January 10, 2017 / Leave a Comment
If you’re a foodie, you’ve probably heard of Dinner in the Sky. With over 3000 meal flights conducted, it’s had it’s fair share of press around the globe. I’ve long admired the pictures of this amazing experience conducted worldwide, hoping one day I would get to try it. With the sky-high table winging it’s way back to Dubai, I finally got my chance to tick this crazy ride off my bucket list.
My flight was booked in for breakfast (weekends only, 599dhs), but you can also choose from afternoon tea, lunch and dinner, priced at 499dhs, 599dhs and 699dhs respectively. Add another 100dhs if you’d like a weekend slot (Thurs-Sat). It’s food and soft beverages only, sadly unlike other DITS operations around the world, this one doesn’t have a license which is a real shame. I could have used a glass of champers (or ten) to calm the nerves!
Situated at DIMC (don’t worry, we hadn’t heard of it either), you’ll rendezvous at the infamous Barasti car park to start your journey to 50m in the air for some one-of-a-kind Dubai Marina views. Red carpet and an air-conditioned tent awaits, giving you a moment to compose yourself before you’re strapped in and begin your journey to 150 feet in the air….that’s a lot of feet, I can tell you. Speaking of feet, those on the shorter side will find theirs dangling – make sure you wear appropriate footwear, you wouldn’t want to injure someone below by losing a shoe (or scratch up those Louboutins with a 50 metre drop on to concrete)!
Strapped in and beginning to ascend, I’ll admit I questioned the sanity of my decision to accept this invitation…and pondered how much of an idiot I would look like if I asked to go back down immediately. I was so terrified I almost made an Instagram Stories will to bequeath my wine glass collection to A to Za’atar should this be my last supper (or breakfast rather). With so many flights under their belt, the Dinner in the Sky team are experts when it comes to safety – but I think I would have enjoyed the experience more if we weren’t the inaugural group! Luckily for you however, I’ve already road-tested it and can say I safely landed back on the ground in one piece.
Our breakfast menu included fruit, a small croissant and a (rather terrible) chocolate muffin set up ready as you begin the ride. I’m pretty amazed that I’m offered a coffee in the sky, though I was a tad scared of dropping it! A small and simple dish of scrambled eggs, hash brown and tiny chicken sausage (oh, one cherry tomato too) is the main component of the meal, but was not served up until very late in the ride – around ten minutes before descending. I had only managed a few bites of mine before we were back on the ground, and most plates I saw were at least half full too.
Sadly the food was the real let down of the experience – after I’d lusted after the amazing looking global flights that included appearances from such chefs as Alain Passard and Pierre Gagnaire, being served what would really be a 35dhs breakfast (with a 599dhs price tag) was so disappointing.
I would have much preferred to see one (or many) of Dubai’s great chefs or restaurants whip up something a little (or a lot) more interesting instead of stock-standard hotel catering from The Ritz-Carlton DIFC. It just doesn’t match the glamour or excitement of the flight, and turned what is purported to be a gastronomic experience in the sky into more of a general extreme ‘ride’ of sorts. The food feels like a definite afterthought in this installment of Dining in the Sky. I feel they really missed an opportunity to complete the experience here with the menu design, and I think I would have been able to relax and enjoy a lot more if it were licensed or I was offered a celebratory glass of bubbles before the flight. I’d also like to see them offer some half duration flights as for some people, 25 minutes would be more than enough (the thought of 55 minutes up there was rather daunting at the start I’ll admit).
It’s a once in a lifetime experience that is sure to create some lasting memories – though, now after collecting my thoughts, I’d almost like to try it a second time at sunset and try to and enjoy more and worry less. If you approach it as less of a foodie experience and more of a novelty ride I think you’ll be satisfied with the offering – it falls in to more of the helicopter/sea plane type of experience category (but crossed with bungy jump style thrills). Let’s just say it’s not for the faint of heart – the spinning of the table had my stomach in knots (perhaps it’s a good thing there wasn’t too much in the way of food!). If you’re a thrill seeker and love extreme sports and theme park rides, this is an experience you’re going to love. Anyone with a nervous disposition (me) or vertigo might want to think twice about whether this is the best dining location for them (or consider a dose of dutch courage). One thing’s for sure, your photos and videos are going to be a hit – so why not invest in an experience that will definitely be one you won’t forget.