30 April, 2006

An Angel in Fujairah

Have you ever been to Fujairah and stared out to sea, and seen all the dozens of ships dotted across the horizon?

It turns out that the east coast of the UAE is host to the world's second largest ship bunker - a place where ships and crews can anchor for weeks/months at a time until they're called back into operation.

Thousands of crewmen are left onboard with no entertainment, no communication with friends and family, and very little to do.

Enter the Mission to Seafarers in Dubai. Through their "Angel Appeal", they're aiming at raising over US$1 million to build a boat that will house an internet cafe, medical clinic, book and DVD library, a welfare officer and telecommunications center. Weekly, the "Fujairah Angel" will cruise between the anchored ships, so that crewmen can go onboard for a bit of R&R and as a break from being stuck on their own ships.

More can be read on our blog.

If you'd like to donate, or if you want to find out how you can help, you can do so by phoning the Angel Appeal on 04 3441823

Are we there yet ?

Hi all,

Most of the posts I've seen here are either links to news articles and other interesting bits and pieces, or links to our own blogs/posts, interspered with self-promotional posts, and some that can only be considered advertisements.

Are we turning into a newspaper ?
(I guess not. Ad-sense is not installed yet.)

Are individual bloggers becoming too fixated on attracting visitors to their blog ?
(We have to draw a line somewhere.)

What kind of content is interesting and what can we call spam ?
(We are our own censors)

The original blogging guidelines for the UAE Community Blog can be found here.

What's your opinion ? Are we there yet or are we closing in ?

Google now supports English/Arabic translations

...... We recently launched an online version of our system for Arabic-English and English-Arabic. Try it out! Arabic is a very challenging language to translate to and from: it requires long-distance reordering of words and has a very rich morphology. Our system works better for some types of text (e.g. news) than for others (e.g. novels) -- and you probably should not try to translate poetry ... but do stay tuned for more exciting developments.

Source: Google Research

According to The New York Times

Microsoft and The New York Times unveiled software on Friday that would allow readers to download an electronic version of the newspaper and view it on a portable device.

I guess no need to pay that 2 Dirhams for the gulf news any more.
I don’t think an electronic newspaper will replace the joy of reading a real paper throwing the sheets all over the place while you laying down or doing any thing else..

to be British

Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, then traveling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV.

For more insight into a mad, mad world, click here!

A not-so-shaggy, most unhappy, dog tale

Desert Lady, a newly-discovered UAE blogger (or ex UAE), posts a heart-rending tale about a dog she tried to rescue from a Satwa pet shop:

One Friday, (probably about 15 years ago) I came across the most adorable puppy laying sick in its cage. Above its door a hand written sign read 'LABLADOR'. It was immediately clear to me that (aside from the shop worker not being able to spell) it was not a Lab but a gorgeous Great Dane. The Dane was very weak and was laying in vomit and faeces. Immediately I opened the cage and told the shop worker to give the dog some water. The guy shrugged his shoulders and replied that the dog would not eat or drink. He said it was a bad dog as it was always 'making dirty in the cage'.

Read the rest of the very sad story here.

29 April, 2006

The high price of Dubai

Soaring property prices, runaway inflation and stagnant wages are proving a dangerous combination for Dubai. Will businesses and their top staff soon start fleeing the emirate? Is Dubai growing too fast for its own good?

Interesting article this.

Escape to Underground Dubai, you know it don't make sense.

28 April, 2006

Nigerians use email scams

The Washington Times, America's Newspaper, rivals Khaleej Times

How dumb is this reporting? What kind of rock have they been living under that he or she thinks this is a scoop? I got just as much scam email from Africa when I lived in the US as I do in the UAE.

Email like this spacebar-challenged person:

Mrs.Willifred Erbele writing from /Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire De Yopougon Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire.
West Africa.

Greeting to you in the name of our Lord,

I am the above named person from cote d'ivoire I am married to Mr.Lazuraus Erbele who is an Oil Consultant/Contractor with the Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire National Petrolum Corpration Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2004,We were married for eleven years without a child.

He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christian and we worship in glourios chapel church of God. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against.

When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $1 Million (one million U.S. dollars)in the security company in Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire Presently,the fund is still with the security company.

Recently, my Doctor told me that i have serious sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness but I pray to God to heal me so that I will be alive and see his work done as my late husband instructed me.

Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church or individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein,I want a church that will use this fund for orphanages widows,propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained,The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth.

I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I dont want my husband efforts to be used by unbelievers,I dont want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way,This is why I am taking this decision,I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going,I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord.

Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace I dont need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband relatives around me always,I dont want them to know about this development, With God all things are possible.

As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Security Company and my Doctor to communicate with them and claim the donation of the consignment by all means which no one is aware of the contents as money,it was deposited as confidential family valuables.for security reasons.

I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shephard.My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian and whoever that Wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth.

Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for another church or individual for this same purpose.Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.

Hoping to receive your reply for more details and pls always put me in prayer so that our good God will heal me from my sickness.

Remain blessed in the Lord.

Yours sister in Christ,
Mrs.Willifred Erbele.
Faites de Yahoo! votre page d'accueil sur le web pour retrouver directement vos services préférés : vérifiez vos nouveaux mails, lancez vos recherches et suivez l'actualité en temps réel.
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Blogs 'essential' to a good career - The Boston Globe

Blogs 'essential' to a good career - The Boston Globe

8 Reasons
1. Blogging creates a network.
A blogger puts himself out in the world as someone who is interesting and engaging -- just the type of person everyone wants to meet. ''A blog increases your network because a blog is about introducing yourself and sharing information," says Kaputa.

2. Blogging can get you a job.
Dervala Hanley writes a
quirky literary blog that got her a job is at Stone Yamashita Partners, a consulting firm that ''tries to bring humanity to business." Hanley says the firm was attracted to her ability to put her business experience into personal terms on the blog.

3. Blogging is great training.
To really get attention for your blog, you're going to have to have daily entries for a while. At least a few months to get rolling, and then three or four times a week after that. So you will really get to know your topic well.

4. Blogging helps you move up quickly.
To escape the entry-level grind, you can either pay your dues, working up a ladder forever, or you can establish yourself as an expert in the world by launching a blog. High-level jobs are for people who specialize, and hiring managers look for specialists online. ''
Decision-makers respect Google-karma," writes Tim Bray, director of Web technologies for Sun Microsystems -- on his own blog, of course.

5. Blogging makes self-employment easier.
You can't make it on your own unless you're good at selling yourself. One of the most cost-effective and efficient ways of marketing yourself is with a blog. When someone searches for your product or service, make sure your blog comes up first.
Curt Rosengren, a career coach, periodically Googles ''career passion" -- words he thinks are most important to his business -- just to make sure his blog comes up high on the list. He estimates that his blog generates at least half of his coaching business.

6. Blogging provides more opportunities.
Building brands, changing careers, launching a business -- these endeavors are much easier once you've established yourself online.
''My blog is a foundation," says Rosengren. ''I'm building an awareness that I can leverage to do other fun things with my future, such as product development, or public speaking."
A blog gives you a leg up when you meet someone new. Dylan Tweney, a freelance writer, says a blog gives him instant legitimacy with clients.

7. Blogging could be your big break.
Visually creative types can blog beyond just text. Mark Fearing has a cartoon blog. ''Cartooning and illustration are very crowded fields," he says.
''My blog has gotten me more notice than any other publicity tool I've used. Plus, the blog gives me a way to have a new conversation with potential clients about other work."

8. Blogging makes the world a better place.
''Blogging is about giving stuff away to a community," says Day. ''For years, as a junior developer, I would go to the Internet for solutions and I would always take, take, take. Now I am happy to be a contributor and give something back."
What about you? Has blogging been good for your career? Why?

