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09 August, 2005

Fun with phones

BBC Online is running a series of articles on "Young in the Middle East", featuring a range of social and cultural issues. One of the most fascinating is "Phone technology aids UAE dating", about how technology is helping the secret liaisons of young men and women:

"Many of the city's black-shrouded UAE girls say they cannot check out the latest fashions in Zara or sip a smoothie in a cafe without being bombarded with the phone numbers of hopeful admirers."

The key culprit is Bluetooth, a decade-old technology that the poor Khaleej Times still struggles so miserably unsuccessfully to understand:

"Porn and morphed images are sent and received using the MMS and the bluetooth can glean data from similar mobile users within it's range."

Young Emiratis are fortunately far more tech-savvy:

Ahmed Bin Desmal's friends joke that he is a "Bluetooth king". The 20-year-old says he has used the technology to send notes to girls he sees in public places.

"In our country it's very rude to go up and talk to them," he says. "I sent some notes, they liked them - they took my number and they called me. I say nice things - I'm into poems."



Blogger Norma Kassim PhD said...

the wonders of can get overwhelm by it.

09 August, 2005 06:21  
Blogger Parv said...

He writes poems...awww bless.

One wonders where the thin line of harassment is drawn on issues such as these. i.e. How does a roadside Romeo strapped with a mobile phone become a desirable, lyrical-winding Don Juan?

09 August, 2005 08:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The beauty of the technology is one can ignore the invitations of an unwanted suitor. Like everything else, it can be abused, but its also filled with wonder and utility.

09 August, 2005 08:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you know that you are sending the message to the right person? Could be extremely embarassing. Can anyone explain how?

09 August, 2005 08:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm ...

Just a thought. If the ladies are so offended by these poetic romeos trying to woo them, why dont they just turn of the bluetooth when not needed?

LOL @ " I say nice things - I'm into poems" … yeah right !!!

09 August, 2005 08:57  
Blogger secretdubai said...

builderboy - I don' t think you can. I think the hope is that someone will have an "obvious" ID (like "cutegrrl84" or some such hell).

09 August, 2005 11:48  
Blogger waterboy said...

i think it's actually part of the frisson of bluejacking - originally people would do it for a joke: they'd guess which person had bluetooth on and send them a message like 'nice shoes' to see the reaction on their face. Then it began to morph into something else: in the UK there have been (isolated) accounts of bluetooth liaisons ('Fncy shg? Tlts, 5 mins') and in the Muslim world it's become a way to interact and flirt without breaching the taboo on physical interaction between unmarried couples. But that initial bit - making contact - that's, I think, probably part of the buzz: seeing who it is you're talking to, and deciding whether you want to carry on talking to them...

09 August, 2005 13:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Technology is advancing and it has its advantages and disadvantages....This is just like the Internet, you can view informative & educational sites and not too informative and educational websites ;). It is up to the individuals choice, if you do not want to be Bluejacked, switch your Bluetooth profile on your cellphone to undiscoverable mode.

09 August, 2005 14:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Messing around with Bluetooth technology is fun. I am relatively new to it as I only got my first BT set several months ago. And yes, you most certainly get a buzz when you get a flurry of messages while shopping in one of Dubai's malls or sitting at a cafe.

Like a couple others have already mentioned... people who dont really want to be messaged by strangers do have the option of turning of the bluetooth 'discover' mode.

09 August, 2005 14:57  
Blogger Emirati said...

I remember playing a prank with bluetooth once, taking my (male, local) friends mobile and putting the bluetooth nickname as "AmandaLuvsu".. he was instantly bombarded with pictures messages and requests, which he thought were girls, until he was rudely awaken...

The thing about bluetooth is, that if you dont like getting the messages, just close your bluetooth.. so they guy cannot be held accountable...

09 August, 2005 15:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a word of warning - had a Bluetooth message in the Irish Village on Thursday night. The phone then asked: "Do you want to download the communication tool?" Idiotically I keyed yes and obviously dowloaded a virus, as the phone's been sending out spam SMSs ever since.

09 August, 2005 16:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bluetooth....wireless hotspots...New buzz words going around town...cant wait to get my hands on one of those snazzy devices and stay in tune with technology. Wow....just walk into a prominent cafe, izone (wireless hotspots) and you wonder why most folks dont have their cellphones to their ears but are actually jabbing the keys with their thumbs.

10 August, 2005 15:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha i went to school with ahmed bin dasmal....i never thought he'd admit to such idiocity. He's not bad looking either

24 September, 2005 16:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wonders of technology! Sick, I would say, if I was permitted.

The lack of freedom in the arab world is starting to rear its ugly head..... People should be allowed to grow m- so these mischiebves will stop

31 January, 2006 00:57  

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