Luke and Monica have been amazing throughout. Particularly with my recent booking for my parents. It’s safe to say they thoroughly enjoyed the trip and both Luke and Monica went the extra mile. I’ve used DialAFlight for the past 5-6 years and have never been less than amazed at the service. .
Damian, always great to deal with
Austin and his team always pull out the stops. First class
I know I can always depend on the fantastic Olivia. The airports were a nightmare but that is not her fault. On Tuesday my driver had to wait 3 hours for me to get out from the time we landed! And Ben Gurion in Israel was chaos.
Looking forward to our next trip booked with you.
Thank you DialAFlight, and also Harrison, everything went very smoothly and we had a great holiday. Very good service
Bruce did an amazing job as always
Excellent customer service as always. Everything I requested was arranged ahead of our arrival
Roger was an absolute star and sorted everything out amazingly well - a total legend
Amy is probably the best travel agent that I’ve ever dealt with. Always does her best to help and is a pleasure to deal with. Can’t wait for the next holiday!
Once again great service start to finish
Perfect, even with covid setbacks everything was sorted even when we were away - will be using again.
Brilliant as usual - many thanks Sally
Fabulous holiday and great recommendations from Manny
Darryll did a fabulous job!
Another great trip thanks!
Worked with Pete for several years since we had a flight cancelled due to covid and then booked full holiday to Dubai with him. He was great. Nothing was a problem and the holiday was fantastic!
Great advice and help from start to finish. Couldn’t speak more highly of everyone we spoke with.
Mike is a legend. Never book through any other agent ever. Superb, always there when you need him, simple and hassle free, that’s all you need. Thank you ever so much from the whole team.
Ryan was a great help throughout the whole process.
Many thanks for your assistance and advice
Just to say no meal on the BA flight to Amman over 5 hours flying- considered poor service by them.
Loved the whole trip so much. Thank you Michelle for your support from start to finish!
Vinnie is excellent. Helpful, great advice, costs are always competitive and can not do enough to help.
The team were great but Nicole, in particular, was extremely professional and patient. An asset to your business.
Yet another great holiday organised by Roray.
The booking was extremely easy and Jim so helpful and professional.
Great service from Roray as always
Guy very helpful as always.
If we build it they will come' could be the mantra of the overarchingly ambitious project that is Dubai.
My first visit in 2002 was a stopover from Afghanistan where I'd been reporting for ITN. We were awed by the scale and luxury. We drank lurid cocktails at a swim-up bar and watched dredgers spraying arcs of sand into the sea. Someone said they were creating a huge island, the shape of a date palm. The idea seemed so fantastical as to be unbelievable.
Through audacity, far-sighted-ness and an ability to hold its nerve through the financial crash, Dubai has created a futuristic mega-city that's now the fourth largest tourist draw on Earth.
If visitors ask to see the 'real' Dubai, they're pointed towards The Creek, where wooden boats once fished the saltwater inlet and traders from India and East Africa supplied souks on the water's edge. There, visitors are assured, they can still find authentic heritage. But the Creek is being transformed. Tourist boats still chug down the waterway but today they're spotting super-yachts and giddying construction projects.
And its centrepiece, sitting long and low on the waterfront, is one of the most ambitious and high-end hotels to date - the Palazzo Versace. Imagine fusing the most flamboyant Italian fashion house with the pulsating emporium of wealth and ambition which is Dubai. You might picture the result as a fest of gaudy excess.
Yet the Palazzo Versace, a vast neoclassical construction that resembles a 16th Century Italian palace is, dare I say, subtle and tasteful amid gold and glass skyscrapers that pierce the clouds all over town. It may be restrained in Dubai terms, but it's not low-key. The entrance has striking high ceilings, and a huge glass frontage overlooking the water.
There's the vast mosaic on the floor, made up of more than a million pieces and the size of an Olympic swimming pool, beyond which there is, well, an Olympic-size swimming pool.
And marble everywhere. Then there are the furnishings. Every single piece of furniture and fabric in the hotel's 215 rooms and suites is designed and tailor-made by the House of Versace.
At this point I may have been reviewing the wisdom of bringing my three pre-teenage boys along. I wouldn't let them walk past a Versace store at home for fear they'd cause costly damage; now they were effectively living in one.
Yet, from the off they rose to the challenge. They might have spent the whole first day in their vast room playing with a console that created mood lighting and operated the curtains had our butler (yes, really) not offered them a hotel tour.
They discovered the central infinity pool is for adults only but as there are two other huge pools, it wasn't exactly a hardship.
They were quickly on first name terms with most of the staff. They struck up a friendship with a Malaysian chef who sent over duck pancakes each time we ate at the fantastic buffet.
A DESERT ADVENTURE
We swerved the famed shopping malls (some the size of 50 football pitches), instead heading to the desert in search of adventure. Our guide, Saleh, looked incongruous in the marble foyer in a huge pair of desert boots, as did his 4x4 among the Ferraris and Bentleys outside.
But half an hour later the skyscrapers had given way to sand dunes and we were spotting oryx resting in the evening sun.
That was the calm before the sand storm as the dune bashing began: this is a sort of do-it-yourself rollercoaster where your vehicle climbs to the top of a dune, then lurches perilously down the other side.
Another day trip was to a water park where my children sought out the scariest rides. As a gift to myself, for surviving, we had dinner in the Palazzo Versace's Enigma restaurant. The restaurant showcases top chefs from around the world. Each comes for a three or four-month stay. We were fed by Quique Dacosta, who has a three-star Michelin restaurant near Alicante. It was an incredible sensory experience.
This hotel is the centrepiece of what Dubai calls its 'Culture Village'. If you think culture and Dubai don't belong in the same sentence, that's to underestimate its incredible vision. In a few years Dubai will have an opera house to rival Sydney's.
So could this centre of conspicuous consumption become a destination for art and culture tourism? You wouldn't bet against it. After all it's not as farfetched as building a giant island shaped like a palm tree in the Arabian Gulf.
First published in the Daily Mail - March 2017
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