27 April, 2006

and so to war

That's the problem with bubbles, they have a design fault, they burst.

Sky high rents, low wages, inflation out of control; people are leaving and the workers are rioting.

workers go on rampage in Dubai

They are fighting in the streets, looks different to me, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

LG: Life's not Good

A pregnant woman has alleged that the company she worked for terminated her services recently — without giving any reason — because she was due to take maternity leave in a few months time.

Meenu Grover, a former employee of LG Electronics Middle East Co Ltd, has said that her company terminated her services suddenly on March 22 without giving any explanation. She also says that the incidence has caused her severe mental stress and discomfort during her pregnancy for which she had to be admitted at Zulekha Hospital as well.

Meenu, who has worked with LG Electronics as a call centre representative for one-and-a-half years said: “One day, out of the blue, my manager handed me my termination letter which simply said that my services were terminated with immediate effect. I was also asked to serve a one-month notice from the date that the notice was issued.”

Meenu also said that she begged with her immediate superiors to let her speak to the managers so that she could know the reason for her termination, but her request was denied. “I felt humiliated and shocked because I know that I have not been terminated because of my work performance, but due to the fact that I am pregnant,” says Meenu, who has been awarded an appreciation certificate by the company for her good performance and has also been rewarded monetarily for her services.

“After I pleaded with the managers, I was casually told that one reason for your termination could be the fact that you are pregnant, and the company has to give you maternity and annual leave plus other dues, so they thought it was better to terminate your services,” explained the distraught Indian woman. “But still, I was offered no reason though all my dues have been cleared,” she added.

She also said that during her pregnancy, she had taken only seven days off out of the 15 allowed to her. “I also presented a report from a doctor at Zulekha Hospital to the company saying that I needed rest,” explains Meenu, who has conceived after two years of her marriage and is due to deliver in July. Meenu refused the company’s offer to continue to work for another month, and in the process forfeited the salary that she was due to get. “With what face would I have continued to work in the company after I learnt that the reason for my termination was my pregnancy,” she said.

Interestingly, when Khaleej Times contacted the LG Electronics management, the matter was handled very casually. “What reason does she want?” Madhu from the Accounts and Human Resource Department, asked ‘Khaleej Times’, and he also did not deny that she might have been sacked because of her pregnancy and the expenditure the company might have to incur on her later. But despite promising to give a detailed reply, no company official responded to ‘Khaleej Times’. Meenu later reported that company officials called her up and harrassed her. “Though I have suffered, I do not want other women to be subjected to the same kind of treatment meted out to me by the company,” adds Meenu, who is now flying to India for her delivery.

According to Article 117 of the UAE Labour Law: “Both the employer and the worker may terminate a contract of employment of unlimited duration for a ‘VALID REASON’ at any time, following its conclusion by giving the other party notice in writing at least 30 days before the termination.”  Article 124 also says: “It shall not be lawful for any employer to terminate the service of a worker on the ground of deficient health before he takes the periods of leave of which he is lawfully entitled.”

That Secretary Dubai Diary blogger lady really gets around

Khaleej Times Online: "Secret Dubai deal helped save oil tanker hijacked by pirates."

British Blog Corporation (BBC)

Interesting how now the BBC is moving towards blog related content in a future revamp of its site. Public opinion is now more important than ever:

The BBC today unveiled radical plans to rebuild its website around user-generated content, including blogs and home videos, with the aim of creating a public service version of MySpace.com.

Let's just hope that it won't get blocked like myspace is!

26 April, 2006

According to The New York Times

One Day, That Economy Ticket May Buy You a Place to Stand

How many passengers can be squeezed into economy class?

Interesting must read, as usual the rich get more comfort and the poor get more suffering

How to make a woman happy

thought this deserved a larger audience How to make a woman happy, I am just too good to you guys..........

Who should America invade next?

Tagline- The ignorance is dangerous

25 April, 2006

The Endless Struggle

The following article is regarding Ayubco laborers who were abandoned over a month ago...please click here for further info if you would like to help them in any way you can.

"Awesome-lama-lekum!" is named Dubai's first slang word.

"Awesome-lama-lekum!" is named Dubai's first slang word.
Al Kiwar and Lewis hope phrases like "What the keefak is up?" and "Let's khal-ass and get some food, I'm iftarving!" will soon be commonplace on the streets of Dubai.
You have got to be kidding me.

Column: "There's something fishy about the labour protests"

I just read this column at Gulfnews.com by a local journalist:

It is very important for the UAE to resolve such a sensitive issue. This can only be done by opening up the media, frankness, disclosure and transparency.

The UAE, which opened the door of livelihood wide for millions of expatriate workers has got nothing to hide. There is no country in the world that welcomes foreign workers the way the UAE does.

That last line is simply precious. :P

24 April, 2006

UAE online singing contest

SuperDubai.com is running an online singing contest for Dubaians (though presumably UAEans generally are welcome):

Good News! for Dubai Residents, now any one can record a song and publish it at http://www.SuperDubai.com "Online Singing Contest". The dotcom will feature the Artist in different Genres in three Major Spoken Language of Dubai, Arabic, English and Hindi/Urdu.

Every Contestant can enter and send their recorded wave or mp3 or even avi video music files to the administrator at SuperDubai.com and for a small fee of Dhs 10/= you are ready to float your voice online.

Not quite sure how they're going to manage the fee payments, but never mind - entry is free for the first twenty singers so get your karaoke clips in quickly. More here:

SuperDubai.com Online-Singing-Contest

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's New Book: My Vision - Challenges In The Race For Excellence

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's New Book: My Vision - Challenges In The Race For Excellence

A new book, ‘My Vision — Challenges in the Race for Excellence’, highlighting the breathtaking development of Dubai was launched by Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, here yesterday.

It was published by Motivate Publishing, Dubai and The Arab Institute for Research and Publication, Beirut. According to the co-publishers, the book is a unique and detailed account of the exceptional development of Dubai and the vision behind the outstanding accomplishments, that included transforming the UAE and Dubai from their role as a regional powerhouse to their new and advanced role as international economic and financial centres. The attainment of these high rates of growth, according to them, was accomplished by way of providing excellence in services and industry.

One of the most important features of the book, they noted, is the simplicity with which the author approaches complex subjects such as vision, leadership, state management, enhancement of skills, and expertise in human resources that played a paramount role in constantly pushing development in Dubai to new heights.

The English version of the book will be published soon. The book contains 13 chapters in five parts, plus introduction and conclusion, as well as a brief bibliography on the jacket.

Brief Editorial Review: Described by reviewers as one of the most important books published in the Middle East in the past 50 years, the book is primarily about development, as four of the five sections carry the word ‘development’ in their titles. In his book, the author reveals, for the first time, the ‘secrets’ that made the emirate of Dubai one of the most astounding development phenomena in the world.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's New Book: My Vision - Challenges In The Race For Excellence

The book is dedicated to UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum presented Sheikh Khalifa with the first copy of his new book.

I just purchased a copy of the Arabic version of this book and I can tell from the reviews that it is going to be a great experience for me to travel inside Sheikh Mohammed's mind. Sorry Grapeshisha for rewriting the same topic you just posted ... I just wanted to share the pictures and more detailes about the book with everybody! :)

Read Also:
Mohammed’s book launched (Sheikh Mohammed Official Website)
Khalifa receives first copy of Mohammed’s book (Sheikh Mohammed Official Website)
Shaikh Mohammed’s new book focuses on Dubai’s astounding development (Khaleej Times)

Sheikh Mohammed unveils book?

