x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

So, business and pleasure do mix

The Park Hyatt Dubai offers views of the creek.
The Park Hyatt Dubai offers views of the creek.

Andrew Neil, the former editor of The Sunday Times and chairman of ITP, is reported to have dubbed the Park Hyatt Dubai a "mausoleum". I have disagreed with my old pal on many occasions over the years, normally over politics, but this may be the final straw. It may have been a bit quiet the day (or night) he visited, but I can't think of a Dubai hotel that I would rather stay at for business purposes.

Of course, one could argue that it is a little bit away from some parts of the city and that its business centre is not that prominent.

I am sure there is a business centre, but the fact is that nobody uses it any more. Business centres are places where you used to be able to send faxes for a pound a page. Nobody does that anymore either.

These days the modern businessman like myself has his own mobile office in either his BlackBerry or iPhone. What the traveller needs is this: a good place to rest one's weary head, a decent-sized bath and shower, a balcony and creek view. If you forget your charger, you need somebody to bring you one. You want a nice place to swim in the morning, a decent breakfast and sometimes even a spa. (You might want to bring your wife along.) You want to hear birdsong. You want an array of bars and restaurants, because business people are people too, and need to eat and drink.

All these desires are beautifully met at the Park Hyatt, and the service is friendly and impeccable too. Just 10 minutes away from Dubai's International Financial Centre, there is even a golf course next door in the awful event that your meetings get cancelled.

All this, and it has the additional advantage that you are unlikely to run into Andrew Neil.