Yup – you read that right: Barr and I spend last night in Lebanon! Now before you start thinking “Cedars! Hezbollah! Ancient Roman Ruins!”, keep your shirt on. Although Beirut is on my travel bucket list while we live in Dubai, Barr and I actually went to The World island of Lebanon last night.
The ultimate goal for building these islands was, like almost all the ridiculous/amazing architecture in Dubai, to drive global awareness to Dubai and of course, tourism. (Side note: the Burj Al Arab, the sail-like hotel built jutting out into the ocean, base “island” cost more to build alone than the entire hotel’s original budget – although this was obviously an incredibly expensive and at the time unheard of kind of project, it has paid off as an iconic part of Dubai’s skyline and tourist attraction.)
But I digress.
Currently, a significant majority of these islands are not utilized, but hopefully as the economy picks up (knock on wood?), companies and private buyers will purchase the islands for residential use, commercial use, and resorts/hotels. One of the islands has been fully developed: Lebanon! Two of the senior individuals from Barr’s office are retiring, and the entire Dubai office (all 250 office peeps plus significant others) were invited to the island of Lebanon (The Royal Island Beach Club) to celebrate and commemorate the retirements.
We met a boat and powered out about 20 minutes to the middle of the Arabian Gulf – it was dark, but you could see islands on the left and right; I wish it had been light outside so we could see more! Here are some of my terrible and shaky nighttime IPhone shots:
We arrived to champagne, nibbles, tiki huts, a dance floor, beach chairs, a pool…I mean you name it, it was there. Lebanon is currently the only World Island that is open to the public – for $130 one gets use of the island, transportation, dinner, music.
It was a really fun and different way to start our weekend, and definitely a Halloween to remember; I did, however, enjoy coming home last night to lots of hilarious and adorable Instagram and Facebook posts – keep them coming, friends/family – we miss you all! And happy November – I will be one of those super festive people playing Christmas music starting circa now 🙂 #dontjudge #actuallyjudgeidontcare Until next time…