31 March, 2007

What Happens When Women are Less than 30% of the Population

While men in the UAE certainly have no premium on being imbeciles compared to other countries, there does seem to be something in the water, or perhaps the sand/dust, that brings out the best in male sexual stupidity. The following are a few examples from personal ads on expatriates.com:

1) Why a Second Wife?!
Category: Men Seeking Women
Region: Dubai (DUBAI)
Description: OK ladies, I know many of you will start wandering, why this guy is looking for a second wife. Simply, it is the same reason why I had the first one. most of the men over 40, or men who have been married for more than 15y, they will start looking for another woman, so the first wife should accept one of the following:
a. the husband will leave her and look for free live alone.
b. the husband will cheat her and have a girlfriend/s.
c. or he will get married and divide his time between the two wives.
I believe if the first wife is smart, she will accept plan C, do you agree? To have 1/2 happy husband is much better than have 0 or almost 0.
If you agree with me, and you are between 29-33y, nice looking, Arabic, Muslim. please drop me a line.



I don't think this one even deserves comment! Nice attempt at constructing a logical argument - if only he could construct a proper sentence it might help his case. Ok, ladies, the burning question is: is a 1/2 happy husband better than no husband???

2) WHERE ARE THE DESPARATE ARABIAN / LEBANESE HOUSEWIVES OF DUBAI??
FOR ALL SORTS OF COMFORTING AND DISCREET ENCOUNTERS PLEASE CONTACT .......
THIS IS GONNA BE ONE WILD RIDE,,,,I RECIPROCATE YOUR FEELINGS FOR SECRECY AND TRUST SO....WHAT ARE U WAITING FOR?


Oh and he reciprocates – now there is something special for you ladies!

3) houseboy aviliabe for free cleaining
Category: Other
Region: Dubai (dubai)
Description: hello i m male 30 y old well educated but i love my fantasy
so i offer a free house cleaining for apartment or rooms
just for lady or housewifes please if you interstad contact with me for detail
hope to hear from you soon


Free house cleaning! Now there is a deal you can’t turn down! To fantasize about cleaning apartments for free – this guy definitely needs to visit literotica to work on his fantasies!

4) Furnished Room for a beautyful lady for FREE!!!
Category: Rooms Available
Region: Dubai (DUBAI)
Description Hi, if u r a broadminded sexy girl, I offer you a furnished room in my apartment for FREE! in exchange of a relationship that is no need to explain. I'm 32, male, a working professional staying alone. So rush your mail with your details and contact number and start a good earning each month. You will also get 24 hours broadband internet connection FREE. So act wisely and early in order to avoid disappointment. Sending your photo will have its affect!!!


Hey, what a deal – free broadband internet connection! How can you turn that one down!

5) free/month-free room in exchange of little fun for both
Category: Rooms Available
Region: Dubai
Description: i have appartment in dubai two bed room. if any girl want to share and have fun time with me contact me.i am good lover.your stay will be free. my company is paying for appartment.

Not only do you get a free apartment, but hey, he’s a “good lover”! A two-in-one deal! Too bad he doesn’t offer free internet too!

30 March, 2007

Racism at the Races?

Racism at the Races?

After providing muchos lip service to the cause of exposing racism in Dubai clubs and restaurants , the new tabloid Express - The Paper That Cares has gladdened me lil asian heart with their timely cartoons on Society Pages (pg31) of the issue on 29th March 2007.

The story titled Faces At The Races (The World Cup Crowd) tries to put before us the stereotypical racegoers as following.

Hooray Henry = Rich socialite with time to kill is White man
Corporate Client = A Keen deal maker and once again a successful man a.k.a A White Person.
Pony Girl = Ambitious rich offspring of white parents
Big Hat Woman = The socialite spouse of a rich financial whizkid is... White!
Ambitious Jockey = White again!
Knowledgeable Race Enthusiast = No prizes for guessing.. White again!
Startled Holidaymanker = Kinda clueless personality = Of indeterminate ethnicity.
Family Man = has to count his fils, rather shabby, certainly Asian :)
Labourer = Lives in a dorm (read bed space), is here to watch the more fortunate white folks... Asian! :)


how sensitive!!

Gulf Today: One man, 38 phones and a bill of 624,000

It's all here.

Sheikh Mo to the rescue!

Great news for all beach lovers . . .

Dubai authorities yesterday ordered developers to stop building work on Jumeirah Open Beach.

The decision came directly from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

29 March, 2007

Miss little sunshine

Further to this post some time back, I found the following in the 2-8 Feb 2007 issue of the Middle East Economic Digest.

Abu Dhabi to exploit solar power
Government's Masdar alternative energy builds up a head of steam

Abu Dhabi is to build the Gulf's first major solar power plant as part of its Masdar advanced energy initiative.

Masdar, which is being promoted by the government-owned Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, was set up last April to promote sustainable energy in the emirate. By developing clean energy projects, Masdar aims to extend the life of Abu Dhabi's vast hydrocarbon reserves, expand the emirate's position in the global energy market and relieve some of the demand on precious gas supplies.

The solar plant, which is to be implemented by Masdar in partnership with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA), will have cpacity of about 100MW. Depending on which of three possible sites is selected, it will either be a standalone solar power plant or one which will also include desalination facilities.

Germany's Fichtner has been appointed technical consultant for the plant, while German Aerospace Centre (DLR) is the solar survey consultant. A decision has still to be taken on whether the project, due to be commissioned in late 2009, will be developed with the private sector, as is now the case on all ADWEA generation schemes."


So it is possible!

Rain today

Hmm.....its raining in Dubai...
So did the meteorologist see this coming or is this just freak weather in Dubai/UAE.
I hope it stays like this for a few days.....

Keeping the Streets Safe for Legal Exploitation

In another (in)humane step towards cleaning the streets of the UAE of “illegal” elements, 180 Afghan migrants are being deported – without pay for the past 4 months of laboring. And whom did the illegal migrants work for? The Ajman local government! Perhaps it is the Ajman government officials that should be deported!

28 March, 2007

USE - Useful Stuff Exchange

Hi All,

Thought I'd let you know of a UAE blog service that I've started as a hobby: USE - Useful Scan/Stuff Exchange.

I scan useful information from flyers, brochures, mags, newspapers and post them on my blog. The idea is to provide a 1-point quick reference of useful information in the UAE.

I've already posted some stuff...take a look: http://useuae.blogspot.com
Brickbats, boquets, ideas welcome.

I had an idea of also posting scanned business cards of people and professionals offering services in the UAE. Do email me scans of your business card or any other information that you would like me to put up on the USE blog. Email them to useuae@gmail.com.

