So of course while in Dubai I stayed at the al-Bustan Rotana hotel, just by the airport, because I take the Umberto's Clam House approach to Middle East travel -- I like to see the scene of the crime. The Rotana -- room 230 of the Rotana, to be specific -- is where an alleged Mossad hit team allegedly killed a Hamas arms buyer named Mahmoud al-Mabhouh early last year. The team broke into his room somehow, and either poisoned or suffocated him, and then managed to place the inside chain on the door, to make it appear that Mabhouh died of natural causes. The alleged hit team didn't count, however, on the proliferation of CCTV in the hotel, or on the surprisingly assiduous investigative work of the Dubai police.
I got a quick look inside room 230 (no, I didn't bribe a chambermaid -- I think now, more than ever, it's best to treat chambermaids respectfully), and at a distance and it looked just like room 244, where I stayed, a very anodyne hotel room in a very synthetic city. I asked a hotel manager if the assassination had prompted a new kind of tourism to the hotel, but he declined to acknowledge that an assassination had even taken place. My feeling has always been that hotels and restaurants that have been the scenes of notorious events should exploit those events, but I'm not in the image-management business.