My husband and I spent the holiday at the amazing JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai. Yes, Dubai…the site of the horrific fire last night. More on that in a moment. We made our reservations six months ago and everything was perfect. Our evening began with photos in the lobby and dinner at the Tong Thai restaurant in the hotel. The set menu, served family style, included five different appetizers, soup, sorbet, six main course dishes, and dessert. Apparently since I stay at Marriott properties a lot, the staff knew my birthday was in just a few days and surprised me with cake and a song. So much food…and this was only the beginning of the evening.
Afterwards we headed to the Vault on the 72nd floor. We had reserved our table, looking onto the Burj Khalifa. To my surprise we were table #1, and had the very best view of the Dubai skyline. On one side we could see all the way into the dessert on the outer limits of Dubia; on the other, we could see the beach and the Burj Arabia.
Unfortunately, this also meant that we were witness to the terrible fire that engulfed The Address, a luxury hotel and apartment building attached to the Dubai Mall and near the Burj Khalifa. At first, we thought the flames shooting up the side of the building was a video, but quickly realized they were real. Everyone in the Vault stood at the windows helpless, watching the flames engulf the building. All only prayed that everyone makes it out safely.
As of this afternoon, the fire was out; only 16 minor injuries were reported. One person did suffer a heart attack and there has been no word on his/her condition. This is stunning given how fast the fire spread and knowing that the hotel, all 63 floors, was booked solid, and their bars and lounges on the top floors would have been packed.
What a start to the new year. One we will not soon forget. So Happy New Year to you all and here’s to all the joys and adventures of 2016.