We take a closer look at the stranger happenings in and around Dubai.
Becky Lucas and Jeremy Lawrence
Amnesia attack Who wants to wander through The Dubai Mall’s Aquarium Tunnel when, in a few weeks, you’ll be able to dive inside it? Naturally, as soon as we heard this, we wondered whether that was such a good idea – what with a couple of the Aquarium’s divers allegedly getting attacked by its Tiger Sharks recently. ‘The sharks never attacked any of my divers,’ Yousef Al Ali, the mall’s GM quickly clarified. ‘I was never told about any such attacks. The company we’re working with has been running Aquariums all over the world for 15 years – so it will definitely be safe.’ And will they be getting a Whale Shark anytime soon, we innocently asked. ‘No – we don’t agree with that,’ was their categorical reply.
Table for who? Your guide to getting a booking at one of Atlantis’s restaurants, part 105. The Insider thought we’d cracked this a few weeks ago by bypassing the reservation line and booking directly with the restaurants, only to be foiled at our own game. ‘A booking for two for Ronda Locatelli this evening? Impossible,’ we were told. So it was funny to turn up unannounced to a half-empty restaurant and a friendly ‘No problem’ when we asked to be seated. Don’t even get us started on Ossiano. Five phone calls to get on the waiting list only to turn up to yet another half-empty restaurant? We’re begging you, sort it out!
Free styling You know that thing about rich people being tighter than a fl amingo’s posterior? Well, it might be time to inspect the nether regions of millionaire, American rap star, Akon. Or at least, those of his staff. First up, he supposedly demanded several Dubai clubs pay for his ‘birthday party,’ during his stay for the Urban Desert Festival in April. Then last Thursday Arabic- Canadian rapper The Narcicyst of Euphrates (as seen in Time Out) received a call ahead of his gig at Alpha last weekend. ‘Akon’s coming,’ he was informed. ‘He wants a free table and entrance.’ Then who should turn up, hand poised for an entry stamp? His manager and his mates, while Akon prepared to play a private gig for some VIPS. And probably feeling a tad lonely.