Thanks

USE UAE

Ras Al Khaimah vs. Vanilla Ice

For all of you closet Vanilla Ice fans, an Emirates edition of Ice Ice Baby:

All right stop!
Collaborate and listen
Sinjab's back with a brand new invention
Something grabs ahold of my dishdash
Just like Kuwaiti street, chocked full of mishmash
Will it ever stop?
No boy! We can't get it goin'
It's all bukra and chouei chouei
To the extreme I rock my mic at the Nakheel
Burning the stage while you work up a big bill

Shimmie!
Thrust your hips to these tunes
I'm killin' your brain like smoke from saloom
Lethal - when I kick it in Julan
From Digdaga to Galeila all I hear is "Ahlan!"
Love it or leave it
You'd better gain way
I got myself some fatoush so get outta my way
If you got a mushkala
Yo I'll solve it
Check out the hook while wasta resolves it...

Full version of my lyrical poetry here.

Jumeirah Islamic Learning Centre

Ghusl Mayat Workshop (deceased's burial preparation)

FOR LADIES ONLY

will be held at our premises in Um Suqeim 1, on Sunday, 1st April at 10.30 a.m.

Please contact (Sister) 050 5786423 or 050 5529250 to confirm your
attendance as space is limited.

We would request that you do not bring small children to the workshop; however, your teenage daughters are encouraged to attend.


It is hoped to have a similar workshop for men at a future date.

Jumeirah Islamic Learning Centre

I'm Tired of Local-Bashing!

Put yourself in their shoes for a sec

Car Accidents in the UAE

  • Men responsible for 92% of deaths.


  • Drivers from the age group 18 to 27 have been held responsible for 37% of deaths.


  • Last year's death average was one every 28 hours.


  • Pakistani drivers were responsible for 25.6% of deaths, Indian drivers caused 20% followed closely by UAE nationals at 19%.


  • The number of accidents in 2006 was 243,386...an increase of 61% compared to 2005.


  • In these 312 people were killed while 1,812 were injured.


  • Fatal accidents at night made up 45 per cent of the total number of fatalities.


  • Private vehicles caused 1,164 accidents killing 167 people.


  • Heavy trucks were responsible for 128 accidents causing 32 deaths.


  • Light trucks were responsible for 133 accidents and 25 deaths.


  • Emirates Road continues to remain the most dangerous road, topping the list with 128 accidents in which 40 people were killed.


  • Sheikh Zayed Road stood second with 122 accidents although the death toll here increased to 45.


  • Al Khail Road followed closely with 34 accidents and nine deaths.


  • Dubai-Al Ain Road recorded 33 accidents and nine deaths.


  • Sheikh Rashid Road had 29 accidents and six deaths.


  • Al Ittihad Road had 24 accidents and seven deaths.

[Via Emirates Today]

27 March, 2007

What about the day job?

Muse of her times (GN)

Nimah Nawwab was brought up in Saudi Arabia and writes her poems in English.

This little society piece is interesting for showing what motivation and effort can achieve on a personal level. Besides a busy day job and growing up in a repressive society, a working mother finds a way to blossom.
"She came across as humble, sweet-natured and, at the risk of sounding predictable, lyrical."
Why write in English?
"I grew up with English; I am bilingual. It is a global language; the language of the times. Maybe in the next few years Chinese will be the language of the times. I find there is a lot of interest in the Arab world in general so it is good to have someone from the Arab world write about it in English or (in other words) 'from the inside'."

uae will not attack iran

"DUBAI, March 27 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates, a key U.S. ally, said on Tuesday it would not be involved in any military strike on Iran, but urged the Islamic Republic to avoid regional tensions.

"The UAE is an independent and sovereign state that rejects the use of its territories, air or regional waters to attack any country, especially if it is a neighbour and Muslim," President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan told Arab newspaper al-Hayat.

"We have informed the Iranian brothers ... that we are not party to its conflict with the United States and will not allow our territories to be used for any military, security or spy activities against it."
-- more HERE

India-UAE Relations

UAE and India sign deals worth $20b

It is good to see these two countries working together. With more than 1 million Indians here at more than 1/4 of the population, cooperation on a government to government level can only improve the lot of Indians in the UAE. The better this segment of the population fares, the better it will be for all. We are greatly impacted by the role of Indians, from their sacraficial contribution on construction projects to their various roles in service and management.
read more...

26 March, 2007

Where gathering is "illegal" and speaking is "criminal activity"

Gulf News:
Dubai: Green Community residents are being threatened with legal action and even the termination of their leases following a dispute with the developer over a dramatic increase in maintenance fees. More than 300 concerned Green Community residents met last week to discuss the fee hike, which will rise as much as 300 per cent for the owners of these leasehold units within Dubai Investments Park.
...
The day after last week's meeting, residents received a letter from the developer's legal counsel, calling the meeting an "illegal gathering." The conduct of the speaker was "defamatory and is punishable pursuant to the Federal Penal Code by imprisonment or by imposing substantial fines," the letter stated. "Such criminal activity will be reported to the authorities."
My emphasis. It's all here.

No details of the "conduct of the speaker" were given, but if a meeting of disgruntled property owners is an "illegal gathering" that doesn't sound very visionary to me.

UPDATE added 10:15 pm:
Mar 25, 2007
Properties Investment responds to questions by Gulf News on Green Community service charge increase
...
Properties Investment developed Green Community to reflect the highest living standards for its residents and to generate a sense of peace and well-being. Properties Investment is very supportive toward residents having representatives to voice their concerns in order to generate effective feedback of the community and services in which they live.

Properties Investment is fully committed to honouring its legal obligations to tenants and to conducting itself in an environment of transparency and fairness. It is reasonable to expect tenants to reciprocate in a similar manner, and indeed the majority of tenants at Green Community do. However, Properties Investment is concerned that a small minority of tenants are intent on conducting themselves in a manner that is having the effect of alienating Properties Investment from the majority. Properties Investment has no objection and would indeed welcome an informal representative committee of tenants to act as a forum for communication. Green Community website also offers tenants an online forum where they can voice their concerns to the Management Team. Unfortunately, however, the self-styled “Democratically Elected Green Community Residents Committee” that has put itself forward for the role seems intent on conducting itself with disregard to the law and culture of the country in which we live.
My emphasis.