Has anyone else heard of this or seen it?

Dubai ruler publishes book about the development of the emirate
Updated: Sunday, Apr. 23, 2006 - 11:20 AM

Dubai (dpa) - Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has published a book unveiled Sunday about a detailed account of the development of his country.

In "My Vision - Challenges in the Race for Excellence," Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the United Arab Emirates's vice president and prime minister, gives details behind the transformation of the UAE and Dubai into economic and financial centres.

Published in Arabic, an English version will appear soon, said the publishers Motivate Publishing of Dubai and the Arab Institute for Research and Publication in Beirut.

Copyright 2006 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

23 April, 2006

Just Make an Effort...

I saw this post by GoodLookiN! on the community portal in which he was swearing (thats not allowed, right moderators??). I suggest him to read this in todays Gulf News and respond maturely. To all the people who do not make even the slightest effort while living in the most peaceful country in the world, try to get a life and learn to appreciate the good from the bad. Positive criticism is always welcome, change is always necessary, but not the type of criticism that we see in most of the blogs here.
I request all of the bloggers to be neutral when they post on the community portal. You have your own blog space to fill with whatever you want.

22 April, 2006

Syriana - fact or fiction?

Independent Online Edition
Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have cut a number of scenes from Syriana over fears that the Oscar-winning film starring George Clooney is too realistic in its depiction of Arab states mistreating poor migrant workers.

When the film opened last week, two minutes of footage showing Asian oil workers in an unspecified Arab country being fired and later beaten by police as they queued for work were noticeably absent from cinemas in Dubai.
"Too realistic?" When have you ever read about workers in the UAE being fired? Or beaten by police?

The reality is that the labor abuse in the UAE takes a much more subtle form: Firms that fail to pay their workers and yet do not give them a release so that they pursue a new job. And enforcement agencies that never beat workers, but do consistently fail to have the resources or resolve to enforce the worker's rights to be paid as promised. This is going on everyday, and it frequently makes the news.

But that doesn't make for a gripping story. So you make stuff up. I guess when you are trying to draw the world's attention to the treatment of low income workers in the UAE, lying is acceptable.

Meanwhile, the only audiences that won't see those censored scenes are the ones who would most likely recognize them as bogus.

Let's get Abu Dhabi live on Metroblogs

Calling all Abu Dhabi based bloggers.

It's time to showcase our capital to the world of bloggers and the internet through Metroblogging.com.

Metroblogging is currently looking for active bloggers based in Abu Dhabi who'd like to contribute 3-4 posts a week and bring alive Abu Dhabi city on the site. Dubai is already rocking on it.

There's three of us already posting on it - 4 more active bloggers and Abu Dhabi GOES LIVE in the list of world cities. Let's do it, Aboodaabee people!

To register, look for Abu Dhabi in the pull down menu of cities here:
Register as an Abu Dhabi blogger at Metroblogging

UAE Web of Life - Issue 4


The Internet Magazine on what's happening in the local UAE Internet community.
An ORB-UAE Creative Group Publication (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orb-uae)

Issue 4


- Email
- Print Media
- Web (eGroups, Websites, E-Newsletters)

2. REGULARS - Cub & Bug

3. INTERVIEW - SecretDubai - UAE's first blogger celebrity and the creator of UAE's first blogger's forum.

Read it all here: http://uaeweboflife.blogspot.com

The Top Ten Dubai Hotels....

....are posted here

21 April, 2006

Hi! Inviting everyone to my new blog. Thanks :)

Bhutto linked to oil-for-food scam through Sharjah-based companies

outlookindia.com wired

"Bhutto gave a two million dollars commission to the regime of Saddam Hussein to win contracts worth 115 million dollars through two Sharjah-based companies she registered in 2000 and 2001," Hassan Waseem Afzal, Chairman of The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) alleged.
. . .
Afzal said Petroline FZC, a Sharjah-based company involved in the scam, is owned by Bhutto and her aides Rehman Malik, former Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) additional director and her nephew Hassan Ali Jaffery.

WorldNetDaily: Arab airline hijacks kids of 'South Park'

WorldNetDaily: Arab airline hijacks kids of 'South Park' [With commentary by farkers.]

Now the world knows what we at UAE community blog have known for some time.

Quoting from the WorldNetDaily report:
Tony Fox, executive vice president of corporate communications at the Comedy Central network, said he was completely unaware of the purloined look until informed by WND.

"It's amazing to me how quickly people will jump on a phenomenon," he said. "While I'm not a copyright expert, I don't know how we could have legal recourse for something that looks a lot like a 'South Park' character but actually isn't."

"South Park" has made its mark on society by poking fun at countless people and topics, and Fox noted there are certain liberties people can take to skewer others.

"As satirists we can do that," he said. "Satire is protected by the First Amendment."

Fox added he'd bring the matter to the attention of Comedy Central's legal department for its opinion about the airline's use of similar characters to market itself.
Comedy Central itself has recently been in the news for satiring certain religious figures, but not others. See: Comedy Central and the violence veto, and And I did not speak out.

In related news, Sharjah to crackdown on the distribution of (apparently) supersized panties inscribed with the full text of John 3:16. The confiscate and destroy action is not, though, for copyright infringement. The New Testament is in the public domain. But, wait, what translation was used? RSV, NRSV, NIV, KJV? Somebody call your lawyer.

TAGS: , , ,

20 April, 2006

Strict security overshadows rivals return to UAE

“There were many important people from India with us, and many women, but we were abused and treated with contempt. We were made to feel like animals.”

This comment about the treatment of Indians in the UAE. Surprise anyone?

The "official responce.....

“They are lying,” Dr BR Shetty, president of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council, told 7DAYS.

Yea right.

19 April, 2006

Emirates Airlines Pays $195 Million For FIFA Partnership From 2007 To 2014

Emirates Airlines Official FIFA Sponsor 2007-2014

Tuesday April 18th 2006, Emirates Airline has signed a $195million deal to become a FIFA Partner from 2007 to 2014. In its largest sponsorship deal to date, the Dubai-based airline has rights to all FIFA events - including both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups - and will benefit from enhanced global media exposure and an association with FIFA's special events and development initiatives.

Emirates Airlines is a sponsor of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The deal was signed by the airline's chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, and FIFA President Joseph Blatter. Emirates Airlines expects to double in size by the end of its FIFA deal in eight years time.

Emirates Airlines Official Sponsor of 2006 FIFA World Cup

Emirates Chairman, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, said: "It is part of Emirates plan to become a global brand and household name and association with the most high-profile sporting event in the world is one part of Emirates' strategy to achieve that aim."

"It is our intention for the United Arab Emirates to host a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup during the rights period, which would be the first event of its kind to be held in the Arab world.", Sheikh Ahmed Al-Maktoum added.

Read Also:
FIFA Signs Up Emirates Airline As Sponsor (ABC News)
Emirates In Massive FIFA Deal (Sportbusiness.com)
Emirates sponsors FIFA for $195 million (Worldcupweb.com)
Emirates signs $195 million deal to become Fifa Partner (Khaleej Times)
Emirates–FIFA in $195m deal (Khaleej Times)

Disney goes postal

Disney goes postal

One hundred and thirty-two unauthorized Disney stamps from the Sheikdoms of Sharjah and Fujeira hit the market in 1972. The Walt Disney Company took them to court in France and won on infringement of copyright but the harm had already been done. These stamps are frowned upon by professional stamp collectors because they were obviously produced for collectors and not postal use.
Sharjah once had its own post office. Who knew?

By the way, over at your number one favourite blog, Keefieboy has gone postal, too. You might say he is P.O.-ed.

