By KAHLA PRESTON
I don’t know about you, but five-star meals in the desert and intimate performances by Gloria Gaynor rarely feature in my travel itineraries.
An occasional restaurant meal and the odd night in a private hostel room (rather than the usual 12-bunk arrangement) is about as luxurious as it gets when I’m abroad. Bonus points if it’s a hotel.
So when I travelled to Dubai as part of the Qantas-Emirates partnership launch last month, I suddenly found myself in a world of fluffy hotel robes, fine dining and flowing champagne. Along with a small VIP contingent of Qantas staff, fellow media personnel and ‘friends of Qantas’ (i.e. famous people), I was spoiled rotten from the moment I arrived in Dubai.
Actually, I lie – even the trip to Dubai was a luxury.
As a rather tall person with limited flexibility, jet-setting, while exciting, is not a physically comfortable experience. However, being seated in premium economy – and then being upgraded to business class (!!) on the return flight – was an “aha!” moment. Who knew it was possible to sleep on a flight and not wake up with a debilitating case of pins and needles or a leg cramp? Revolutionary.
My two days in Dubai passed in an exciting flurry of press conferences, fascinating tours, mingling (a local souk merchant was convinced Hugh Sheridan and I looked so alike we were siblings. In fact, we could not look less related), fabulous events – and food. Oh, such delicious food, and an abundance of it. This is rather problematic when the words, “No, I shan’t have another slice of cake, for I am already full,” have never escaped your mouth. Even now, I think my body is still running on the meals I ate in Dubai. No regrets.
At this point, you may be wondering what Gloria Gaynor has to do with all of this.
In celebration of their new venture, Qantas and Emirates hosted a spectacular gala dinner in a giant, decked-out tent at Atlantis resort, with over 700 guests present. While I tried to determine which set of cutlery corresponded with each dinner menu item (confusing!), it was revealed that the two airlines had each selected a performer to entertain the crowd. Aussie representative Jessica Mauboy gave a fantastic performance, but there wasn’t a jaw in the room that didn’t hit the dancefloor when Gloria Gaynor strutted on stage.