Travel: Kish and tell

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The Independent Travel
JOHN MOORE'S memory of Concorde by Firelight (Independent Traveller, 4 December) on the island of Kish, in the Persian Gulf, sparked a recollection of what must have been The World's Most Embarrassing Press Reception.

When I worked for a travel trade newspaper, I was invited to a do at the Dorchester Hotel where the developers of Kish planned to unveil their elaborate scheme.

Kish was the personal project of the Shah of Iran, a no-expense-spared leisure development of casinos and luxury hotels. The plan was to create a sort of Las Vegas in the middle of the Persian Gulf. The Kish PR people were expecting a big turn-out: tables groaned with bottles of champagne, plates of smoked salmon and steaming tureens. It was a reception that had clearly cost many thousands of pounds.

The only problem was that I was the sole journalist to turn up. I felt ashamed to say that I could only manage a small glass of champagne and a few crisps. The Kish people were kind enough to provide a very quick presentation. I wonder what has happened to Kish under the Ayatollahs?

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