The BMW-sponsored ball

It was a long weekend here in Dubai, thanks to an Islamic holiday being declared – and, for me, it was good timing, as I put my glad rags on to attend a ball on Friday night.

It took much of Friday to make myself look posh enough, and Saturday was spent recovering, so the extra day was a welcome bonus with bells on.

I don’t usually spend a great deal of time in the salon, but I did decide to treat myself by outsourcing my nails and hairdo. It took a couple of phone calls to secure a same-day blow-dry appointment at a local salon that’s recently been revamped (and now has these plush, comfy chairs at the sinks that are more like beds, so you get to lie down while having your hair washed. Bliss.)

“Madame, if you could just wake up, and step this way,” the stylist tells me, motioning to an empty seat in front of (horror) a full-length mirror. I tried to figure out what was missing, and worked out it was the shelf that usually hides your lower body. Dressed in beige shorts, this meant staring at my thighs, knees and lower limbs for the next 45 minutes. (I defy you to not book a leg wax after this).

A great style for a ball. Not a boat.
A great style for a ball. Not a boat.

My lovely stylist had only been in Dubai for 10 days, so we chatted about why she’d moved here from a Swiss village, then I told her I was going to a ball that night – lest she think I was too lazy to do my own hair every weekend.

“Ah,” she said. “A ball.” At least I assumed she said ball. She’d actually mistaken the word, and thought I was going on a boat. So we talked at cross-purposes for some time, before the penny finally dropped and we decided that, since my hair wasn’t about to be buffeted by a stiff sea breeze, an elegant updo held together by about 100 grips and half a can of hair spray would work.

At the ball – each hair still ensnared in place! – my DH and I caught up with some dear friends I don’t see enough of; we feasted on a lavish buffet; sampled the chocolate fountain; and danced to a four-piece party band called The Maplejacks. I’ve never seen so many pilots – in James Bond black-tie – throwing shapes on the dance floor.

It was sponsored by BMW, who provided some great prizes with a sales pitch attached. Several lucky ball-goers won a BMW for the weekend – a test drive that sounded like a lot of fun. But did our table win this?

Hell, no. We won family tickets to Wild Wadi water park.