Luxury takes a new meaning as FACT’s Anushay Taimur Khan found out the latest buzz of the season and got to experience new heights of dining… literally!

When I was invited to have ‘dinner in the sky’, I honestly imagined that there was a new top floor somewhere in Doha which had a table with my name on it. Not in my wildest imagination did I think that a table of 15+ people will be taken on a 40-metre flight into the sky as they bask in the glory of the ever-so beautiful Doha on what turned out to be more than an ordinary Sunday afternoon.

If there is one thing that is the talk of the town, it is this collaboration between InterContinental Doha & Events in the Sky company. I remember this concept first coming to Doha sometime in 2016 at the Qatar International Food Festival and could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would actually have the guts to try it one day. It seemed like an exclusively far-fetched idea that has now become my reality. I’m still at a high (this is literally making me laugh-out-loud) from the fantastic experience I just had, and I feel like a school-girl talking about her first crush. That might as well be the situation.

There were so many questions buzzing in my head as I approached the venue and I just wanted answers then and there. It seemed like this is the normal reaction that people have to this ‘situation’. I was questioning my own judgement at this point till I met Hassan, my safety guide for the next meal. He assured us that we’re in the right hands, that this has been a tried and tested method and he couldn’t wait for us to experience it. So, when they asked us to choose a seat on the table, I was smart enough to sit right in front of Hassan – I wasn’t going to risk anything at this point! We were tightly strapped in our chairs, a murmur of excitement as the first lot of us were smoothly lifted in the sky. At this point, I expected my heart to drop in my stomach in what I had imagined to be a roller coaster ride and the relief I felt as we were gradually lifted up without any abrupt movement cannot be described.

The key was not to look at the ground and to just take in this phenomenal beauty that Doha was on this day. The sun gradually started to set down, the wind messed up my hair and within 10 minutes I had forgotten about that Instagram life as I simply sat to appreciate the infrastructure of Doha. I had truly never seen the magnificence of the carefully articulated plan till I was 40 feet above the ground that I am oh-so-used to cribbing on. On one side of the city the newly formed Lusail skyline came together like a jigsaw puzzle of the country while the West bay skyline shone a bit further away like glasses set on a table, something you’d expect in a TV show of royals. The land, sea and us in the sky came together like poetry and I just sat there, in awe of the beauty that I was surrounded in. The city that I have taken for granted swept me away, literally and figuratively, and for the first time in these five years, I experienced a sunset that is the highlight of my time in Qatar.

As the sun set and the food was served, it was an experience of the senses coming together. A three-course meal was served as we enjoyed the dynamic views and as life went on, I felt like I was blissfully stuck in that moment, able to devour the smoothest lamb shank, in one of the greatest treats of life.

Stella, our server on this ‘flight’ deserves all the credit in the world for calming us down with her jokes and splendid service. She snuck me an extra piece of the bread and for that, I will always be thankful. Sometimes the tiniest things make the most perfect moment and a second serving of the bread that is infused with cheese and tomato certainly did the trick. As the city lit up and the hues of the twilight announced our departure, we were all left mesmerised. It was a moment of epiphany for a bunch of us who simply sat there, strapped in luxury, with a team of experts who promised security and a splendid time, and we couldn’t help and count our lucky stars to be able to actually experience this.

To say that this combination is anything less than genius would be unfair. InterContinental is home to the welldeserved FACT dining award for the Best Restaurant of 2019 and to pair it with an idea as grand as Events in the Sky is something only a mastermind can think of. So, readers, let me close my review by saying: thank you for being here for us so we can bring these life changing experiences for you. ✤