25 March, 2007

Save Jumeirah Beach Petition

Apologies if someone has already posted this - I've been away. But in my hundreds of emails offering me cheap Viagra and promises of millions from Nigerian princesses, I recieved a link to sign a petition to save Jumeirah Beach. Now I'm not sure it'll have much affect, but hey... it's worth a try! When I had a look they were up to almost 1400 signatures.

http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/savejumeirah

Architect Koolhass on Dubai in a presentation

Found this in the Design Notes newsletter:


Dubai slideFew of Koolhaas' own buildings were included in his presentation and he appears to have little interest in talking about himself. Instead, he prefers to pounce on political, economic and global ideas that he then uses to frame his largely conceptual work. Decrying Dubai (shown left) as a bad theme park for architecture, Koolhaas used elegant graphic slides to show how architecture has followed the fortunes of oil and the stock market in a new but "poisonous" silk route of trade across Europe. The yen, the euro and the dollar are held up as symbols of support and corruption, made elegant through his barrage of graphics and language. Less is not more with Koolhaas. He revels in complexity while simultaneously showing examples of new works that he designed with generic intent.

An interesting quandary...

Neil MacFarqhar in today's NEW YORK TIMES:

Laleh Bakhtiar had already spent two years working on an English translation of the Koran when she came upon Chapter 4, Verse 34.

She nearly dropped the project right then.

The hotly debated verse states that a rebellious woman should first be admonished, then abandoned in bed, and ultimately “beaten” — the most common translation for the Arabic word “daraba” — unless her behavior improves.

“I decided it either has to have a different meaning, or I can’t keep translating,” said Ms. Bakhtiar, an Iranian-American who adopted her father’s Islamic faith as an adult and had not dwelled on the verse before. “I couldn’t believe that God would sanction harming another human being except in war.”

Ms. Bakhtiar worked for five more years, with the translation to be published in April. But while she found a way through the problem, few verses in the Koran have generated as much debate, particularly as more Muslim women study their faith as an academic field.

“This verse became an issue of debate and controversy because of the ethics of the modern age, the universal notions of human rights,” said Khaled Abou El Fadl, an Egyptian-born law professor and Islamic scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles.

24 March, 2007

Poetry, Lyrics, and the sort...

So it's time for some shameless self-promotion.

I just put up another piece. I'm not sure why I never thought of putting these up here sooner. anyways, check it out, comment... constructive criticism is more appreciated than a "that was good."

also, I have been thinking about putting together a local (as in, inside this country) poetry newsletter type thing. sort of like what emiratesmac does for us Mac users, but not as flashy. a one page "thing" that would be at the checkouts of local bookstores and/or coffee shops. anyone think this is something worth the effort? anyone want to contribute something?

http://shadowsweed.blogspot.com/

Financial Times covers art in the UAE

Here's the whole story. Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

23 March, 2007

Behind Bob Woolmer’s Death

Feeding on the Dead is the New Contagion in Media

The news spreads fast, “Have you seen the video of Saddam Hussain’s Execution?” Millions of people log on to their personal machines to watch his execution leaked by a government official present at the scene. Some news channels say that they will only show parts of the clip as an “ethical” and “moral duty”; the latter has become an oxymoron today. More

Barbarity in the UAE

While the UAE strives to empower women in all sectors, there are still sick minds amongst us.

We're not sure what's worse, the fact that this Emirati burnt his sister alive or that he will probably only get a short sentence.

What century are we in again?

Happy Nouroz!


Wish you all, specially Farsi speakers, a very Happy Nouroz and Persian New Year!

22 March, 2007

My hopeless vision


I hate commercialism but love culture and value.
I hate copying in haste (like before an exam) but love organically grown traditions.
I hate change (when it is quick and rash) but love planned progress.

With that out of the way I'd like to propose a new Dubai. Well really it will be an old Dubai but as a re-incarnation. An ode to Dubai. I realised that I missed my old Dubai of the 1970s and 1980s (to some extent the 1990s) when Dubai was a land of culture, traditions and values. People used to actually care, and would often use the language of Arabic when greeting you. We used to be a proud and happy city, part of a happy young country called the UAE. When we greeted our guests we would greet them in English only to be asked by them to use Arabic and teach them Arabic too. Our guests would want to see the desert, the dunes, the nature, and above all the sea.

Today's Dubai has become an inverted mirror-image. We seek everything new. We forget our roots. We embrace things we don't understand just because others are. We are extremely competitive, especially when it doesn't matter. We don't care. We would rather die than be caught outdoors instead of in-malls.

I want this new Dubai to be a place where the values of the old matter, and where although it's not immediately evident but progress is important only if it's planned. I want people to feel they are at home. Et cetera.

I can go on for ages, but if you don't get the point by now you never will or you're probably falling asleep/closing your browser.

Who wants to create (or re-create) this Dubai with me?

21 March, 2007

Life's a beach.

We have some fabulous beaches in Dubai, huge stretches of soft white sand with warm turquoise water to swim in. They're part of life in Dubai for many people, especially at the weekend when friends meet there to relax after their hard working week.

We now have some iconic buildings on the beach too, which tourists love to photograph.

Today I took my camera when I went for a stroll along the most famous stretch of beach so that I could share some photographs of our beach culture with you.

First, the view of the beach from Umm Suqeim Park:



Then Burj Al Arab, the building that the tourist buses head to every morning so that the excited tourists can have their photo taken with our symbol of Dubai in the background:



And its sister hotel, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, photographed from the lifeguard tower at the end of the beach:



Looks fantastic doesn't it.

The superheroes are coming

"United Arab Emirate-based Al Ahli Group and Marvel Entertainment, Inc. announced today a partnership that will bring Marvel's full library of Super Heroes - including Spider-Man, Iron Man, The X-Men, Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer - to Dubai for a major new theme park destination being developed by AAG. The development is in line with the vision set by HH Shk. Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, through his innovative entertainment and hospitality driven expansion projects for Dubai and the UAE." Read more here.
Since it will be the first theme park of its kind, just imagine how many comic superhero fans and not from all the corners of the world will come here in the future just to try them Hulk-roller-coasters, Spiderman-roulette, X-men-carousels or whatever bizarre ride they can come up with.

Oh my, another traffic jam!

What was that little incident along SZR yesterday morning? Was it an errant spark on top of a little tower? Or was it another TRAFFIC SNARL? Gulf News' coverage of the fire was really disappointing. They focused on the traffic more than anything else. How about the NAME of the building that was on fire. How about some mention of the developer or the CONTRACTOR whose activities most likely led to the fire. Their coverage on this was a totally useless peice of journalism. People in this country are doing shoddy work, workers and other's lives are being endangered and investors risk losing a lot of money. It's time to expose this stuff and identify the culprits.

And by the way, it was the KHALID AL ATTAR TOWER by developer of the same name, and the contractor was TRANSEMIRATES CONTRACTING.

