DUBAI // Hotel staff at Grand Midwest Tower Hotel in Dubai Media City spent the morning preparing pink balloons, party hats and a welcome sign to celebrate the homecoming of a baby born in their lobby yesterday.
Proud parents Konstantin Rodygin, 31, a Russian expatriate who has worked in Dubai for three years, and his wife Valentina, 25, were greeted by a small crowd of local press, hotel guests and staff, as they returned to the hotel, where they live in a serviced apartment.
The child, a healthy baby girl weighing 4kg, was born within three minutes, her father said.
“It was amazing,” said Peter Flynn, 23, a front office executive at the hotel, who helped with the delivery. “I could hear the baby before I saw it. She was crying, so we knew she was okay.”
Nilmini De Alwis, an executive housekeeper at the hotel, who also assisted in the birth, said, “We wanted Mrs Rodygina to feel special and that she belongs here, especially because she didn’t have her mother or father with her. But her husband was like her doctor; he was very supportive. It was wonderful.”
The girl was born at about 12.45pm in the hotel's reception area. An ambulance was called but the baby had already been born by the time medics arrived.
Zafar Shah, the chairman of the hotel, earlier today said he plans to name their room after the child and she can stay at the hotel free of charge any time she wants.
"It's fantastic," he said. "The staff really did a great job. I have been told by the management on duty that the husband and wife were on their way to the hospital as the mother had labour pains. Immediately she sat down on the couch in the lobby and asked for assistance."
The staff closed off the area and helped deliver the child.
"They weren't expecting it - it is a miracle," Mr Shah said. "Because of the environment not being clinically sterilised it was important to then get the family to the hospital."
Hotel staff were elated by the event yesterday, saying it was one of the most exciting and moving things they had ever been a part of. "It was an amazing thing," said one member of staff, who did not wish to be named.
"She was coming down in the lift; I was told that she was giving birth, and then I saw her on the couch and she had the baby."
The mother and child were taken to Al Wasl Hospital before they returned to the hotel.