Dinner in the Sky has made its way back on to the UAE food scene.
The big dinner table in the clouds, which debuted at Dubai Marina this week and elevates diners 50 meters into the air, will be a permanent fixture in the emirate for at least the next three months.
One of the world’s unique dining initiatives, Dinner in the Sky is not for the faint-hearted. As one of the first people to strap in and reach for the sky, I can tell you that while it is one for the bucket list, you should not underestimate the fear factor.
After signing an obligatory disclaimer acknowledging the risks and being shuttled to the location, opposite Skydive Dubai at Dubai International Marine Club, it was with sweaty palms and a quickened heart rate that I climbed into one of the 22 bucket seats for the 55-minute culinary-inspired flight of fancy.
Suffice to say that for all the cool vibes I had mustered before I arrived; my nerves were anything but calm when I realized there was no glass platform under foot, just a small footrest and the desert air around my ankles.
As a safety crew member strapped me in – with a harness over each shoulder and around my waist – I began thinking: “It’ll be fine, 50 meters isn’t that high, is it? Oh my gosh, what am I doing?”
Once everyone was secure, the crane slowly lifted us into the air, a process that took less than 10 minutes. Surprisingly, on the way up, the platform did not move much – if it had, I think I would have been even more terrified, the swaying of the light shades was enough for me.
Halfway up, I discovered the answer to my earlier question: yes, 50m is high – and 55 minutes started to feel like the eternity.
“I think half the time would work for me,” says a blogger seated next to me, who also had the jitters.
I was fine when I looked out at the horizon – but it was a whole other story when it came to looking down, which I could not do, at least not for the first 35 minutes or so. And, in true scaredy-cat style, I never went as far as swiveling my seat around to get the 360-degree view.
That said, the scenery was certainly amazing. No matter which seat you are in, you are guaranteed an Instagrammable view – whether of the marina itself, The Beach at JBR, Atlantis the Palm, the Burj Al Arab or the Burj Khalifa. If you are not happy with your initial Vista, do not worry, because halfway through the sitting the platform rotates 180 degrees.
But what about the food? I joined a brunch session, in which I was served a fruit platter and a muffin and croissant to start, followed by scrambled eggs on toast with hash brown, tomato, and sausage on the side, tea, and coffee.
All meals are catered by the Ritz- Carlton JBR, and it is worth noting that if you have a particular dietary requirement, you need to make it known at the time of booking.
The food was OK, but it was not exactly gastronomy at its finest – after all, it has to be transportable and easy to prepare, so don’t expect Michelin-star quality or you’ll be disappointed. For me, the experience is more about the view than the food.
Shortly after the main meal was served, it was time to let us down gently. At this point, I finally plucked up the nerve to look directly down – for some reason; it always seems easier when you’re headed that way.
Although the idea is not new to Dubai – it has been available for corporate events in the past – this is the first time it has been open to the general public.
“Dubai is one of the best cities in the world,” says Ahmed Ishbair, the managing director of High Sky Events, the company behind the UAE concept.