Video: Despite a global recession the luxury retail sector appears to be booming, with no shortage of innovative products available to those with a big bank account. Armed with an open cheque Phil Blizzard goes on a shopping spree - the lowest priced items being a gold plated iPad and matching iPhone at Dhs.45,000/- and at the top of the scale, millions of dirhams for limited edition sports cars.
United Arab Emirates:
Wednesday, April 10 - 2013 at 11:23
From an eco-helicopter to a BMW car adapted as a racing simulator and audio systems costing over EUR300,000 the check-out bill for Phil Blizzard's luxury shopping spree totalled just under Dhs5m! For those with a hankering for a luxury lifestyle the show at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre provided the ultimate playground for those seeking thrill-providing toys, alongside a wide range of uber-luxury items.
A long wheel base version of Audi's flagship A8 luxury saloon gave Phil Blizzard a seamless journey from Munich to Salzburg in Austria. The drive, ahead of the cars debut in the Middle East, relied upon the sophisticated SatNav system to negotiate the busy autobahn and the picturesque country roads of Bavaria.
The prospect of luxurious stay in the deserts of the UAE and Oman with an energy-generating and self sustaining Geo Lodge is an attractive proposition as Phil Blizzard discovered when he toured the ultimate camping tent.
The Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead coupe creates a certain graceful elegance against the backdrop of the desert sands at Bab al Shams. Phil Blizzard reports on this luxurious convertible as it joined a fleet of Rolls Royce Ghosts for the drive to Dubai.
Sitting in the Rolls Royce Ghost one is immersed in the luxury and comfort more often associated with London's finest and most exclusive Gentlemen's Clubs, rather than a motor car. This luxurious saloon is now available in the UAE, which gave Phil Blizzard the opportunity to drive the Ghost, which is smaller than the Rolls Royce Phantom, across Dubai and on to the desert resort of Bab al Shams.
Raffles Dubai creates an impressive landmark on the skyline of the city as the 19 storey structure stretches skywards - capped with a glass jewel at the pinnacle of the pyramid. In the footsteps of the great Egyptologists of days gone by Phil Blizzard enters the pyramid for a exploration of this luxury hotel.
Even before the initial order deliveries begin in December 2010, the newest luxury offering from Bentley has sold out. Phil Blizzard previews the sporty Bentley Mulsanne, which has a starting price of around Dhs1.4 million.
A luxury suite in The Meydan hotel, alongside the Dubai World Cup race track at Nad al Sheba, is a top favourite for this edition of Luxury Lifestyle. Phil Blizzard, under starters orders, races around the Meydan Suite, with its subtle equine interior design elements, to capture the style of this suite at this world famous venue.
Al Barari features some of the most luxurious villas you will find in Dubai. Located in the royal enclave of Nad al Sheba this one of the lowest density eco-sensitive developments in the region. Set in landscaped botanical gardens with distinctive themes the villas provide serenity with nature as Phil Blizzard discovered.
The Armani Hotel, Dubai located in Burj Khalifa, is now into its second month of operation. Phil Blizzard provides a glimpse into an Armani Signature Suite and previews an interview with Marc Dardenne, CEO, Emaar Hospitality Group and Emaar Hotels & Resorts.
The majestic Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, has added more gold to its ornate decor as it becomes home to the world's first "Gold To Go" vending machine. Phil Blizzard looks at how this luxury metal is now available for purchase at anytime with Hans Olbertz, GM, Emirates Palace.
Fashion guru Giorgio Armani has entered into the world of hospitality with his first venture, along with Emaar Properties, and the opening of the Armani Hotel Dubai, which is located within Burj Khalifa. Phil Blizzard takes a preview tour of the hotel which is set to raise the benchmark in luxury hospitality.
The Hyatt Regency Kathmandu offers international standards with local flavours and even features a hotel within a hotel. The Newari architecture reflects the traditional style, enhanced by the stunning backdrop of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, as Phil Blizzard reports.
The J Craft Torpedo sports cruiser is a luxurious day yacht with a strong statement of personality and lifestyle. Making its debut in the Middle East the J Craft encompasses a classical design from a bygone era, along with the latest technology as Phil Blizzard discovered at the Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi.