I got a tip that some good business men can be found hanging out at the Four Seasons and St. Regis hotels. So I went to check them out.
I was told they sit around during the late morning and early afternoons having coffee and sweets.
At the Four Seasons, it turns out, there’s not even a place to hang out and have coffee during the day if you don’t have a room there. The breakfast area is a covered patio out back overlooking the hotel’s private beach: room key required for entrance. There is also a hotel bar that opens around dinner time. But that doesn’t meet the description.
Behind the Four Seasons, at the end of a private marina / pier, is the fancy Japanese restaurant Nobu. Nobu is heavily promoted on the Four Seasons website so I thought this might be the place. Inside the Four Seasons I was told that Nobu serves "afternoon tea". I guess I have no idea wtf afternoon tea is supposed to be because they were closed when I visited in the afternoon. And in fact they never open before 6pm. So this place doesn’t meet the description either.
In any case I came back a different day at 6:30 and had a drink there during happy hour. Here is a photo of the place. It has 2 levels inside, each level with two areas with tables and 2 bars. It also has a rooftop bar with a DJ.
I met a bunch of people there. An Egyptian construction engineer named Ahmad who insisted on showing me the full extent of his amateur-hour mobile app. He was so proud of it, lol. A US army intelligence chick named Lena who insisted on giving me contact info for her bff from Kuwait who has been doing business there and in Iraq for decades and knows "everyone". A Dutch man named Marcel who promised to introduce me to 4 local business men that he works with every day. I didn’t manage to get his contact info but he took mine. He never got back to me.
BTW, there were no Arabs hanging out at this place that’s more like a bar / night club than anything else.
Here is me inside Nobu with Ooredoo tower in the distance.
Here is a video of Nobu rooftop:
Here is the moon looking down on Ooredoo tower from the other side.
I also went to the St. Regis hotel. The St. Regis has two massive metal Oryx guarding it.
It’s a large, maze-like hotel. If you go into their restaurant / buffet area without a room number, they try to turn you away. But unlike the Four Seasons, if you insist that you are there to meet someone they relent and let you through.
At first I thought I hit the jackpot. It was just the sort of place where people hang out for hours shooting the shit and making repeat trips to the huge and fancy buffet. But as I walked around looking for Arabs to sit near, I found that it was 80% white westerners in pleated khakis and 20% white westerners in designer fashion with children in tow.
I stayed for coffee. Here’s a pic of the outside table area:
I sat down in the vicinity of people who at least looked like they might be up for decent chat. But I’d no sooner sat down and they all got up and left. (I swear to you that I did not smell bad.) They were quickly replaced with an older lady wearing huge pink sunglasses sitting alone and pouring something from a flask into her coffee, and a preppy euro couple with a preppy misbehaving 4 year old boy. I couldn’t muster the interest to be social with them.
Thinking that maybe I happened to hit the wrong time / day, I came back in the afternoon a couple days later. Same shit, different day. Here’s a pic of the inside dining area.
I have two additional notes about the St. Regis. First, they charge you 41 USD for the buffet even if you only have coffee, but if you press for a manager they happily knock it down to 8.50. Second: oh my god, the coffee is amazing. I’ve never before had coffee that good. It actually hurts now to drink the instant coffee I have back at my room. I’m ruined. :(
The first thing I did after this was hit up these goons sending me on wild goose chases. The Egyptian horse vet waved it all off saying "don’t worry about it, I’ll introduce you to directly to one of the guys. He’s on vacation this week, I’ll let you know when he gets back."
I never got contact info from that older Chicago lady so I can’t follow up with her about it.
The Canadian chick I was messaging who also pointed me in this direction is no longer answering my messages so no joy there.
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