What is ChiChing?

ChiChing is the sound of extra money in your pocket!

This new site is hoping to be a community driven site that highlights the latest deals in the market. With the power of the blogging community, we can save some money by sharing our findings. Whether you are a resident or have just arrived in U.A.E, this site can be helpful.


'Building Dubai Stories' set for global broadcast on Discovery Channel

It should be interesting .. setup your recorders.

Going behind the scenes at the construction sites of Ski Dubai and The Palm Islands, the cameras capture the human effort involved in building the record-breaking structures and chronicle the obstacles, hazards and moments of success met by all those involved in the mega-projects.

BUILDING DUBAI STORIES is set to premiere on Wednesday 19th April at 23:00 KSA (00:00 UAE) with episode repeats on Thursday 20th April at 13:50 KSA (14:50 UAE) on the Discovery Channel available exclusively on the Showtime Network in the Middle East.
AME Info

Gulfnews: Jail and deportation for harassing women

Gulfnews: Jail and deportation for harassing women

Men caught harassing women will have their photographs and personal details published on the internet, an official at the Interior Ministry said.

Police have warned that tough action will be taken against those who repeatedly harass women. This includes longer jail terms for UAE nationals as well as naming and shaming them across the media.
. . .
At least 23 men, including 18 UAE nationals, are serving their jail term at present. "The move is aimed at preventing them from assaulting ... women's dignity. Harassing women is clearly inconsistent with the values and customs of our society."
. . .
Ordeal of waiting for a taxi
She said men of all ages stop to ask if you need a lift or help. "They ask for your number. You ... be polite and they become more insistent until you have to leave your waiting spot. They throw their numbers out of the window at you. Old (I mean like 70-year-old) men asking you to get in(to) their car. The weirdest was a 14/15-year-old boy who was driving. Followed me home throwing his number out of the window."
"Russian?" is a common interrogative in Dubai. In the context, it is harassment.

What if you are a UAE resident male who harasses a male while you are in another country? That's a job for the court system of that country, but we may ask what the appropriate penalty is. And shouldn't the residents of this country be aware of those residing here who have been convicted of harassment elsewhere?

18 April, 2006

Hatha Al Shariqah

Murder, mayhem, muggings, robberies, kidnappings, is this Tijuana, Fort Apache, Miami, or Compton? Nooo, It’s Sharjah! Well, I don’t know what’s going on. Today, when I came back from taking my girls to the school bus, I saw blood splattered on the wall in alcove between two apartments. Murder, suicide, only Allah and the poor fellow whose innards were violently let loose know what happened
. The seemingly abrupt fall/push/jump from the window above. The watchman said that he lived on the eighth floor, I did not look at the gruesome scene but it was the first thing that my husband saw when he came back from fajr prayer. “It was really gross.” He said The window is chest high and has nothing in which one could boost himself up. Whatever happened it is just on more reason for our beloved authorities to please, stop, take a look, and consider, the topsy turns that life in the Emirates is taking. This was supposed to be for many a paradise and it is turning into a hell.

Freedom of Association...

Something I came across today...


17 April, 2006

State of the Blogosphere

Blogs continue to double every 6 months. Currently 35.3 million tracked by Technorati, with a blog created every second!

More from Sifry, Mr Technorati, himself.

Mathematicians Rejoice!!!

GN Exclusive!!
Bangkok, The city of Angles.

Boing Boing Boing Boing

Friend of mine sent me a link to "the worlds number one blog"

I would suggest it's an adult site although not for the obvious reasons.

That's entertainment folks..........

Brought to you by Underground Dubai

USA loses to Chinese in Sharjah


USA loosehead Stephen Beattie, making his first start since the opening match against Uruguay, extended the American's lead to eight points (11-3) on a try in the 57th minute. The United States appeared on its way to its first win of the championships when Lind scored his third penalty goal of the match in the 63rd minute to put the Americans up 14-3.

The lead would last just 15 minutes as Taipei captain Chieh-Yu Chiang's try was converted by Wei-Fan Lu in the 67th minute to bring their nation within four, 14-10. The United States defense held Chinese Taipei for the next 11 minutes before the game's final score, a Chang try with two minutes remaining on the clock, ended a 12-0 run.

Sharjah Wanderers Stadium, Sharjah

FINAL: United States 14, Chinese Taipei 15 (Halftime, United States 6-3)

Whatsa "loosehead"?

Sharjah factoid: Sharjah Wanderers Club is the only place in Sharjah where you can purchase alcohol. Otherwise, Sharjah is a dry emirate. That makes Ajman happy.

Top 10: Unofficial Wonders Of The World

The World Islands - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If you've ever dreamed of conquering the planet in a single day, you'll definitely want to head to The World Islands. Located off the coast of Dubai, this geographical oddity promises to be a collection of 300 manmade islands shaped to resemble the continents of the world. Although this massive real estate venture is still in its development stage, it will feature islands ranging from 250,000 to 900,000 square feet with a minimum of 164 feet of water between each site. Start saving your pennies now since islands are expected to fetch a minimum of $6.85 million each.

Source: AskMen.com

16 April, 2006

No ban on plastic cups in Dubai

DUBAI — The civic body’s decision on food packaging announced earlier this month does not imply a ban on plastic cups and has been misrepresented by a section of the local media, a senior official told Khaleej Times yesterday.

“Plastic cups have not been banned in Dubai and will continue to be in use. We have simply instructed cafeterias and other establishments selling food items not to use cups that are not meant for hot beverages, whether plastic or any other material,” said Khalid Sharief, Assistant Director of Public Health Department and Head of Food Control Section.

“If it were a ban on plastic cups, the circulars would not have been sent to cafeterias but to dealers and manufacturers of such cups. You can describe the initiative as one that regulates the use of food packaging,” he said.

A Brand New Blog!

Hey everybody, have a read of this!

Little Yellow Duck



Schools to raise tuition fees beyond 20%

Dubai: Parents should brace for significant increases in fees of at least 26 schools in the UAE whose requests for the hike are under consideration by education authorities.

Dubai-based GEMS Group on Saturday announced that it is applying to the Ministry of Education to authorise school fee increases above 20 per cent across 11 of its Central Board of Secondary School Education (CBSE) and Indian School Certificate (ISC) schools in the UAE. The increases are effective as of April 1.

More here

15 April, 2006

Dubai The Model?

Interesting read this one.

Dubai the Model?

Comments always welcome on Underground Dubai

the return of wordhead

Hi there,

Happy Easter everyone. Just to let you know that my blog is back online: www.wordhead.co.uk with more inane ramblings.

Thanks a mil

Hey everyone!

Well, I am back after a long break (too long in fact!) I will be updating my blog with general and personal articles regularly now. The new post is in! Just FYI. :-)

Funny how no one discovered...

...this. Originally posted at UAE Over Coffee:

Shocked shoe shoppers had to dive for cover after a woman ploughed her car through the window of a store as she tried to back out of a parking spot.

Now, the thing is, it's ok to admit you can't drive but don't make lame excuses and make a bigger fool out of yourself.

The embarrassed Egyptian woman last night blamed her brand new Toyota Camry, saying it must be faulty. “I’m a doctor who didn’t lose her mind yet and I’ve been driving for five years,” she told 7DAYS.

“Police officers couldn’t stop laughing, they wanted to know how she actually managed to fly over the curb and smash into the store while reversing,” said K-Corner’s Leena Khiara.

We Democrats Asked for This?

