Girlahead went to WALDORF ASTORIA DUBAI PALM JUMEIRAH ahead of the COP-28 Summit, which runs 28th November to 12th December. It’s going to be at Expo City in Dubai, and the programme is impersonally impressive. The word ‘impersonal’ is relevant as the website merely says, for instance, for the opening day: ‘the Offices of the President of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28) and the UN Climate Change High Level Champions, UNFCCC, UN Women, IUCN, and WEDO will convene a global conference on gender and environment data’.
COP’s hidden organiser – who, admittedly, could be a bot – is scattering the over-130 delegations throughout the city. Many, it is rumoured, will be at ONE&ONLY ZABEEL, still in pre-opening stage. The well-established Waldorf Astoria will have 16 delegations, their identities revealed only on 27th November. Never fear, the 520 team members who make the 319-room hotel work can surely muster up at least one person who could talk to delegations, say, from Azerbaijan or Zambia.
At the hotel, GM David Wilson was full of beams. He had been here, took sabbatical to try asset management further along The Palm and returned here full of enthusiasm and bonhomie. A spell in a windowless office convinced him he’s a walking the floor operator rather than a behind the scenes boy (note to all GMs, take a spell out to convince yourself the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side).
So Girlahead guzzled a lunchtime salmon poke in a blue ceramic bowl on a blue linen-covered table shielded from the midday glare. David Wilson talked about life, and food, and, so topical, sustainability. The cooking oil used for a side of sweet potato fries, got instance, is now collected, to become biofuel.