Dr Al Suwaidi interview

He has some choice words:
Tribalism, says Dr Jamal Al Suwaidi, Director of the Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), is an obstacle to the building of a civil society structure. "That was clearly evident in the FNC elections" last December, he told Gulf News in an interview....
More:
Dr Al Suwaidi - who is also the political adviser to General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces - said if the election process is to be expanded, "it will perhaps become even more tribal and will take the UAE back at least 50 years."

Tribalism hinders the growth of a civic society, he said, adding that "in the UAE, there are no real civic society organisations. For example, where is the Human Rights Society? It has done nothing since its creation last year. It is just a name, a banner."

The media is in a similar sorry state, said Dr Al Suwaidi. "We have to ask if we really have an Emirati media or just some kind of media in the emirates. It [the media] suffers from self censorship. Everybody talks about the freedom of expression but they never exercise it."
...
Our education system is a failure. There is a significant migration from public schools to private institutions. The Ministry of Education talks too much, but does nothing."

Here Dr Al Suwaidi stops to tell a story to stress his point. A few weeks ago he visited the Mall of the Emirates on Dubai's Shaikh Zayed Road and it was a strange experience for him. "I felt awkward as everybody there was staring at me as if I were from another planet. It was because I wore a kandoura."
...
"Sometimes we feel like strangers in our own country," he says, pointing out that foreigners now constitute more almost 90 per cent of the population - a stark contrast with the officially announced census results which said last year that foreigners represented 79 per cent of the UAE's total population.

He acknowledges "the danger" of the country's demographic dilemma but says it is "too late" to find ways to solve it. "The best we can do is to search for ways to how best to co-exist as nationals with the expatriate majority in the UAE," he says.
...
"We must admit that religious currents, like the Muslim Brotherhood, carry a message that enjoys the sympathy of the majority in the Arab world. But if they grabbed power they would send everybody to the gallows. Today, we are stuck between two extremes: the authoritarian regimes on one hand and the Islamist totalitarian opposition," he said. In the UAE the Brotherhood has a following, he reveals.
So, UAE bloggers how about it? Dr Al Suwaidi asks for less self censorship. Are you ready to deliver? Ready to discuss tribalism? The education system? The Muslim Brotherhood? The demographic imbalance? Civic society?

Where are your moral police now?

Recently word has spread regarding the American franchise 'Hooters' opening up in the UAE; I question how exactly this is possible where we are told things are "against the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates"
A copy of the Hooters "employee handbook" obtainted by The Smoking Gun has the following glorious quote (first reproduced by a wikipedia article)
"Customers can go to many places for wings and beer, but it is our Hooters Girls who make our concept unique. Hooters offers its customers the look of the "All American Cheerleader, Surfer, Girl Next Door."
Female employees are required to sign that they "acknowledge and affirm" the following:

  1. My job duties require I wear the designated Hooters Girl uniform.

  2. My job duties require that I interact with and entertain the customers.

  3. The Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and the work environment is one in which joking and sexual innuendo based on female sex appeal is commonplace.

  4. I do not find my job duties, uniform requirements, or work environment to be offensive, intimidating, hostile, or unwelcome."

20 March, 2007

Drowned Iraqi teens bodies recovered



Father of five, Ali abed, faced a parent's worst nightmare this Saturday. The loss of not one,but two children.

The family was having fun in Sharjah's open beach, near Coral Beach hotel, a strictly no-swimming area, when a high wave carried 3 of his children underwater. The father managed to save the younger son in time, but his 17 and 18 year old sons were missing in the water.

Intensive rescue missions were carried out, but the harsh weather couldn't allow for much. After 2 days, the bodies of the two teenagers turned up near the beach.

Losing a loved one is never a light ordeal, my extreme condolences and prayers to the boys families, may god keep their other children well.

The area is known for its dangerous waves, and signs that it is a no-swimming zone are posted everywhere, people, for your own safety and the safety of your loved ones, STAY AWAY.

Read more:

Gulf News: here and here
Khaleej Times: here

Hooters Opening In Dubai Soon

Hooters

I just found out that U.S. restaurant chain Hooters is planning to open at least one of its famous Hooters restaurant in Dubai sometime in the next 2 years. This is what Reuters reported yesterday ...

"The opening of Hooters in Israel is part of the chain's global expansion. Privately held Hooters said it planned to open 17 restaurants in Colombia, Dubai, Guam, New Zealand and India in the next two years."

With all the things taking place in Dubai, I don't know ... but I'm not surprised any more ...

Read Also:
Restaurant chain Hooters is heading for Holy Land (Reuters)

OPEN DOORS OPEN MINDS


It is very important for us to understand religion and cultures of the country we live in. The Shaikh Mohammad center for Cultural understanding has been set up to bring down barriers between people of different nationalities, and to help understand the traditions, customs and religion of the UAE.

I hope people living in United Arab Emirates atleast visit once, Open the Doors to their hearts and Open their Minds. I have come across lot of people who chose to live here for monetory reasons but in their hearts don't respect the culture and religion of UAE. Here is the chance for some of them to learn and understand...

UAE advertising agencies steal the show at the inaugural Dubai Lynx Awards

Dubai Lynx Awards winners for creative excellence in the Middle East and North Africa were announced last night. UAE led the region in creativity with 88 awards.




Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai team jubilant after receiving the Dubai Lynx Grand Prix Award for the Print Category.

Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai won the coveted Dubai Lynx Agency of the Year award for 2007, sweeping the inaugural event by winning the most number of awards across many categories.

More commentary, links and pictures of Dubai Lynx are at Farrukh Naeem's Marketing, Advertising & Creativity in the UAE blog at http://farrukh.wordpress.com.

szr morning fire


f8, 1/160sec, 20mm, iso200 (large version)

more pictures here.

19 March, 2007

Special Apple TV Event


EmiratesMac Apple User Group invites everyone to a Special Apple TV Event on March 29, 2007, 6pm, Knowledge Village Auditorium, Dubai. An Apple Engineer will demo the Apple TV, sponsors will display their latest products, and it's a great opportunity to meet fellow Apple fans and learn about new technology.

The event is free and open to the public. Information and registration here.

Check out the Apple TV here.

Dubai Number Plate Sold For $850,000

E15 Dubai Car Plate Number

A Dubai car plate number (E15) was sold in an auction held by Dubai Roads & Transport Authority for AED 3,120,000 (US $850,000). The owner of the plate number is Aqeel Saeed Abdulla, who also owns other special plate numbers such as (27, 68, 72, 234, 126, 127, 128)

Read More ...

Beach update - it couldn't be worse.

I wrote on my blog yesterday about the mysterious construction fence which was being built along Jumeirah Beach (which Samuraisam kindly linked to this blog - below).