Democrats Unite! I know it is tre cheesy, but if we believe in this fundament of for the people, by the people, and of the people, then, why not? Democracy is supposed to be the magic bullet that destroys all evil, the answer to the $64,000 question, and the cure all for incurable diseases. And whither democracy?
If you didn’t read today’s Khaleej Times, you should. There is a very good essay by Ramzy Baroud that calls for an end to the boycott and sanction of the democratically elected Hamas government. A few pages before that in the Middle East section there is a description of what the suspension of aid is doing to an already impoverished, crippled, and almost hopeless people of Palestine. Now you could sit there and argue that there is this kind of violence committed by the Palestinians and that Hamas should recognize Israel, etc., well, I can guarantee you that if they did, it wouldn’t do much good. Look at Qatar, they were the first ones to extend a hand to the Israelis and it’s probably what got them a seat on the UN Security Council, but when the wrote a draft condemning the strangulation of the Hamas government, and the starvation of the Palestinian people, their resolution was veto, and probably crumbled up and thrown in the trash.
So my expats, who live in this Middle Eastern Paradise, while you sit in the sun relaxing and enjoying the good life, just think of others who are less fortunate and write to your MP or Congressmen, to stop the nonsense.
The Hamas government is the result of what the United States demanded-a democratically elected government. To the EU, US, and Canada, et al the scaredy cats governments, following suit, I say, just give them the money and see what they will do. If you though that you vote counted write to you MP and I will write to mine and I guess we will see how democratic our governments are.

14 April, 2006

Is your blood A-?

We need your help...

giant tribute

Artist pays tribute to late leader, while fighting Arab stereotypes
Most Americans have never heard of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai. And most people from Dubai have never heard of Lawrence artist Stan Herd.

But all that is about to change.

Herd, known for his giant crop portraits, has created a new piece of art: a two-acre depiction of the sheikh, the former leader of the United Arab Emirates.

Herd said he was inspired by a shared love of thoroughbred horses, plus the recent anger in the U.S. over plans to turn port security over to a Dubai-based company.

More here

13 April, 2006

BBC NEWS | Business | Judge calls BCCI case a 'farce'

BBC NEWS Business Judge calls BCCI case a 'farce'

The BBC manages report on the long-lingering BCCI case without making any reference to the UAE connection.

Invisible Tax

(Originally posted at BuJ Al Arab)

"Dubai has no tax"

Such naive statements are not valid in today's world, and should be limited to the history books that describe our great city.

This article on today's Gulf News confirms it: http://gulfnews.com/nation/Housing_and_Property/10032714.html

For UAE residents, life has been tough. Rising costs for virtually everything has meant that the spending power of individuals is going down. From increasing rent, to fuel costs (30% increase last year!), to rising healthcare costs, to rising school fees, and the list goes on...

However, there is still no direct official income tax or VAT in the UAE (please correct me if I am wrong). I believe this has serious effects on Dubai and the UAE's growth plans for the future.

I know for a fact that UK engineering companies are finding it extremely difficult to tempt their UK staff to work in their Dubai offices. Rising costs is an obvious reason.

These proposals by DM are very similar to current Council Tax in place in the UK where people pay a percentage of their house's worth every year as a tax to the local council (not central government). This pays for roads, police, rubbish collecting etc.. in the local area.

Council Tax has been in the UK for a while now, and is becoming increasingly unpopular, as with the even more unpopular Poll Tax before it. What do you think are the consequences of this 5% tax on property? How does this tie in with Sheikh Mohammed's promise not to introduce VAT?

Where we go from here needs to be studied very carefully. Your thoughts?

Eve teasing

Khaleej Times Online:

It may not yet have assumed alarming proportions. But according to the Abu Dhabi Criminal Investigation Department sleuths, who apprehended 23 eve-teasers in the capital over the past two weeks, it is certainly one deplorable offence, which is on the rise.

The arrests came in the wake of a strong directive from the Interior Minister, Lieutenant-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has said that there will be 'zero tolerance' of this crime against women. Of the 27 arrested for eve-teasing, mostly in their twenties but also including some married men in their forties, the authorities have decided that all expatriates will be deported.

Maybe it's because my language is Eng-US, but I had never heard of eve teasing until I read this article. What I learned from the article is that it is a deplorable offence by men against women punishable by deportation unless you are a national in which case no discipline is specified other than counseling.

I thought perhaps eve teasing had to do with taking a woman's money but tricking her into thinking you would marry her - a gender reversal of another kind of teasing.

Google says I am wrong. According to Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, which I read for the articles,
One specific form of sexual harassment called "eve-teasing" is prevalent, especially in urban India. (3) The term eve-teasing is used to refer to sexual harassment of women in public places such as the streets, public transportation, parks, beaches, and cinema halls. This type of public harassment by a lone man or gangs of men includes verbal assaults such as making passes or unwelcome sexual jokes; nonverbal assaults such as showing obscene gestures, winking, whistling, and staring; and physical assaults such as pinching, fondling, and rubbing against women in public places ("Eve-teasing," 1999; Stevens, 1984).

Customer Service...

I love this place, and I love living here, and it really bothers me when I see negativity reflecting it.

I feel that as a whole, the community in the UAE is supposed to be directed towards customer service, it is THAT which it is actually lacking.

We have the best facilities and hotels but with the attitude of the customer we have encouraged (not all!) a similar attitude from the service provider.

It used to be known across Europe and perhaps the world, that for really terrible customer service one can rely on the French & the Spanish. Are we now competing with the west on this one?

My colleague has been in Dubai for under a year and I have seen him suffer with transactions every now & then. And I ask myself why does he suffer? Is it because he has such high expectations from the service providers? Well yes! And why's that? It's because we advertise how we want to be a global leader, a dynamic force in the region to be compared to only the most advanced nations... And yet we lag behind in the most simple, measurable and tangible way, by the service we provide.

Who's to blame? All! What are the solutions? Innumerable! But we need to acknowledge that we have a problem, and we need to want to solve it, else we will lead in other areas that may progress to notoriety rather than fame.

Here's his latest hurdle:


Dear J*******,

Please be informed that I have decided to cancel my planned purchase of the 2006 Toyota Prado from the Al Futtaim showroom in Festival City.

I expect to be refunded the AED500 that I paid as a deposit by the end of business today, 2006 April 15.

Here are the reasons for this cancelled order:

1. Unreasonably long processing time for the order.

My first visit to your showroom was April 1. It is April 13 and I still do not have the car. I have purchased several vehicles for my personal use in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East (4 of those vehicles were Toyotas) and I have not been subject to as much hassles and delays as I have experienced with Al Futtaim in Festival City.

2. Emirates Bank is extremely unprofessional.

First, they assigned me Ashraf who had a limited command of English. Second, I had to send the required documents at least 7 times by email and fax reflecting poor handling of very sensitive and confidential documents such as bank statements, salary certificates, passports, etc. My calls to Emirates Bank were unanswered and hardly returned. Further, an article in today’s paper about a computer glitch in Emirates Bank completely eroded my confidence in your partner’s professionalism.

3. Unreasonable pricing and restricted choice of insurance providers.

If I wanted your showroom to arrange insurance, I would pay 7% premium, vs. ~5% with other reputable insurance companies. This creates an unacceptable amount of hassle on my part as I’d need to drive all over Dubai to obtain no-claim letters, insurance policies, etc.

Let this be a reminder to Al Futtaim that I am the customer. You should make it easy and convenient for me. You should take and return my calls. You should select financing and insurance partners that make purchasing a Toyota a good deal and not a nightmare for me.

Please act on my refund ASAP. I expect the refund to be couriered to me. I may be willing to pick the refund up at the Al Futtaim showroom on Shiek Zayed Road but that is the farthest I would go as I reside near Jebel Ali.

