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01 June, 2005

King Canute comes to Dubai

People in Dubai often mock-speculate on the next world-first-biggest-and-best extravaganza to be announced in the emirate. Last year's in-joke, Bubble City - a entire city encased in a glass bubble suspended by helium balloons - even got printed as news in several international publications.

The latest truth-is-stranger-than-fiction special is the embodiment of opulent vulgarity that will be the Palazzo Versace. This resort for the super rich will actually feature an air-conditioned beach:

"It will be developed on a 130,000 square metre plot of prime land, in which an artificially-created temperature-controlled beach will serve mainly upmarket leisure travellers."

Hopefully these hyper-moneyed people will be less likely to steal fixtures and fittings than the average package tour holidaymaker. Several Dubai hotels have had to downgrade their furnishings and remove certain items from rooms due to guests' prolific pilfering.

In one beachside property, fifty per cent of the carved wooden stationary holders were getting stolen - the equivalent to nearly one million dirhams a year. Plain, cardboard-backed notepads are now provided instead.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I might have one of those wooden stationary holders, somewhere under napkins from Madinaat Jumeirah and under the Burj al Arab ashtray.

02 June, 2005 00:10  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Apparently people have been flogging Burj Al Arab matchboxes on eBay.

02 June, 2005 00:38  
Blogger Bu3askoor said...

Nice post!!

What happened to just "borrowing" one or two towels lol.

Any hotels being built for the limited budget people like myself? :)

02 June, 2005 05:38  
Blogger secretdubai said...

They do seem to be focusing on all the high-end, luxury tourism don't they? Not many backpacker hostels under construction.

That said, Europeans etc are staying here for the most ludicrously cheap package prices - eg the equivalent to less than Dh2,000 for return flights + six nights at the JBH.

02 June, 2005 08:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironic that people who live in Dubai can't even get to go for a drink in a bar at the Burj Al Arab any more (not for casual after-work snifters, but sometimes you want to take visitors!) .... Instead, you can only go there if you have a meal, or if you're a British tourist on a ridiculously cheap holiday package. Preserving exclusivity? Not if the people I saw there last time was anything to go by.

03 June, 2005 07:59  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Ironic that people who live in Dubai can't even get to go for a drink in a bar at the Burj Al Arab any more

Really - have they changed the Dh100 entry voucher->reclaim in food-and-beverage system?

04 June, 2005 17:25  
Blogger Emirati said...

What is needed is a UAE equivalent to the asian "Youth Hostel" (popular in hong kong) cheap affordable accomodation for backpackers and low budget tourists.

09 June, 2005 05:17  

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