For a number of reasons, I flew with my wife and daughter to Dubai on Saturday (Feb. 26th), stayed at the Bulgari Resort in the Jumeira Bay Island, and flew out to Amsterdam on Tuesday (March 1st).

The outbound flight was an adventure in itself, as the first leg was delayed to a point where we would have missed our connecting flight in Amsterdam, so we changed our tickets to go via Paris… but getting the luggage (already checked in for the other flight) was an ordeal. But it ended up working well, and after an epic layover in Paris we made it to Dubai.

By the way, the Air France lounge in Charles de Gaulle airport is really cool, with amazing food, showers, and even free massages.

What were we doing in Dubai?

  • Celebrating a birthday
  • Inspecting properties
  • Having fun

I had already been at the Bulgari Dubai, where I gave a talk to UHNWIs for the Swiss Private Bank UBS in November 2019. But I did not stayed there that time, I stayed at the Four Seasons. This time I took my revenge thanks to my wife.

The Bulgari is an amazing hotel and resort, with a private Yacht Club, that is not only very luxurious (and expensive!) but also very discreetly elegant and exclusive. My daughter told me Cristiano Ronaldo had stayed there just a few days before us, and it did not surprise me. There were plenty of “Kardashian-look-alike” around. Everything was perfect, from the service (as one would expect) to the room, spa, food… We had a blast and it felt way too short of a time to enjoy the wonderful gardens, swimming pool, views, and everything they had to offer.

Breakfast at the Yacht Club had quite a view of some nice yachts, and there was even a super yacht taking up half of the marina. But the real show was the parking lot: Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Ferraris, Porsches, McLarens… yes, all in plural, coming in and out all day and night long. Like my wife said: It’s the first time I don’t mind having a suite with views to the parking lot :-) Truth be told, we also had views to the Yacht Club.

In any case, we didn’t spend all our time at the resort, even though that would have been fine.

On Sunday we spent all day on a “desert safari” with Arabian Adventures. On the way we saw the preparations for a camel race. Then we rode a 4WD through the dunes at high speed, saw Oryx and Gazelles at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, rode a camel, sandboarding, henna painting, and had a delicious traditional dinner while watching a surprisingly good show with belly dancer, fire show, and a Tanoura dancer.

Some Saturday and Sunday photos here

On Monday we inspected several properties (the first four all by Jumeirah, all part of a large complex):

  • The very iconic, colorful and luxurious Burj Al Arab, where we visited the Presidential Suite, the Skyview Bar and Restaurant, with the tallest hotel atrium (180m) in the world (incredible views), and the Ristorante L’Olivo, with a gorgeous aquarium all around, like the Submarine Restaurant in Valencia. Then we took a golf cart that took us to the next property…
  • The Al Naseem, with a traditional structure but contemporary decor.
  • The Mina A’Salam, with traditional Arab decor,where we boarded the canal boat to take us to the next hotel…
  • The Al Qasr, palatial in style, where we had lunch at the Al Fayrooz Lounge
  • The Shangri-La, where had the best views of Dubai, and had dinner at the excellent Cantonese cuisine restaurant Shang Palace (gold-foiled lobster dumplings anyone?)

Some Monday photos here

On Tuesday, after some fun at the beach (yes, I did paddleboard without falling a single time), we went to inspect The Atlantis The Palm, another very iconic, colorful, and big property in Dubai. We toured the massive Royal Bridge Suite with very discreet door, backside entrance direct from the parking lot (where a Bugatti Veyron was parked), private elevator, and every amenity you can think of. This is the suite where JLo, Kim Kardashian, or Katy Perry have stayed, for example.

Then we changed into our swimsuits again to spend most of the rest of the day at the Aquaventure Water Park. With 105 slides, water sports, and tons of activities, we did have a blast, although the lines were not as short as we would have liked.

To wrap up the day, we headed to the Dubai Mall, to have dinner at the Grand Cafe (we would have preferred Hoqqa, but their terrace was open only to adults because of the smoking), and see the fountain and Burj Khalifa light shows.

After dinner we rushed back to the Bulgari to shower and change at the spa, pick up our luggage, and go to the airport.

Some Tuesday photos here

A wonderful trip!