My friends Al and Nate had milestone birthdays, only a few days apart, in November and so they decided to share a birthday celebration and do something different – a day trip to Lebanon (island)!
This is part of the World Islands Nakheel project – it was opened to the public last year, then shut down during summer (one can only assume due to the heat?) and it re-opened on the weekend of 23rd November, for public use. A mere AED250 gets you a speed-boat trip there and back, and use of the towels, swimming pool, beach lounges etc. We also made use of the cabanas, which I believe is normally an additional charge, however due to it being quiet we had the use of them at no cost.
The island is gorgeous! It immediately relaxes you as soon as you step off the boat (which are meant to run every 30 minutes between 12-2pm to the island; then return every 30 minutes between 4-6pm from the island). You head over to the welcome desk, after being handed a wonderfully cold towel to wash your face, then hand over your money and are given your towel. And off you go – find your spot for the day!
Since we were a fairly large group, we took up a few lounges on the beach, and placed our bags and flops in the cabanas behind us. The cabanas are a nifty idea – air-conditioned with 2 big sofas in, a toilet, and a shower. A nice little spot to get away from the sun, should you feel the need. And of course a great place to dump bags etc., without them getting full of sand 🙂 Once settled, we then headed to the bar to get stuck in.
Oh boy, were we in for a big surprise though! The
barmen dudes behind the bar, had absolutely NO idea how to open a beer bottle (it had to be done by the guys ordering the drinks); when asked if a friend could order a Pina Colada, the response she got was “A Tina Colada? What kind of beer is that?” !!!! When we ordered a few Corona’s to be delivered to our spot by the pool, they brought them, unopened (no problem there) but without a bottle opener!!! And it seemed to get worse from there. And we were not the only ones complaining…. I overheard a woman speaking to the chef about how ridiculous it was that their group’s food was delivered at different times – but, not just 5 or 10 minutes between dishes… oh no! 45 minutes between the dishes! So one person was done eating before the rest even got their food. When another friend of mine went to ask for a bottle of white wine, all of the bottles were neatly placed along the bar counter – not even slightly chilled! They managed to dig out one bottle of cold wine for her (and she then proceeded to advise them to put the rest of the bottles in the fridge!), only to then have her have to open it herself!
After about 2 hours of us getting used to the fact that they had no idea, and slowly then showing them / telling them how to do things correctly, we settled back and decided to rather just enjoy the relaxation and beauty of the island, and not let the lack of service ruin a wonderful day.
It really is a pity that they had no clue as the island itself is fabulous, and has soooo much potential – if they only upped their service! We are unsure of whether we’ll be back or not – I guess it depends on further reports we hear of the place.