This venue offers dining that’s head and shoulders above the rest, literally.
Dinner in the Sky is a self-contained “restaurant” comprised of tables, seats and kitchen on a platform that’s lifted skywards by a construction crane. Restaurant lifespan is fleeting, usually commissioned as part of a special promotion or business event. The system has also been used as a sky-box overlooking concerts, sports events and some of the world’s most splendid skylines.
So, who’d fork over the “green” to eat in mid-air? Mostly companies aiming to stage unique events for VIP clients, but also plain old folks with money to burn. I heard of the installation when it popped up in Dubai’s Habtoor Grand Resort in 2009. Crazy friends sent even crazier pictures of their feet dangling 55 yards above the beachfront. Habtoor was the world’s first 5-star hotel to feature the venue.
Last year in Beirut, Dinner in the Sky hosted ten celebrity chefs in a five-day culinary summit, which Forbes Magazine voted one of the world’s most extravagant meals. The company has had successful installations in Riyadh, Jaffa, Jerusalem, and Istanbul. One is now happening in Jeddah.
Wonder how that’s working with Ramadan?
It’s not just for dinner. Host a breakfast, a lunch, high tea or iftar.
Twenty-two people can belly up to tables suspended 55 yards above the ground. Chef and waiter take their positions in the central food prep area to dish out a customized menu that can include cocktails and appetizers, full meals, or coffee and desserts to support a range of social events.
The unit can support an optional entertainer. Or live large and order a second platform hoisted to the same height as the dinner table for some mind-blowing aerial entertainments: fancy a grand piano or full band?
The attention-grabbing scene offers exceptional marketing opportunities: clients often suspend banners beneath the platform featuring corporate logos or promotional messages.
The company offers a variation for wedding ceremonies, called Marriage in the Sky; Show Biz in the Sky caters to entertainment; and Lounge in the Sky has hosted poker games, business seminars and extravagant product launches.
Sky events can be held anywhere that has a securable ground surface of 550 square yards. Popular venues include golf courses, shorelines, race tracks, and vineyards. Dinner in the Sky has been set up in city centers and historical sites. Landowner permission is, of course, prerequisite.
The restaurant is generally offered for 8-hour bookings, which can be divided into time increments personalized to client needs. This flexibility means that, at a rate of 2 sessions per hour, more than 350 people could have access to the airborne eatery, an important consideration if you’re seeking to recoup rental costs through admission fees.
Costs start around $12,000 for base rental, with loads of service options that can double the price.
Dinner in the Sky was developed with heavy emphasis on safety. The platforms are designed according German norm DIN 4112, and are built in Belgium under control of Rheinland TÜV. The safety focus is likely one of the reasons why Dinner in the Sky operates in over 27 countries including the USA, Canada, Australia, and South Africa.
The most sustainable building is the one that’s never built.
So is this restaurant without walls the acme of green design? Food for thought.
Images of Jaffa, Jerusalem, business seminar and Istanbul installations via Events in the Sky