My worst fears about it have been confirmed.

Just read what the press release in the papers today says:

Zabeel Investments has begun work on a new 4.5 million square foot coastal development on Jumeirah Beach in Umm Suqueim.

"The unique mixed-use development will comprise residential, commercial and hospitality facilities reflecting a beachfront lifestyle."

We have appointed a renowned master planner and architect who is putting together final touches to plans that will be one of the best that Dubai has seen."

The development will add to the existing beachside environment, which is synonymous with new developments in the UAE.

"The new project will further extend Dubai's coastline and provide additional opportunities for the beachfront lifestyle."


So there we have it. The standard press release phrases, and as usual not quite telling it like it is. This is not 'adding to the existing beachside environment' but taking it away.


Development gone mad. Taking away one of Dubai's major tourism assets, depriving residents of one of our major relaxation areas.


The press release is in Gulf News here.

Fall of Four Great Empires

I have been busy lately with work and events happening around me so did not get a chance to post something on religion but I wanted to post this. Some people would say why post it on a religious blog, I am a human and I do follow religion but I also live in this world that is around me and Islam doesn’t stop humans to follow cricket. I am a die hard cricket fan; I have been since I was a kid. For some people cricket is a boring game but for me and millions of people around the world it has been a craze since I was a kid. Lots of events passed by in these 30 years, some were sad and some were happy. But unfortunately I witnessed the fall of four great empires in a single day and cricket won’t be the same again. Not in my lifetime at least……

Read More.......

18 March, 2007

The beach is gone

Is the last 'free' part of the beach near the Burj Al Arab disappearing?
Read about it at Seabee's blog over here

17 March, 2007

Huh?

From Gulf News, 16/03/2007: Every time Indian pace bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth takes a wicket in the World Cup, 11 Indians freed from jail will each get a free ticket home, a local company promised yesterday.

One word: WTF?

UAE's First Krispy Kreme Opens In Dubai Despite High Obesity Rate

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
imagesofcolorado.com

US doughnut and coffee chain Krispy Kreme opened its first UAE outlet in the Deira City Center shopping mall yesterday, the first of seven stores planned for the country this year.

According to the company's nutritional webpage, one Krispy Kreme glazed sour cream doughnut boasts 340 calories, and an original glazed doughnut has 4 grams of trans fats. Some varieties have as much as 7 grams (apple fritters). Trans fats are known to increase risk of heart disease, diabetes and are also linked to obesity and liver dysfunction.

The doughnuts store opens despite the fact that the UAE currently holds one of the highest obesity rates in the world - higher than the United States - because of easy access to high calorie foods and a sedentary lifestyle. One in five adults in the region also suffers from one of the many obesity-related illnesses, diabetes. In the UAE, 74% of women are obese or overweight according to a 2005 report by the International Obesity Task Force, a London-based think tank.

Read More ...

Economic suicide?

Does the rate of suicide (and attempted suicide) in the expat community seem as high to you as it does to me? Is it because the UAE makes them desperate, or because desperate people are attracted to the UAE?

News items (from 4 weeks ago 'til today):
> Man jumps naked from building in suicide attempt
> Police probe Briton’s death
> Loan sharks prey on gullible expatriates
> Youth found hanging in Ajman
> Two ‘commit suicide’ in Ajman; one saved after 2nd storey jump
> Man in coma after plunging from building
> Suicide cases among Indians up by 10%

16 March, 2007

OF GREEDY APPETITES AND GLASS HOUSES

This past week, on a girl's night out, was greatly disturbed to meet the young wife of a prominent construction industry bigwig. At first the estrogen-speak induced recurring ignorance and plastic plutocracy much like that of the nouveau riche had me shrink away in disgust, but soon realized she was just getting started when she announced that in an American-Airlines-one-olive-at-a-time cost-cutting fashion, her husband tactfully introduced a clause on the labor force's contract allowing the company to deduct AED 75 from the worker's wage should said worker fail to report for duty and AED 45 in case of a fight. Only in this case, not one but two olives will be plucked from under boy blue (quite literally) considering his already non-existent pay. "According to our estimate, on account of the fights alone we should be able to save thousands on book by the end of the year", says she.

Exactly what makes them steal food off a poor man's table when they have want for nothing?

Post came off
my blog but what I'm feeling, only public venting could cure; albeit partially.

Interesting Article - Gulf news


Captured POWs were shot dead for 'daring to drink water'
This interesting article was published in Gulf News, It made me ask few questions to myself ....How can man become so sick ? Why only blame muslims all the time? Who will answers for these crimes?and should we judge all the jews for crimes committed by some of them, just like they blame muslims?
Does anyone has a answer to my questions? I think not.......Anyways
I hope humans stop commiting crimes like these, no matter what religion or race they are from..it only leads to hatred ...
As the law says “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”.
And also visit Updated ..Rediscoverislam

News Clip

Weird thing news is, very weird. Sometimes I can't stand it and sometimes I feel something's missing without it. Today I felt I needed my dose of news, so I went to our faithful Gulf News, and boy did I get a shock. The stories didn't surprise me individually, but the combined trends did. Some things happen today that are as normal as your son's cereal box, but I couldn't imagine them when I was your son's age.

Here's but a list of things I read. Most peculiar:

- First batch of 60 workers deported for violent protest:
In my time, protests of any kind were haram. Now not only are these guys protesting, but they are protesting violently! Where? In our beloved UAE!!! I find it totally mad. How can things degenerate to this level in the ladder of civilisation. I think it's a combination of slave-like conditions with totally despondency that drive this. I have been fortunate to spend a lot of time in my youth on a construction site as a trainee and I have nothing but love and admiration.

"The first batch of 60 out of 185 workers of ETA Ascon who were arrested for turning violent during a protest was deported on Tuesday night.

About 8,000 workers of ETA Ascon from Sonapur and Al Quoz went on a protest on Saturday demanding a hike in their basic salary and a two-way airfare when they go on leave every two years.
"


Sorry but these demands are basic human rights. No wonder they protested, I just disagree with the use of violence.

- Call for minimum speed limit on highways:
This is pure horse rubbish!! I remember back in the days when we used to get excited if dad's speedometer touched 100 km/h, not because his car couldn't do it but because our roads were not good enough to handle fast traffic. Now we have a case made by the Police to have a minimum speed limit of 80 km/h on our highways because of Idiots driving too slow and impeding the flow, not to mention endagering life. This is because most of these Idiots drive slowly on the FAST lane thinking it belongs to them, with the concept of roads as a Public way being very alien to their undeveloped minds. Then you get the fast big-balled Arab who then starts to undertake etc thus even making things more dangerous.

