To be able to use the title Being In Dubai, the Sybaritic Single simply had to be at the opening of The Bulgari Resort & Residences, the fifth hotel in the brand’s portfolio. 36 hours before the new luxury hotel opened its doors to the general public on December 7th, 2017, Jean-Christophe Babin (CEO of Bulgari) and Abdulla Al Habbai (Group Chairman of MERAAS, owner of the resort) hosted one of the most lavish opening parties Dubai has seen. Staged across three locations, it commenced around the hotel’s circular swimming pool, continued on the main terrace at the marina, and then guests were chauffeured in electric cars to the final destination: the yacht club.
Flown in were top-models Lena Perminova, Bella Hadid, Jon Kortajarena, Swedish Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander and Jasmine Sanders as well as a surprisingly eclectic mix of international B-list media and social media influencers who seemed to confuse the “resort chic” dress-code with “ballroom gowns”.
The official part was painless with only two brief speeches, one by Jean-Christophe Babin who believes that the Dubai opening is the finest out of the five Bulgari hotels to date “with the highest count of carats”, and another by a TV personality Wissam Breidy, who is best known for his role on the Lebanese version of the popular reality competition series “Dancing with the Stars”. His suit looked as if it danced all the way from Beirut and never met a steamer – the Sybaritic Single quietly felt sorry for the Italian fashion industry. And though the red soles of his Louboutins were still in almost immaculate condition, the shoes themselves might have enjoyed a bit of polishing by Berluti (which is a thoughtful service offered at the new hotel).
The nicely chilled Krug flowed generously from magnums throughout the evening and the bill must have been very, very steep as the number of guests seemed to be close to a thousand. Sadly, the Sybaritic Single left his own red crystal flûte to rest in his wooden trunk as the hotel ran out of Champagne flûtes half-way through the night and proposed using other shapes of glassware. The Champagne issue got more serious half an hour before midnight, when the hotel quietly switched from Krug to screw-top wines. The Sybaritic Single hurried to the closest bar to refresh his glass with something proper, even if at his own expense. The staff refused to sell any Champagne and insisted on the wines. Unprepared to compromise, that left the Sybaritic Single with no other choice than a glass of water.
The A-list disappeared from the scene around same moment as the Krug, and the Sybaritic Single hurried away from the Jumeirah Bay Island before anything else around him turned into a pumpkin. Upon departure, he was presented with a large square ceramic plate by Richard Ginori in an even larger box to commemorate the opening of Dubai’s newest luxury hotel – a nice memento, some might say.