. When the taxi was not allowed to drive up to the reception and there were lots of police vehicles around, I knew something was happening. Upon entering the hotel there was a mass of security guards in amongst a lot of smart looking gentlemen in traditional middle east dress. I managed to put two and two together and thought to myself – I have ended up at the epicenter of the Lebanese peace talks.

I was a little dismayed to find that the Sheraton would not honour my room booking due to “Security Reasons”. I understand that these things happen, but I would have liked a call from the hotel to let me know in advance.

In a rather grumpy mood, I accepted the limo ride back over to the other side of Doha to the “Al Sharq Village and Spa”. I had never heard of this hotel but was assured it was a nice five star hotel.

On my arrival my grumpiness was soon removed with a refreshingly cool towel, the offer of a luxury date and Arabic coffee while I went through the check in formalities. Things got even better when I was taken to the room which was the definition of luxury in an Arabic style, simply great. This would be an excellent place to spend a relaxed weekend.

The pool deck and beach were special, and I found out today that they were designed by a good friend of mine Quintin. Here is a picture of his handy work, shame I had no time to have a splash around in this world class pool:

After a hectic day and an uneventful flight back to Dubai, I checked the news and was pleasantly surprised at the news that the peace talks had resulted in a way forward. If the price of getting world changing events to happen is a small bit of inconvenience – then call me Mr Inconvenient.


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