I say yay to a minimum speed limit and anything that educates and punishes the stupid drivers out there.

- Schools seek feel increase of 180%:
This is JUST WRONG. Plain wrong. Mind you I did my A-levels at a school in Dubai which I nicknamed Chouetrams (after the supermarket) because they run it like a business not an educational body. In most countries schools are run like charities (i.e. they are not allowed to make a profit, and any profit made gets put back into the school). I found this a very alien concept because my last school was so good in terms of funding that we always got the best books, gear, teachers and all the like for normal fees that didn't go up by more than inflation over the years.

Now there are these theives that want more than 180% raise in the fees?!!?! How do you justify that? How do you sleep at night?

- 9/11 "mastermind" confesses to attacks:
Not wanting to dwell on the past, but when did 9/11 happen? 2001... aaah
When did this dude get caught? Around 2002 me thinks...
When did he "confess"... 2007... aaah.. a good few years then being a good quiet boy.
Interesting timing me thinks.. and I will not dwell much on this but I find it hard that they didn't "encourage" him to confess earlier. Also I find it peculiar that only one man can plan such a complex operation. I don't believe that the truth has died with the attackers of 9/11, we're not talking about a pesky bank robbery here.

Cynical BuJ thinks they should fire the guy in charge of this investigation for failing to find more "responsible" people for the crime, and failing to "make him talk" sooner..

Have a nice day all.

BuJassem

(cross posted on my blog here

15 March, 2007

Cashiers and handling of pork products

I shop for pork at Spinneys and other grocery stores in the UAE with extensive pork sections. I presume that most of the cashiers and baggers are Asian Muslims. They do not refuse to touch the pork product packages. Likewise, I face no difficulties when I leave the airport after passing through the alcohol duty free.

Here's a story out of Minneapolis where Muslims cashiers are refusing to touch pork products:
In the latest example of religious beliefs creating tension in the workplace, some Muslims in the Twin Cities are adhering to a strict interpretation of the Qur'an that prohibits the handling of pork products. Instead of swiping the items themselves, they are asking non-Muslim employees or shoppers to do it for them.
...
The Twin Cities area has become a hotbed for such conflicts because of its burgeoning population of Somali immigrants, many of whom are orthodox Muslims. Last year, Somali cabdrivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport attracted national attention when some refused to carry passengers toting alcohol.

Dr. Shah Khan, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Minnesota in Fridley, said the Somali Muslim community is divided between those who believe it is wrong only to eat pork and more orthodox Muslims who believe the prohibition extends to selling, touching or handling the meat.
...
Retailers have accommodated other religious groups over the years. In the Twin Cities, these include those who don't want to sell lottery tickets or work on Saturdays, said Bernie Hesse, local organizer for United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 789. Supermarkets in particular have been good about recognizing their employees' religious observances, he said. "If we ever get to the point of selling wine in grocery stores, I imagine some folks will be excused from doing that," Hesse said.

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for a person's religious practices if it doesn't impose an undue hardship. A customer's personal preferences is usually not a factor in deciding whether a religious practice is protected in the workplace, noted Khadija Athman, national civil rights manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington.
...
Some legal experts said cashiers who avoid pork in a checkout line are different from taxi drivers at the airport who refuse customers carrying alcohol. "I think in general we expect taxi drivers to pick up all fares," said Eric Janus, the vice dean of William Mitchell College of Law. "That's part of what it means to be a taxi driver."

A supermarket cashier, on the other hand, is not under the same legal obligation to serve all customers, though the store may be. As long as another cashier is available to serve the customer, there should be no problem, said Janus.

The cashiers' example holds a similar legal ground to pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control or morning-after pills, a practice that has led to differing legal opinions in some states as many legislatures decide to take on the issue.
My conjecture is that non-national Muslims in the UAE do not have them job protections on religious grounds that you would find for Muslims in the US. If you want keep your cashier's job at Spinneys you don't refuse to scan the pork products.

14 March, 2007

Congrats Secret Dubai Diary!

Not only did you win the Middle East & Africa Bloggie, but you even made One TV's news tonight! Congratulations!

Dove's Campaign For Real Beauty Launched In UAE

Dove Campaign For Real Beauty

Following the worldwide success of its award-winning ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’, Dove is focused on further breaking the beauty myth for Middle East women with the launch of its 2007 regional campaign.

The new campaign is based on findings of a global study, commissioned by Dove in ten countries around the world showing that Saudi women were among 88% of women (18 to 64 yrs) and 92% of girls (15 to 17 yrs) who wanted to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest. The survey also revealed that this affected their self-esteem with 70% of the Saudi women surveyed stating that they often felt bad about themselves due to weight and body image, and 30% - from as young as 15 years - old considering plastic surgery.

Read More ...

I hope this campaign will work on changing the way we think of beauty and not just believe what the media is feeding us ...

Read Also:
Dove Exposes the Beauty Myth to Reveal ‘Real Beauty’ to Women in the Middle East (Dove Campaign Press)

13 March, 2007

Romance and Islam

I have been bombarded with lots of questions from my friends since I left my past behind, everyone thinks that when you turn to religion life becomes boring… All good Muslims do is fight, say this is forbidden and that is forbidden. One of my friends asked me what is your idea of Romance since you started to take your religion seriously. I told him nothing much has changed since I chose the path I am on, its just that few changes here and there sort out everything for me…. Then I had to give him an example to make him understand few things and I thought of sharing it with you all…..

12 March, 2007

Hot property, or not?

Article on ArabianBusiness.com gives some info on people buying Dubai property, and also why some aren't - albeit from a non-GCC expat point of view.

Excerpted quote:
The unpredictability over whether property prices will rise or fall in Dubai over the next ten years, is one reason behind expats’ reluctance to buy. Property prices in the emirate are linked to supply and demand and so far the steady flow of expatriates into the country has seen property prices rocket.
Read the whole article here.

Muslim or Humans?

One of the Emails I received and I thought I should further elaborate on it, are we Muslims and is it right to judge people by its race, religion and nationality? Do people like these which are mentioned below link represent Islam?

Ellie saw this story on the BBC News website and thought I should see it.She Asked me : ** Message **Does this really go on? It's the 2nd article I hear n it's pretty sick,especially when the court orders it. Aren't u guys supposed to be Muslims?** Six arrested over Pakistan rape **Police in southern Pakistan arrest six men in connection with the kidnap and rape of a 16-year-old girl.

Read Further......

Dubai Airport Incident

An accident took place on one of Dubai Airport runways this morning involving an Air Bangladesh flight. The runway is shut down and incoming flights are being rerouted to other airports. Outbound flights from Dubai are facing massive delays and rescheduling.

