All set for a FAB-ulous occasion in the land of Atlantis

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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From the lush greenness and mild Autumn climate of Limerick to the blazing heat of Dubai; from the Atlantic coast to a modern-day Atlantis, it’s a tale of contrast for the ever-relocating Moodie Report interim Bureau over the past few days.

I’m back on the move.

The image above shows the spectacular skyline looking out from Atlantis The Palm Dubai, where I’m holed up (in some splendour it must be said) for The Moodie Report & Foodie Report’s third annual Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards. From my room 13 floors up at this sprawling hotel, leisure and entertainment resort, I have a magnificent panoramic view of the modern-day metropolis that has emerged from virtually nothing over the past three decades.

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Within the resort, one can swim with the dolphins (as opposed to sleeping with the fishes, which a few people have suggested I do), which is hugely popular with tourists, especially the Finns of course. You can also  shop or dine till you drop; choose from a bewildering range of spa treatments; enjoy complimentary access to Aquaventure Waterpark , the number one water park in the Middle East and Europe, overflowing (hopefully not literally), I am assured with 42 fun-filled acres for all ages (even mine apparently); and gaze at The Lost Chambers Aquarium, home to 65,000 marine animals. Alternatively you can just chill out (if that’s possible in these furnace-like temperatures) down on the beach.

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Or you could do what I do. Order  room service and carry on working. I think I have become the publishing equivalent of a trainspotter. Perhaps I should, as they say, get out more. When I write my memoirs – Free of Duty at Last is the working title – I shall recall how I have visited countless cities around the globe, each time confined to the airport, my hotel and the office of whomever I was visiting. One day I shall return to many of these great places and see them properly and not from a conference stage.

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We moved this year’s FAB back to October from its traditional June timing to avoid the worst of the heat but let me tell you it’s bakingly hot outside. With my fair Celtic features, I reckon I would last about three and a half minutes out there before resembling one of the generously proportioned, perfectly broiled lobsters I saw being cooked at our restaurant 13 floors below last night.

It’s nearly show time here so I better go write my various speeches and intros. It promises to be an absolutly FAB-ulous couple of days.FAB2013_moodie_team_atlantis_550

[Members of the FAB (in every sense) Moodie team flounder around by The Lost Chambers Aquarium last night before choosing a plaice for dinner. From left: Dermot ‘Dogfish’ Davitt; Joanna ‘John Dory’ Puckett; Mandy ‘Monkfish’ Sime; and Helen ‘Halibut’ Pawson. Photo by Marlin Moodie.] 

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