All shopped out
Adieu to ShopFest 2006. The Dubai Shopping Festival has officially been cancelled until next year:
Dubai, Jan. 9th, 2006 (WAM)– The current round of Dubai Shopping Festival has been deferred to the next round, in mourning of the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, organisers have announced.
Festival Coordinator Saeed Al Naboudah said all the activities had been deferred to the next round, scheduled for the 20th of December, 2006.
But the sales are still on, and presumably the Globule Village, just not the festivities and fireworks.
An interesting question: was this Jordanian motorist just stupid or really, imbecilicly cretinous? The 33-year-old Emir of Amman was driving like an idiot and flashing his lights (something which should be a capital offence, except for drivers genuinely stuck behind 40kmph Sunnymen); he then undertook from the inside and gave a less-than-royal wave to the driver he had been harrassing.
Who was a policeman:
“The policeman was driving in the fast lane and the motorist, travelling at the maximum speed, wanted to go faster. The policeman, however, refused to give him way.
“The outraged driver, swerved to the right lane, overtook the policeman, wound down his window and made an indecent gesture at him. The policeman went to a police station and reported the incident, giving a description of the car along with its number plate.”
Plain clothes or just plain cretinry?
Don’t fiddle with our freedom
Does anyone else find this increasingly unlikely, now the founder of these free zones, who has long extolled the virtues of their freedom, is the Vice President of the UAE?
“[UAE Telecoms Regulatory Authority director general Mohamed Al] Ghanim warned that [TECOM] must abide by UAE censors, who last week banned access to the online version of Britain’s popular The Sun newspaper.
“The Internet will remain censored for cultural reasons. We have to keep our culture protected,” he said. TECOM “will have to abide by the rules”.
Dubai’s free zones have lured scores of media brands, including CNN and the BBC, on the promise of freedom from censorship, which is the norm in the Arab world. Some observers fear online censorship within the zones could undermine their reputation as creative hubs.”
Mirror image of Dubai
A happy new year throughout the sandlands and beyond, as the UK Mirror encourages yet more hordes of Brits to enjoy the delights of Dubai:
“Ask any long-haul air crew about their favourite layover destination and they’ll tell you that top of their list is Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.”
Is it really? Any air crews reading this, do feel free to check in with your comments. But what a fascinating range of alternately obscure, overpriced or seedy venues the Mirror suggests:
“The atmospheric Night Souk features stores selling fashion, accessories, electronic gadgets, cosmetics, jewellery, watches and a range of exotic goods such as Persian carpets and spices.
“Open from 8pm to 3am, this is the hottest place to shop in the coolest part of the day, while the newly-revamped Global Village next door brings together music, dance, arts, handicrafts, theatre and cuisine and is a much sought-after destination.”
Are there Persian carpets at the Night Souq? From memory, it offers discounted, outdated consumer electronics and factory clearance jeans. And “next door” to the Global Village? Yes, if you live on a remote ice station in Antarctica and your nearest neighbours are 30 miles away.
“Lots of tour firms offer 4×4 desert safaris, visiting bedouin camps” – bedouin camps, yes, with plumbed toilets, alcohol, resident henna ladies and belly-dancers, and only two ancient, over-decorated camels per tribe. “Golf vies with horse racing as Dubai’s second religion – Islam, of course, being the first.” – a statement of both questionable taste and accuracy: money is Dubai’s second religion. “Falling off your windsurfer is like plunging into a warm bath” – not in winter, unless you’re the Antarctica family again, and your water heater is broken. “And despite all the offshore building work – they are currently constructing the Palm, a huge offshore island – the sea is surprisingly clear” – is it? Certainly compared to the pristine turquoise glass of four years ago, before the dredging started, it isn’t.
But for the average Mirror-reader-coming-to-Dubai, there are at least a couple of pieces of useful advice:
“If you’re after something more basic, there are three McDonald’s in Dubai as well as Burger Kings, KFCs and a couple of Pizza Huts.”
“Cyclone The Club, in downtown Dubai, is one of the biggest venues in the Middle East.”
Mirror readers will be delighted to find out precisely what it is “big” for.