According to an official DCA source on Dubai Radio, there are is ONE fatality and a number of injuries, but all seems to be under control.

If you are flying today, it is strongly recommended that you double check with your airline before you head to the airport.

Anyone has more details, do share.

UPDATE FROM MEDIA (Noon today):
Dubai Airport closed after plane skids off runway
Delays and cancellations
Passengers tell of airport chaos
Dubai airport closed for eight hours after plane accident

11 March, 2007

call for writers

London, Juneau, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Berlin, Karachi, New York City, Madras, Sophia, Moscow, Istanbul, Paris, Beijing, Geneva, San Juan, Tashkent

from alaska to mongolia

PORTRAITS, POSSIBILITIES, AND MUSINGS FROM THE MUSLIM WORLD: An opportunity to have your voice heard and your feelings known and the tell the world how Islam lives everyday!

CALL FOR WRITERS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD
Genres: Fiction Mystery, Historical Fiction, Suspense, Non-Fiction, Science Fiction, Poetry, and Essay.

To send queries, entries, or to get information write to: Maryam Ismail, editor maryam@journalist.com

Halliburton Moves to Dubai

As reported at Daily Kos
"DUBAI -- U.S. oil services giant Halliburton Co. will shift its corporate headquarters from Houston to Dubai, Chief Executive Dave Lesar said Sunday."
more HERE

A Heroine amongst us

Gulf News is running a worthy campaign to recognise Everyday Heroes - people in the UAE who work behind the scenes contributing their time, experience and value to help others and be of positive influence in the community.

Among those recognised is Jayne Winstanley - our very own Jayne with a Why - blogger and raconteur of wit, humour and bloody good jokes, interspersed with tales of Grandma and life in the varied, numerous countries in which she has lived.

For those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting her, Jayne is one blogger whose blog truly reflects her personality - straight-up, humorous, intelligent, and damn good value!

She has often written in her blog of her times spent as a volunteer at a centre caring for mentally and physically handicapped people in Abu Dhabi, and it's for this remarkable work that she is being honoured.

Anyone who has worked with the physically and mentally impaired will understand what fortitude this takes, and how you have to be so mentally strong to cope with the joy, frustration, sadness, happiness and the multitude of other emotions that caring for these people can invoke in their ablebodied caregivers.
Jayne has just the right balance of compassion and humour to do it.

CONGRATULATIONS Jayne, kudos to Mike for nominating you, and well done to Gulf News for recognising outstanding UAE citizens working in the background to make a difference.

GN Article on Jayne
GN Article on Everyday Heroes
Nominate people for Everyday Heroes

Awannah!

Hi there you all! Michiko, Issa, Dani - the Falapeno, and I, Arso started a new blog called Awannah! We'd love to give the UAE blogosphere some good insights from the teenagers’ point of view coming from different backgrounds. Yallah, go there now.

no FTA for you

"WASHINGTON: The United States said Friday that free trade talks with the United Arab Emirates would not be completed by an end-of-month deadline.

The United States, however, remains committed to wrapping up an agreement and expects to resume negotiations at a later point, said Gretchen Hamel, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative. It was unclear when talks would resume.

Last month, negotiators made some progress on issues including the environment, e-commerce and copyrights, the Emirates Ministry of Finance and Industry said.

But major sticking points include Washington's insistence on improvement of laborers' rights and the country's overall human rights record."
-- more HERE

10 March, 2007

New Series - Mosques of Al Ain

After a couple of false starts, today I have actually begun my Mosques of Al Ain series. For the next few weeks, I will post a series of photos of some of the beautiful mosques here in Al Ain. It should be very similar to last year's Roundabouts of Al Ain series that many people liked. Today I am starting with the Islamic Institute (UAE University) Mosque.

is life really tough or what!

Every morning, as i step up to the door leading to the office building I see this sick sign adorning the frontage of a hated electronics showroom - The sign says "Business Life is Tough!!" and several feets under that it sings praises of a spitworthy Toshiba laptop and goes on to assure me that life can be made easier when you own a Toshiba Tecra - grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Great work! What is the need to shatter my mood first thing in the morning by stating that life is tough???

I hate you Toshiba!!

Its Hard, Its Easy- It’s a state of mind

I was born Muslim, to Muslim parents. Growing up was easy, easier was falling for the worldly life. Longing for good clothes, nice car, and wasting money was part of life, alcohol and women were things of entertainment.

Without realizing where I was heading, I continued for years until it became a habit, things started going out of control, was cursing myself for the failure which came my way until I realized that I, myself was the reason for my self destruction. Read More.....

09 March, 2007

Muslim and Muslima – the fundamentalist couple




Up Close and Personal Conversations of a fundamental Muslim couple married for few years, their life behind the veil and the beard.

Read more.....

08 March, 2007

The Complete Dubai

What Dubai will look like when it's finished.

Click on the image to enlarge it
Well, not really! However, I thought that it was ironically close to what could be the real thing, given some of the projects that have been announced which will emulate famous icons from other countries!

Image by un-named artist found here, together with a whole lot of other terrific artwork.

Is that Brad Pitt looking out the window of his Palm Deira apartment?

The Truth

Venerable Gulfnooze has uncovered one more Meaningful True Fact today and the said fact is Expenses 'are rising faster than wages

Now I know why I am not rich; my income does not match my expenses! And to think that all this time I was worried there must be something essentially wrong with me. NO. I am perfect!

Boy! Am I relieved :)

07 March, 2007

Bright lights, boom city?

That's the headline in todays property investment article in the UK Daily Telegraph.

More publicity for Brand Dubai.

It goes on:

A skyscraper is born every day in Dubai, but is it an investor's paradise? Don't forget the traffic problems and oversupply of houses.

It gives a reasonably balanced picture - the money to be made, the possible dangers, the infrastructure problems - so it's worth reading.

You can find it here

Behavior-caused diabetes

Specialists in childhood diabetes are meeting at the 2nd Arab Child Health Congress, which is focusing on diabetes this year. Link

There's something fishy about this reported rate. It cannot be that high for the entire population of the UAE. High rates of diabetes are caused by low exercise and an unhealthy diet (foods loaded with fat and sugar). But more than half of those living in the UAE are doing heavy manual labor and eating well (even if it is a poor man's diet).

And yet less than three decades ago the rate of diabetes in the UAE was low. Diabetes goes hand in hand with development -- for example, diabetes is high in the US as well. As we become wealthier our lifestyles - our behavior - change.