12 April, 2006


Time to set some ground rules;
No racism, sexism, or anything that pisses too many people off on the UAE community blog, that is what your own blog is for.

Emaraty, if you are reading this, I have revoked your posting access to the community blog after your last post; if you have a semi-intelligible reason for posting what you just did in the UAE community blog, I may resume your access; email your reason to sam@samurai-sam.com

Why the Emirati culture matters

(Permission granted by author)

The older I get the more I realize that I don’t really know that much about the culture of the United Arab Emirates, and I am a local! Sure I know that culture is more than just the physical means of living in the U.A.E., we learn that in school. But does the culture of the U.A.E. really matter? It would seem to me that what really matters is not me being me but being more like those expatriates who tell us how to be. Maybe I have been giving my own culture the short end of the stick as I have been caught up in the wave of the west is the best.
I used to generalize a lot about the culture of the U.A.E. and think it was primitive and needed to change. I have always argued with people that my culture, the U.A.E.’s culture, is a very close-minded culture and needs to loosen up. But today I am finally beginning to realize that my culture is more than a just Henna, dune bashing and dancing. Culture is more than just the means of living in the U.A.E., it is the very law under which all we Emiratis live, and I had to learn that the hard way. I hope I have not begun to learn about the importance of my culture too late!
When people meet me for the first time they usually assume that since I’m an Emirati national I know and understand the Emirati culture, but to their shock, just because I wear a sheila and abayaa doesn’t mean I am a U.A.E. cultural expert! In fact I am embarrassed to admit that many expatriates know more about the culture of the U.A.E. than I do.

How can this be? Well in short the success of the U.A.E. might also be seen as its failing. (Sir I didn’t get what you talking about here)

You see, even though I am an Emirati I have lived most of my life traveling around the world from one country to another following my father where his career took him. I am embarrassed to say that I have grown up learning about many different cultures but I have failed to learn my own.

There is no question the UAE culture is unique. Unlike many consumer driven cultures ours is also heavily steeped in our religion, and as hard as this is for westerners to understand we are proud of the place of our religion in all we do. In fact our religion merges with our very traditions creating something that is very special.
As you learn more about the U.A.E.`s culture you realize that all the parts that you once believed were negative, or that you are told are negative by the ever powerful media and global flow of ideas especially those that expatriates bring with them to the U.A.E., turn out to be positive in one way or the other.
I have only just begun to realize that it isn’t the culture of the U.A.E. that has the problem but me! It is me, an Emirati, who has been looking at this truly amazing culture from a very narrow-mind point of view.
The Emirati culture as it grows, accommodates and reasserts its fundamental tenants of community, sharing and goodwill that makes this country so exceptional. Many of my fellow countrymen hold onto our culture with great defiance as they fear it will be lost with time. Dubai is slowly drifting toward that very consumer culture that so many expatriates were socialized into in their own homeland.
What is scary me today is that the Emirati people are slowly and systematically being told that our culture and progress don’t match be it from business, to construction, to education we are slowly being stripped of our unique culture to help aid the rapid development of one of our great cities, and what sadness me is that some of the other Emirates are right behind Dubai in adopting this consumer culture.
The aim of Dubai, as I see it anyway, is to be an international city where everyone is welcomed. But wasn’t that the situation 20 years ago? Hasn’t our culture always been to welcome people, ideas and great stories that can help us grow? Today we seem to be growing at the expense of our very lifeblood, our culture.

Many of my expatriate friends have told me that the reason they have come to the U.A.E. was the good pay, safe environment, and the difference in culture. If that’s the reason then shouldn’t all UAE residents Emirati and non-Emirati worry that the UAE culture is slowly changing into something foreign? Sure every culture has its up’s and down’s, as nothing is perfect but we should all stand together and acknowledge the beauty of this culture and not be so quick to sell it out.

The culture of the U.A.E. is the legacy of our ancestors; it is a piece of art of living, thinking and being that should never fade away. Maybe we need Emitari’s to remember to “act locally and think globally” because once we have lost our culture we will never get it back!

Méytha Al Mutawaa.

how much more bad publicity do we need?

Aren't We Meant To Be Kicking Out Racism?

Football 365.com

lots and lots of readers folks.

Is the UAE racist then? Answers on a postcard please...

Close Call - 11 April 2006 at Sheikh Zayed Road

I met with an accident last night at Sheikh Zayed Road.

Follow the link to my blog to read about it.

Thats a picture of my shirt.

Link: http://gautamjgoesplaces.blogspot.com/2006/04/close-call-11-april-2006-at-sheikh.html

11 April, 2006

The Accidental Success of Orkut

Link to the story in New York Times about how google's orkut is a huge success in Brazil. The blogger on the fast company blog also writes about the negetive aspects or the dark side to the community network. Worth a read! http://blog.fastcompany.com/archives/2006/04/10/going_global_accidentally.html

10 April, 2006

Trouble at Mill

Tourists are targets in Dubai revolt

Make mine a cuppa cha

It's interesting that the whole tea craze is following suit in the UAE. While this is not wholly interesting in isolation, as a general trend it can be argued that the speed by which this has followed the Europe and North America is particularly so. Trands that usually establish themselves either in these places some how end up in the Middle East. But as time goes by, they are being picked up quicker and quicker. Whether this is to do with the make up of the population, or due to consumer savviness is unknown. But what you can deduce, is that there is some follow through in consumer tastes, even if the culture defines the norm scales of those tastes.

09 April, 2006

UAE Politics and Security :: MENAS Associates

UAE Politics and Security :: MENAS Associates - 15 Dec 05 (pdf)

MENA Associates don't do a bad job providing a sampler of UAE factoids:

Traffic - "the number of deaths per 100,000 vehicles: around 116
in the UAE, six times the U.S. rate."

Camping - "A December issue of Construction Week says the
level of construction activity over the next five years means the demand
for labour accommodation will rocket, and contractors are being invited to
invest in the UAE’s first luxury labour camp."

East Enders Pinched - "Ajman has seen an average 70% increase for one, two and three bedroom apartments in 2005."

Congestion Discharges - "The UAE is the UK's biggest congestion charge defaulter, according to media reports, and has accumulated debts of £452,650 (AED 2,950,000), more than any other embassy in London, according to a list released by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office."

Foreign Affairs - rated not safe for UAE community viewing audiences.

Insecurity - "The UAE authorities repeatedly insist with unflagging confidence that the Federation is not a target for terrorism but, equally consistently, they fail to explain why targets that seem ripe for the picking by anti-western terrorist groups should be immune."
What is it they always say? Read the whole thing.

Bahrain candlelit vigil sparks controversy

"Manama: A candlelit vigil, held to pay tribute to the victims of the Al Dana boat tragedy, has sparked a controversy in Bahrain after Salafist MP Shaikh Adel Al Mouawda condemned it as a peculiar activity that is not condoned by Islam."

Read full article.

Are they serious? Do they have nothing else to pick on or nothing better to do?

Nice When It's Finished....

Thought you guys would find this interesting:


also check out:


For fun 'n' stuff give me a click too:

Underground Dubai

Hamas and the belly-dancing lobby

TigerHawk has the story from his number one favourite source, Haitham Sabbah.

Haitham figures that a crackdown on Russian belly dancers in Palestine will alienate secular Palestinian voters who voted for Hamas only out of disenchantment with the alternative.

But note that US and EU moves to intimidate Hamas into changing its policies only increases its support even from its natural domestic opponents.

The idiomatic English expression for that is "driving strange bedfellows together." Is that a good idea in this case? I don't think so.

