Dubai has a new cinema – and it’s not in a mall. It may not show the latest blockbuster movies but its 80 reclining leather chairs, chic setting and convenient cupholders nonetheless guarantee a premium viewing experience and it looks a great spot for a corporate presentation.
The private cinema is just one of many ultramodern, discreet touches in the overtly classical Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai on Palm Jumeirah, which is embarking on its first month of operations.
Cinemas aren’t new to hotels of course. I remember peeping into Bayerischer Hof in Munich, a more cosey auditorium with 38 seats – and you can watch art house films and classic movies in a number of London hotels.
But this modern auditorium shows how links forged between hospitality and entertainment in a Netflix age – which you can see on the other side of the city at the movie-loving Aloft City Centre Deira – continue to flourish.
I saw something else hidden from view recently, which has huge significance for premium travellers.
I was granted access to the new Emirates catering unit at DXB, which is dedicated to first and business class passengers. If you include the basement, it’s a vast, six-level commitment to providing the best F&B experiences in the air.
In contrast to neighbouring facilities, this one is more spacious and, as with everything in Dubai, built with one eye on the future. The public face of aviation is one of busy terminals but this operation is equally non-stop round the clock, and it’s another complex piece in the overall time-management jigsaw. Spare a thought as you place your on-board orders.
Wishing you all an enjoyable festive season,