My question then is: what subgroup of UAE adult residents are we talking about when we say, "The UAE has the highest number of diabetes cases among adults, second only to the Republic of Nauru, a small isolated island in central Pacific."

More on the Abu Dhabi Louvre :: NYT

Flic posted yesterday on the Louvre coming to Abu Dhabi.

Here are some excerpts from the New York Times report:
What’s the price of a good name?How about a cool $520 million? That is the amount that Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, agreed Tuesday to pay to attach the Louvre’s name to a museum that it hopes to open in 2012. And there is more: in exchange for art loans, special exhibitions and management advice, Abu Dhabi will pay France an additional $747 million. Controversy over the Louvre Abu Dhabi has been swirling in France for the last three months, with critics charging that the French government is “selling” its museums. But only now have the full details of the nearly $1.3 billion package been disclosed.
...
Abu Dhabi has also agreed to make a direct donation of $32.5 million to the Louvre to refurbish a wing of the Pavillon de Flore for the display of international art.
This gallery, to be ready by 2010, will carry the name of Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, the founder and longtime ruler of the United Arab Emirates, who died in 2004.
...
For a government-owned cultural institution in France to carry the name of a corporate or foreign donor is also a first and may well raise eyebrows here. In the past, for instance, the Louvre has turned down offers of financial help from philanthropists who asked that galleries be named after them in return.
...
In a telephone interview from Abu Dhabi, Mubarak Al-Muhairi, the deputy chairman of the emirate’s tourism authority, dismissed rumors that the new museum would reject loans or exhibitions from France including Christian religious art or depicting, say, nudity. “In principle, there are no restrictions,” he said, “but both sides will agree on what is shown.”

06 March, 2007

Those crazy French! :-)

This happened today. I knew the Guggenheim was coming to Abu Dhabi. And now it's official, the Louvre is coming to town:


ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — "France and the United Arab Emirates signed an agreement Tuesday [March 6, 2007] to open a branch of the Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi, despite criticism that the French government is peddling the country's artistic treasures." [Read More...] (via Newsvine)


I say this is good for the UAE, and for the art world.

05 March, 2007

MKD Piano Album 10

Hello!

Yes, I've published my latest piano album!

Come and visit and sample at:

http://bujassem.blogspot.com/2007/02/mkd-piano-album-10.html

The shrinking of E3

The Electronic Entertainment Expo grew into such a large event that few developers, publishers or journalists felt it warranted the effort of attending.
Does this remind anyone of anything?!

Chronic Lateness Is a Pervasive and Expensive Problem, But It Can Be Tackled

Link. Excerpt:
"It's a huge drain on productivity when meetings consistently start 10 or 15 minutes behind, and tardiness has a snowball effect as one person's lateness affects the productivity of his or her colleagues" ...

New unified contract to regulate the rights and duties of domestic workers :: Gulf News

Link to the story.

Ironic that the new law takes effect on April 1st.

As with any law we have to ask not only what the law says, but also whether it will be enforced. Enforcement involves the desire to enforce the law, the capacity to enforce the law, and the willingness of most persons to respect the law.

The law is meant to prevent the abuse of domestic workers. The only way to effectively prevent abuse is to give domestic workers the right to change employers. Otherwise you are captive to your employer.

But allowing workers the right to change jobs is something that is not likely to considered in the UAE. That puts them one step closer to non-temporary residents, one step closer to citizenship under international standards.

04 March, 2007

The Bell Tolls

First phase of Road Toll System to begin in July 2007



Brought to you by Underground Dubai

03 March, 2007

wax my toes? no, never....

You can feel like a rat under a microscrope being the only chick in a bloke's office. My colleague couldn't stop smirking as he dropped me off at Gaza's poshest beauty salon. Six hours later, I called him to pick me up.

"God, it took you that long to do your hair?" he asked, giving me the once over.
I pondered: Should I go into the funny details: a body wax, manicure, pedicure, eyebrows, facial, and then finally, a blow dry?
Hmm. No.
In the meantime, I've missed three calls from my other colleague.
"Six hours?" he asks, as I walk in, "what for? You don't like any different!"
I then cop a five-minute whine about all the news I missed while I was out "lying on your back being pampered.
"If you were getting married you wouldn't take that long," he concluded.
Sadly, I really don't look that different. My badly self-cut fringe is still crooked, although lovely Vera, the Ukranian hairdresser tried to fix it for me; my skin still has red spots; although I am now body hair free...yayyy!
Perhaps that's something only mediterranean types can understand. I feel four kilos lighter.

One of my (non-Arab) colleagues once expressed her surprise that "there are women out there who wax their toes."
...while I quietly choked on my coffee.
Are there women who don't?
www.yalattif.blogspot.com

How to be famous in this century: Be an “Ideapreneur”.

The opportunity to re invent and integrate in the coming years is huge and it’s up to each individual to make use of it. In this century, everyone will and can be an innovator, people are the users and they will have the final word on the product at the end of the day. As it is, there is an obvious shift of power from the corporations to the end users. People now search for the reviews from other people online on the product before buying. This shift of power has been possible by the greatest invention of this century and yes you guessed it, the internet. It is the people’s economy and somewhere in the present and the future, this shift of power will reflect a thinning line between the marketer and the consumer.
Read More

©Viral Juice
UAE blog by Nadia Aamer, MA Interdisciplinary Design Studies
Central Saint Martins, London

AND The Best Driver Award Goes To..!!


02 March, 2007

Dubai buyer sets Aussie real estate record.

On the New South Wales Central Coast, about an hour north of Sydney, a property price record has just been set, by a buyer based in Dubai. An Aussie expat, according to the report, paid about AED11.5 million for the beachfront house.

It's our home town and I was there on holiday a couple of weeks ago and happened to take a photo of the beach...






More publicity for Brand Dubai.


PS. No, the buyer isn't me!

01 March, 2007

USA, United States of Arabia

I've found an interesting news-opinion piece that seems to have people talking:

"Is it finally time for Arabia to unite? With all the political ideas for what to do with the nations in the middle east, has anyone considered Uniting them under one flag. Or is that too much power to provide one conglomerate in the middle east?" Read More... [via Newsvine]

I am a spammer...

according to Blogger, which has flagged Bss & Brn in Al Ain as a spam blog. Has anyone else ever had this happen to them?

So now I have to wait two days for some human at blogger to look at my blog and decide that it is OK. This page claims to explain what exactly triggers their spam filter:

"[S]pam blogs... can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text, along with a large number of links, usually all pointing to a single site."

OK, I don't think that we have that large a number of links (certainly a lot fewer than this one does), much less ones pointing to a single site, so I guess that our writing has now officially been judged as "irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical" by a computer program.