This is definitely one of the most innovative promotions I have seen coming out of Dubai: 3-star Arabian Park Hotel in Dubai is offering free meals to anyone who has lost their job because of the credit crunch.
The promotion is not only open to Dubai residents, but anyone in the world who has been fired. All you have to do is bring your redundancy letter with you as proof, and you will have access to a buffet breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
It’s their way of adding “festive cheer” to those unfortunate to have lost their jobs in this down period. The offer is open to those unemployed after November 1, and will run from December 15-January 15, 2009. Guests that decide to take advantage of the offer can bring friends and family, but they will have to pay for their meals. Only one such meal will be permitted per person, although I’m not sure how they will control that.
Although Dubai is trying to show that it doesn’t have economy problems, that is far from the truth. Most companies are laying off hundreds of people, while others have frozen hiring.
As good intentioned as the promotion is, of course the hotel is doing it to attract more customers and perhaps make some money on the guests that the jobless people bring with them. Also, depending on the number of people who show up, the hotel thinks it will make interesting reporting statistics.
Losing a job can be quite traumatic, and I’m not sure I’d want to go to a restaurant where I’d be surrounded by other jobless people. It would probably more depressing that anything else. I have a few close friends who have lost their jobs, and I don’t have the guts to suggest going to this promotion.
I’d certainly be interested to see how many people go and also, what type of people will go. Knowing Dubai a bit, I have a feeling it will be more of the blue-collar workers and single unemployed men, but who knows?