We touch down at Abu Dhabi Airport in the late afternoon. Our personal driver Ahmed is waiting for us at arrivals, dressed in an impeccable uniform and holding a sign with our names on it. “Welcome to Abu Dhabi,” he says. “Your car is waiting.” Two porters take our suitcases; all we have to do is follow Ahmed outside where a white Rolls Royce is waiting for us. This is a perfect start. Continue reading
Aqaba is considered to be the perfect base from which to visit the sites of Petra and Wadi Rum, but Alejandro, who we met in the Kempinski Hotel Aqaba, tells me it is also a great place for diving. He had his first dive here two years ago and since then takes every opportunity he can to explore the amazing corals and marine life. It makes me keen to give it a try. It is going to be my first dive ever and I gather the Red Sea is not a bad place to start! Continue reading
We’re in Aqaba, Jordan where we met Alejandro Bernabe, the CEO of Kempinski Hotels.
“Before you leave for the the lost city of Petra tomorrow, I would like to tell you the story,” Alejandro says.
“In 1812 the Swiss traveller and orientalist Jean Louis Burckhardt was making his way from Damascus to Cairo dressed as a Muslim sheikh from India. In the area of Wadi Musa, in what is now Jordan, he overheard locals talking about an ancient city locked away behind an impenetrable mountain. He was dying to see it, but had to avoid looking suspicious: a true Muslim would consider such ruins to be the work of infidels and therefore uninteresting. Continue reading
The dancing chefs – We arrive by metro at the Mall of the Emirates, a huge shopping mall in Dubai’s Al Barsha district. It is one of the largest in the Middle East and has over 500 stores and about 80 cafés and restaurants. But the main reason we’re here is our hotel, the Kempinski Mall of the Emirates. Continue reading