30 August, 2011

Double standards

To all those celebrating, here's you all a Happy Eid Al Fitr.

An interesting article appeared in today's Gulf News, which in turn prompted me to write this post after a hiatus.

29 days of stringent (Bravo! to all those I say that endured the daily 15 hours) fasting has just ended and the GCC Authorities have already published a number amounting to $5.8 Billion in terms of loss of revenue to their GDP. This loss was attributed to reduced working hours.


Religion and Money do bond after all.

I suppose that loss would have prompted the Government to declare a 2-day holiday for the UAE's Private Sector making everyone go back to work on Thursday while the Public Sector bigwigs get to party 9-days (2 weekends included) straight-up.

What about the loss of incoming revenue due to 5 days of no-work hours at the Public Sector? Has this been considered or its just that sector continues to reap all benefits at someone else' expense?

The GCC's two-faced policies have never surprised me. After all, that's what walking a thin rope and juggling is all about. One tilt sideways and the show's over.

And on that note, I wish one and all Happy Holidays.

28 August, 2011

Top of the Burj Khalifa - the very top

This is worth sharing as it's not an image, nor an opportunity, that most would get - or have the nerve to get.

Alisdair Miller climbed to the top of the Burj Khalifa lightning rod, and when he got there, he had the presence of mind to let go with one hand, pull out his camera, and photograph this:

As they say in Spain, the man has muy grandes cojones! 
Click on the image or the link at the bottom of the image as that will take you to a larger, much sharper image.

16 August, 2011

Clandestine Croissant, Anyone?

I'll be honest. This fairly trivial post is occasioned in part by the desire not to see ten weeks' blog silence extend to a full quarter. That would almost feel like a final lurch from moribund to just plain dead. Do we, as a community, really have so little to say?
Anyway, here's your starter for ten: what harm would it do to allow food outlets to remain open during Ramadan? Take for example Le Dôme cafe in BurJuman Centre. They are open for delivery or take-away service only. Where is the sense in that? Someone might just buy half a pound of mince and a packet of lentils from a corner shop to cook after sundown, but a grilled cheese croissant and a café latté?? It's hardly likely that's going into the fridge to be fresh for Iftar. If we're happy to acknowledge that many people in town are not fasting, why can we not also let them sit down in comfort to eat their lunch? The daylight is so bright that it's barely possible to see in through the windows, so the temptation argument doesn't apply. And as those who are fasting have no good reason to step inside, the thing would seem to be self-policing. I'm convinced :-)