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For the ease of accommodating critical meetings to do with the Bahamas Pavillion we started the week out at the Ritz Carlton in Dubai’s Financial District. A plush but understated abode, this time it proved to be too far away from EXPO City (45 minutes each way) and so we moved closer, relocating to Damac Hills, a burgeoning desert complex, already populated with multiple skyscrapers, foundations coming out of the ground for new structures and landscaped with thousands of transplanted palm trees. The competitive advantage is the immediate proximity to the highway to EXPO City and the availability of a complimentary shuttle to take you back and forth.
We arrived in the evening and so next day, at the break of dawn, from my 11th floor balcony in the Radisson, I ventured out into the warm air to survey the expansive landscape. Imagine my surprise when I discovered we were in Trump country and set out before me in all its splendor was a spanking new, beautifully manicured Trump Golf Course and Country Club surrounded by a Trump luxury villa estate that snaked the outskirts of the course. Apparently the Trump name was taken down when he won the presidency but it was still visible on posters here and there around the property. A small meandering man-made lake with three cascading water features was situated on the site and I could only imagine – conservation be damned - the amount of water it must take to maintain such an indulgent past-time in this scorching climate.
Moving out of the city, the accommodations at Radisson Damac Hills proved quite comfortable with a familiar homey feel. The relatively new hotel has only been open 4-6 months and the guest rooms are nicely appointed and fairly spacious; there are also residential apartments available for longer stays. Among the amenities, the hotel has a large swimming pool and fully equipped gym and spa and in the outdoors there is a natural running/walking track around the golf course’s perimeter for jogging enthusiasts. Incidentally, after his gym workout, Syd, the Manager made it a point to find us in one of the hotel’s three restaurants to welcome us to the Radisson. It was a very nice touch and endeared us even further to the property.
Somewhat exhausted from mounting jet lag and opting for Herra Street, the Asian Restaurant on the first night I could not believe my luck. The menu consisting of Indian and Asian cuisine, featured my favourite Thai Green Curry dish and so I was then totally besotted with the Radisson. On the second night we dined at Herra Street again and being the creature of habit that I am, I kicked it up a notch and ordered extra spicy Green Curry with added fresh hot chilli pepper which resulted in the occasional appreciative sniffles as I tucked into the meal. Ichiban and Shima, I have not abandoned you.
Within the complex, which I admit we have only passed in the car due to our pressing commitments to the opening and operation of Bahamas Pavillion, we have not had time to explore, however, there is a foodstore, a butcher shop, a pharmacy and a beauty salon within walking distance. Travel time between Damac Hills and EXPO City is now a more manageable 15 minute trek by car and after a long days work, a most welcome change.
Having stayed there, I have no doubt Radisson Damac Hills will offer suitable, reasonably priced accommodation for Bahamians planning to visit the EXPO2020. Breakfast, free wi-fi, shuttle bus to the EXPO is included in the price and this makes it an attractive option.