08 April, 2006

Jailed and fined for no fault of his

Friends, how many of you think this would have happened if this man held a European or American passport? You have F**king iris scanners, e-f**king-gate and a ton of other f***king crazy techno stuff and yet you jail a poor soul twice and make him pay a telephone bill inspite of never owning a phone.

How could you?
And you still have him on a blacklist!

Quality, just gotta share it....


To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories.

Read on peeps!

07 April, 2006

Dubai Planet

Does anybody know who owns/runs/maintains the Dubai Planet aggregator? I urgently need an email address to get in touch with them on - the site itself is entirely contact-free, and comments are not responded to.

Writers Block - UAE

Fifteen winners attended a creative writing workshop at the British Council in Dubai from 18th to 22nd March. The 15 winners, from all over the UAE, were selected after taking part in a nation-wide writing competition for successfully showing great imagination and outstanding English skills.The theme of the writing contest was 'I Belong'. The workshop was lead by a prominent writer from Britain, Rageev Balasubramanyam, who had the students working collaboratively to develop their writing skills. In time these stories will be a part of an international online story chain. Meanwhile, two of the fifteen winners decided to establish an online-based writing club for amateur writers in the UAE:

Who They
A group of creative people that are enthusiastic about writing and reading.

What Do
They will share their work, their experience, possible opportunities as well as writing tips

...and Why
There arent a lot of online-based writing clubs in the UAE. And Writer's Block's objective is to form a network where we can all inspire and get inspired.

URL: http://writersblockuae.blogspot.com/

Email: writersblockuae@gmail.com

Next up: cancellation of the law of gravity, cause of so much friction

Nationals hail decision on minimum wages : "Abdullah Matar, a national student at the American University of Sharjah hailed the decision, which he believed will encourage nationals to join the private sector."

Okay, maybe* it moves quantity supplied up along the supply curve, but what quantity demanded? Isn't it going the opposite direction? Have not firms already demonstrated they are profit seekers? If your plans to sell don't match my plans to buy I believe you will find that the smaller number determines the volume of trade.

Oh, right, there's a solution to that: quotas for nationals. In some places this constellation of policies might be called a duck. Where I come from we call it a tax. And who is it taxing? At the end of the day (given massive labor supply elasticities (sorry to get a tiny bit technical)) the burden of that tax falls on the employer. But come to think of it most firms must be 51 per cent local owned. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "circular flow"; a stealth welfare program from national to national.

Not that taxes are bad per se, but why not subsidize national employment? If it were you, would you rather your employer see you as a tax burden as a national treasure?

*The Emirates Economist has another spin.


06 April, 2006

Emirates Towers

Is it the BankWest tower? Or Emirates Towers?

Putting accent on "get used to it". In the new global economy this is a skill you need to acquire.

kare11.com :: KARE 11 TV - Professor sought: Must clearly speak English

Stanton suggested the Heidgerken's bill [Heidgerken?; is he fresh off the boat?], if it became law, would allow any student failing a class to use the language barrier as an excuse to drop it without consequences.

And, he used a personal anecdote to suggest that the professor's "poor English" is often an excuse for poor performance."Last semester my daughter didn't get a very good grade in biology, and when I asked her, she said she had trouble understanding the professor," recalled Stanton."The only problem is, I know the professor - he served on my government relations committee - and I can understand him quite well."

Stanton went on to say that the language barrier is part of college life and that these students will have to deal with people with accents the rest of their lives, because of the increasingly global economy. In other words, he said having international professors is good training for real life.
Stanton's daughter was unable to speak to our inquiries. In an unpunctuated email she wrote, "wtf ur all ashats farku :)"

Blood Wedding by Federico Garcia Lorca

For those who seek culture at great opportunities:

The play: Blood Wedding

Date: April 17th & 18th

Venue: American University of in Dubai

Points of Sale: Box Office & Virgin (prices at 25, 50, & 100 AED)

"Based on a true story of love, lust, and betrayal, Blood Wedding is one of the most powerful and innovative plays written this century. Federico Garcia Lorca wrote his best known play years after reading a newspaper account of a young bride in Andalusia who abandoned her husband-to-be on their wedding day to escape with her childhood sweetheart. Lorca evokes the spectacle of human passion through sophisticated and often surrealistic poetic technique, elevating the love story to a tragedy of fate." (quoted from Theatre Zone)

Gulfnews: No plans for 'spy' technology

Gulfnews: No plans for 'spy' technology

Yes. No. On. Off.

Who knows? If there was a way to apply this technology and protect the privacy of certain nationalities, then it probably would be readily adopted. But then it wouldn't have the desired behaviorial consequences.

In the meantime, the married guy speeding through the red light near the shaghouse in Jumeraih at 3am with somebody else's wife can rest easy. No photos please. If you must, please do not send the 5X8 glossies to the home address.

"The UAE authorities are desperate to stop people speeding. According to official statistics, one person is killed on the country's roads every 15 hours." Some women seeking to marry within their nationality are finding a dearth of marriage partners their age - the guys are killing themselves off.

As long as there is not equality under the law some nationalities will behave differently than others. It's all about incentives, kids. So said the economist.

Ask the mother of the guy who wrapped his car around a pole on the 611 yesterday. If they are ever able to extract him and identify him and inform his next of kin.

Shameless Plug : OurSouq.com Community Classifieds

This is my first post at UAE Community Blog and unfortunately it is motivated by self interest :)

UAE community blog is all about community and so is OurSouq.com. It is a free community classifieds website that allows users to post community events, services, jobs, for sale items, and real estate.

I hope the site adds value to the internet sphere of the UAE.

I would like to thank the UAE bloggers who helped me test the site and provided me with great feedback.

Site: www.OurSouq.com/en/

05 April, 2006

People Who Feed Off Others' Misfortune

7 Days writes about the grizzly phenomenon of people gathering around accident scenes, particularly on the UAE's roads. The article tries to offer some explanation--though not any excuses. I think it is sad the way so many people in this country gawk at such scenes. It shows a great lack of empathy for the pain that other human beings may be suffering. A simple thought like, "what if that were me under that wreck?" is enough to make me mind my own business, as the last thing I'd want is to be the object of freakshow like attention when such a tragedy occurs.

Local Tee

This one's one of my favourites...

Apparently most kids at schools are wearing these... I feel sooooo behind. I think this is very beautiful in design and I would like to get one if not a few! I've contacted the email enquiring as to wear I can obtain any number of these funky new design t-shirts.

This is new local design that I am proud of, something different, retro, off the wall and whats that word... on the side.. no, by the wall... no, AAAAARGH!! um you know not main street high street but rather underground sorta kinda like that... you know!


A team of organized criminals are installing equipment on legitimate bank ATM's in at least 2 regions to steal both the ATM card number and the PIN. The team sits nearby in a car receiving the information transmitted wirelessly over weekends and evenings from equipment they install on the front of the ATM (see photos). If you see an attachment like this, do not use the ATM and report it immediately to the bank using the phone on the front of the ATM.

The equipment used to capture your ATM card number and PIN are cleverly disguised to look like normal ATM equipment. A "skimmer" is mounted to the front of the normal ATM card slot that reads the ATM card number and transmits it to the criminals sitting in a nearby car.

At the same time, a wireless camera is disguised to look like a leaflet holder and is mounted in a position to view ATM PIN entries.

The thieves copy the cards and use the PIN numbers to withdraw thousands from many accounts in a very short time directly from the bank ATM.

Equipment being installed on front of existing bank card slot.

The equipment as it appears installed over the normal ATM bank slot.

The PIN reading camera being installed on the ATM is housed in an innocent looking leaflet enclosure.

