15 October, 2014

UAE Football

Today's The National has a story about the lack of support that the UAE national team is getting from its fans: It must be asked: ‘Why are Emirati fans not showing up for games in their own country?’
“There is no support from our own fans, so how will the players be motivated,” Mahdi Ali asked on Tuesday, after a 4-0 loss to Uzbekistan in Abu Dhabi. “The other day, the Australians had more support for them than us in the stadium. I wish not to play any games at home but outside the country. It is really disappointing.”
My family and I attended the UAE v Australia friendly last weekend. There was a lot of support for the Aussies, though I'm not sure that there wasn't more support for the Emirates. But the stadium was very empty, especially for a weekend match against a team that just competed in the World Cup a couple of months ago.

One of the lines in the story really resonated with our experience: "One of the most important opportunities UAE football could embrace is tapping into the giant expat community and market, people who sometimes feel unwelcome at national team matches".

We went to the match with the intention of supporting the UAE. But when we got there, the security at the game made go sit with the Australian fans. We weren't made to feel unwelcome, exactly, but it wasn't the most welcoming environment either. And it was easier, by far, to get information about the time and place and cost (free!) for the match from the Australian FA website than from the English side of the UAE FA site (I will say that it is quite possible that the Arabic site might have had all details).

And for the Uzbekistan match, the English UAE FA site said that the match was in Dubai at 3:00 pm and not Abu Dhabi at 6:30, where it really took place.

It is the same with the club teams here. We went to one Al Ain FC match and had a great time. But trying to find out information in English about when, where, and how much is nearly impossible.

Have any other expats tried to support either the national team or a club team? What was your experience?

Darb - Transportation Portal

I'm not sure exactly how new the DOT's Darb website and app are, but this is an outstanding and useful tool. I wish that this had been available last year when I was still having to take buses and taxis everywhere.

Take the trip planner. Say that I want to go from Mezyad Mall to Zayed Sports City. I just drop icons at the mall and the bowling alley and voila:

You can also book a taxi by either dropping a pin on the map or typing an address:

There is a mobile app for Android and iOS that is just as handy.

Right now it is available in English and Arabic.

Kudos all around for this.

13 October, 2014


In an effort to renew interest in this site I have re enabled anonymous comments.

All anonymous comments as well as those that are non-member Google accounts will be submitted to a moderation queue in an effort to weed out the high number of spam comments.

If you have access to the moderation queue please be vigilant in what you allow to be published and avoid letting spam comments through.

As soon as I have free time I will:
1. Try to come up with a better system for users to register for posting access.
2. Go through the blogrolls and update them removing inactive blogs as well as SEO/advertising driven blogs (merely having ads would not in anyway affect your ability to get listed however operating a blog which seems to put commercial interest and paid posting above actual content will be disallowed)
3. Figure out a way to begin including or indexing other sources of content such as YouTube channels, Flickr (wow only a decade and it's now unblocked) and Instagram etc.

If you have any suggestions please feel free to comment.

09 October, 2014

Is Anybody Still Out There?

This is a graphical representation of exactly how much publishing activity has died off here.

It is pretty grim. I'm as much to blame as anyone, since I pretty much quit posting when I left and haven't added anything since I've been back.

On the bright side, by posting this I have doubled this year's output.