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22 June, 2005

Cooking up a Dubai storycake

After a fortnight digging around the sandlands for something resembling a scoop, a foreign hack flies home, somewhat crestfallen. If there were any crests in Dubai, which unless you count Jebel Ali "mountain" and frankly no one does, there aren't.

While plenty of reasonably interesting people, places, and practices have been spread before him during his stay, there is nothing really new. Nothing that hasn't been written about already in a thousand different articles titled "The Dubai Miracle" or some close variant.

The problem is that there is really only one Dubai storycake that wordchefs can cook up. The recipe is thus:

Dubai Storycake - Ingredients

- 4oz glittering modern city/business/hotels
- 4oz shopping malls
- 4oz construction site
- 4oz magical mega projects
- 1/4 pint stock phrases: tiny-fishing-village, pearl-of-the-Gulf, desert-kingdom, open-and-tolerant, Arab-hospitality
- teaspoon of very-westernised-for-the-ay-rab-world
- liberal sprinkling of adjectival couplets ("fast-growing" "rapidly-developing" "fast-paced" give a particularly authentic Dubayy flavour)
- dash of sympathy for poor-foreign-labourers (optional, according to taste)


1. Cut ingredients from tourism brochures and paste well together
2. Stir with a thick PR-donated ladle into a impenetrably bland batter
3. Bake between the glossy sheets of advertorial pastry which paid for your trip



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Satarical, acerbic and so very true.

22 June, 2005 14:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hehe true!


29 June, 2005 02:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which country are you from? I have gone through you anti-UAE blog, it seems either you have something against UAE? or you are jealous? You are sitting here and only talking about some negative things that happens once in a year!!!

Should I mention my opinion about UK?

05 July, 2005 11:03  
Blogger secretdubai said...

I don't think you can have "gone through" my blog, because you had, you would see it isn't an "anti-UAE" blog at all.

You obviously don't even understand the point of this entry, which is a critique of foreign journalists' coverage of Dubai, not the emirate itself.

Feel free to mention your opinion about the UK, it's a free(-ish) world.

05 July, 2005 12:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog, but you have my sympathies. Wit just does not seem to translate in Dubai.

Or is it just the local blogsphere that misinterprets everything that isn't a press release?

16 July, 2005 15:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how original! I have yet to see such an original blog in such a long long time! I am definitely jealous, since your writing style certainly has outdone me.. now I'm embarassed to even blog ;)

You will certainly have a bunch of people who will misinterpret your satire and wit. They are a majority, ignore them ;)

27 July, 2005 18:40  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Mohammed - thank you for your really kind words! Please do keep blogging - your blog has a great look and content. I will be adding it to my UAE blog guide as soon as I can.

29 July, 2005 07:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's just remember that despite how much Dubai pretends to be "modern" it is still very primitive compared to European and North American countries... not in the same league by any means. Nothing against the individuals (who I have noticed do enjoy their personal and even sexual freedom while on holiday in London) but as a collective the place has miles to catch up on.

Oman on the other hand is exactly what is says on the tin. For that I have so much more respect.

Dubai pretends to be Singapore or Hong Kong but is actually Karachi / Kuwait.

08 August, 2009 17:50  

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