The camera shown installed and ready to capture PIN's by looking down on the keypad as you enter your PIN

Tell more people

(Source: Email Forward in Dubai, 4/4/06)

04 April, 2006

Dubai 3D Browser: Attractive & Creative Way To Browse Dubai

Dubai 3D Browser

First ... Thanks to 3D-Freak for bringing to my attention this very amazing Dubai project.

Dubai 3D Browser is the full 3D modeling of Dubai. The Dubai municipality will provide the best tools to advertise your company in Dubai and all over the world. Now you have the power to reach and be reached. The unique Dubai 3D browser lets your company be seen in a dynamic manner. It will also advertise your company just like the real Dubai City, available from any place in the world. Each building, road, urban object is modelled in 3D for a better quality.

Dubai 3D will be available on internet, CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs. On Internet, will be live browsing by clicking in the screen or by using the navigation menu. On DVD-ROMs, will be live navigation, walkinside real time.

Registering for Dubai 3D Brower started September 2005. The Dubai 3D Browser project is brought by Dubai Municipality and French Concept Digital Solutions.


watch this

I think the UAE must be a pretty profitable place to set up an insurance company...

(expect samuraisam car insurance to launch pretty soon)

(link courtesy of mr. F)

top pix doing the rounds in the UK and beyond.......

Top 5 Viral E-mail at Underground Dubai all for you delight!

Emaar community portal on line

Emaar Properties has announced the launch of its community portal, an electronic channel of communication designed to further develop communities and enhance communication with residents within Emaar developments.

Features of emaar.com/communityportal include system logins for homeowners and tenants, single community logins and community specific web pages.

The portal will seek to involve residents in decision making and the administration of their communities.


(Source: Eqarat.com E-Newsletter, 3/4/06)

Liverpool, Chelsea, NewCastle, Man. Untd. - 1st Time in Dubai

Thursday 6th April 2006, Dubai Tennis Stadium, Aviation Club.

Time Out Ticket - http://www.timeouttickets.com
Tel: 800 4669


(Source: Flyer in Emirates Today, 3/4/06)

MSF Dubai

Support A Good Cause, Support MSF
At our 2nd Hand Book Bazaar

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will be holding its Bi-Annual 2nd Hand Book Bazaar 2006.

For Book lovers, this is an event not to be missed. We have a wide range of all types of books for all ages, novels, language books, sports, cookery, teenage interests, arts and crafts and various others to suits all needs. Please encourage friends, colleagues and parents to support by visiting and supporting a good cause.

All the proceeds from the book sales fund MSF’s work with populations in need around the world.

In addition to Book sales, this year we are including a fun station for the kids. We will have daily story-telling sessions, fun quizzes and colouring competitions. There will be small prizes awarded daily to the winners. Thanks to Bookworm for kindly donating the prizes.

Please note we are still collecting books. If you would like to donate unwanted books, Please drop them off at your earliest to the MSF offices (Dune Centre, 4th Floor, Office #413, Al Diyafah, Al Satwa).

DATE: Wed 26th, Thu 27th and Fri 28th April 2006

TIMES: Between 5pm to 9pm

VENUE: Dune Shopping Centre, Al Diyafah Road, Satwa on the ground floor of the main shopping area.

Please note Saad Flower Shop on the ground floor of the Dune Centre is kindly donating 10% on total sales to MSF during the Book Bazaar Days, so please support them too. You could also place orders for flowers with Saad on 050-5016318.

For more information: MSF UAE

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent humanitarian aid agency committed to two objectives: providing medical aid wherever needed, regardless of race, religion, politics or sex and raising awareness of the plight of the people we help.

03 April, 2006

The next site to be banned by Etisalat....

...will be..... Google Romance

Catch it while you can!

you're being watched

kiss your privacy goodbye...
Kind of sad that policing the roads is so useless that monitoring devices have to be made mandatory...

Officials are ready to roll out a black box spy system that allows satellites to track each and every driver in the UAE and automatically issue speeding and other tickets for the slightest transgression. The first 10,000 black boxes will be installed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with 700,000 installed by 2009. IBM signed a $125 million contract for the system last April.
The GPS-enabled "Smart Box" will also be used to tax drivers for every mile driven and will be rolled out as car registrations are renewed. The device provides a voice warning if the driver exceeds the local speed limit for wherever he may be driving. If the voice warning is ignored, the system would use a GSM/GPRS link to beam the car's speed, identity and location to the police so that a ticket can be issued. The system would also track and monitor any other driving violations, including "reckless behavior."

Motoring fines in the Gulf are notoriously harsh, with the maximum penalty for red light running set at six months in prison and a 3,000 dirhams fine ($816 US) along with seizure of the vehicle on the first offense. Last month, 94 individuals were arrested for "illegal car washing."

Read one article
Read another article

Also read an article on ibm.com about the project, and it's origins etc etc etc

Today! President Football Cup Final - Al Ain vs Sharjah Live Online

Brought to you by Abu Dhabi TV and Etisalat on 3rd April 2006 at 4:30 pm
on http://www.live.ae

Ban Cameras

Quite possibly posted before, I didn't recall it being posted so I posted it...

As the emirate grows more popular among celebrities, Dubai has launched an official crackdown on paparazzi photographers. It follows the snapping on local beaches of high-profile English footballers, such as Chelsea's Frank Lampard and John Terry, and the sale of these photographs to British tabloids. David Beckham so far has escaped attention, but this is expected to change when he moves into his villa in Dubai later this year. Dubai police say that under local law it is illegal to take pictures of anyone—famous or not—without their consent. While the law has largely been ignored in the past, in early March police officials announced plans to enforce it strictly, threatening prison sentences for offenders.

More here

Also, enjoy this video of some guys rapping about lahme (meat) (rated PG: minor expletives near end of song)



To be used in the context of:

"Sami Merhi was "Dubai'd"--that's when you are demonized by unfounded allegations spread by opponents seeking political advantage and then dumped by so-called friends who fear defending you. It is a kind of political terrorism that mixes fear, character assassination, and crass politics."

Click here for more on this story......

BBC Prime axed

E Vision, the TV arm of Etisalat have axed BBC Prime from their Firstnet budget package. Now homesick brits in need of their Eastenders fix will have to pay 50 dirhams a month more for the Orbit package to receive the channel.

Outrage! Call, e mail, write and complain!!

A Shout Out To the Shaheen Brothers

Today the ISAFNations Cup challenge starts and I just wanted to give a shout out to my former students, Skipper, Ahmed Shaheen and his little brother Omar, who will be racing to win at the Dubai International Marine Club.
See you at the Grand Finals! InshaAllah!

The Enquirer - Faculty, students share impressions

The Enquirer - Faculty, students share impressions of Dubai

Northern Kentuckians discovered the merits of an autocracy.

02 April, 2006

one big construction site just got a setback

Construction companies struggle to entice Indian workers to UAE

(Gulf News Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Dubai: Contracting companies are increasingly finding Indian workers turning down construction job offers because salaries here are too low while wages in India are rising.

One of the companies' officials and many labour agents have said it is increasingly difficult to convince Indian professionals and labourers to work in the UAE, because salaries here are stagnant against rising inflation, while the Indian economy is booming.

read more here

AD, no freehold for foreigners | Real Estate

AD, no freehold for foreigners :: AMEInfo fn
Ex ports, Ex pats?

If a similar law had existed in the US then we could have avoided all this messy ports business to begin with. But it doesn't. Foreigners can own land in the US.

So the US gets egg on its face when its legislators insist that there be exceptions - that certain land cannot be owned by certain foreigners. At least Abu Dhabi is treating all foreigners equally.

Bill and Hillary Clinton were not available for comment.

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