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08 November, 2005

Nine quid hookah

Sixty-three dirhams for a crappy Lahndan shisha - proof that Dubai hasn't yet grabbed the World's Biggest Rip-Off crown.

It smells foul outside Dubai Airport. Dusty concrete swirled with a rank, damp, sewery fetour. Not the best welcome for first time visitors or long-time, long-suffering residents.

How about the DCA lays on some fragrant oud for a proper Arab welcome?

27 Comments:

Blogger azucenamaryam said...

When I first came to Dubai, I learned and loved the smell of Oud. It was in Bur Juman Center, even three years a go it was in Sharjah City Center. Now when I go near the food court I just smell sweat, grease, and mixmatched drug store perfumes.

Let write some letters!

08 November, 2005 07:36  
Blogger samuraisam said...

all the souk's used to have (dunno haven't been to any in quite some time) oud all round the place. And Dubai museum had all the spice smell thing going on in their spice section.

Dubai airports exit doors are abysmal though sd, i couldn't agree more, have they actually finished the construction directly in front of it? last time i was there they had narrowed down the exit to like 1 metre, it was painful.

08 November, 2005 08:20  
Anonymous LandhanBabu said...

Welcome back SD,

Hey - shisha's expensive? Have you tried the balti chicken at the cornerside kebob joint? Its cheaper than here!!

Big up with the blog!

08 November, 2005 10:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shisha is over rated. You can get proper wackybacky in Laandan taaan. Its good stuff man. Peace.

08 November, 2005 10:38  
Blogger CG said...

Ahhhhh so you smelt it huh.
It must be all the dead rats behind kurger bing, they are accumulating you know.

08 November, 2005 10:55  
Blogger BuJ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

08 November, 2005 12:17  
Blogger BuJ said...

Ahlan wa Sahlan/Welcome back SD :)
For me a welcome by friends and family is infinately better than less concrete and more oud at the steps of Dubai airport!

You got ripped off nice and proper in London hehe. You probably went to those posh places in Knightsbridge. You shouldn't have to pay more than £5 near Marble Arch, or £7 if it's super posh. Mind you 17.5% of the price is going to Elizabeth II's horses and men...

08 November, 2005 12:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shisha is rubbish
grapeshisha is boring
hookah is just a silly name that makes people think other things
narghile is just difficult to say
hubbleybubbley is what goes on when i am gaseous in the bath

speand money on rubbish like that and youll get cancer. next time you go back to london there will be a no smoking ban and you will be wanting to come back to dubay as soon as possible

08 November, 2005 12:43  
Anonymous Baz said...

At least you can get a taxi quickly. Spent 50 Dhs getting back to Jumeirah from the airport though.

08 November, 2005 13:01  
Blogger samuraisam said...

apple shisha is where it's at.

and i forgot to say

welcome back SD

08 November, 2005 14:29  
Anonymous Jameela said...

London, I am afraid is a complete rip of if you want to do something slightly different to the norm. And hookah in Edgware Road is different to goin' downt poob for a couple of cheekies. Dubai, with all of its talk of cost of living, still allows a degree of comfort that the hustle and bustle of London can no longer provide.

08 November, 2005 14:30  
Anonymous Nadeem said...

double apple
mint
strawberry

are my favorites in that order.

whats all this talk about grape anyway? Its way too harsh on the throat

08 November, 2005 14:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD do not confuse hookah with the sheesha...thay are two different things and hence not interchangeable...and by the way i believe hookah is never smoked with flavours...just 100% tobacco :-)

08 November, 2005 14:44  
Anonymous Julia said...

Dubai has been a hot place to go among my Asian friends and relatives. Everyone is talking about the place. London, to me, is a bit overrated. The first time I went to the Slone Street, I thought, everything so tiny.... compared to the ones in USA.
Come to think of it, I believe media is all about PR-when you actually get there, it becomes no big deal. People are interested in ME because it seems exotic-the more you hide it, the more you want to know. All about advertising- is it only me- most of the time when I actually get to the places, I am disappointed. I hope Dubai won’t turn out that way.

08 November, 2005 14:47  
Blogger A Yahya said...

I have yet to taste any good 'hubbly bubbly'(weird name) in the UAE. The last time I smoked, was three years ago in Abu Dhabi. That experience left me sick for weeks and so I will never smoke again.

Edgware Rd/Marble Arch does not have any good places, but there used to be an Egyptian Restaurant in Bayswater called Abu Hamad that produced some quality sheesha.

However, even though Cairo is the best place for the finest hubbly bubbly (their apple flavored gems were my favorite) no smell can ever comphensate for the smell of Oud ;)

08 November, 2005 14:56  
Blogger kingfisher said...

There is a lot of perfume mismatching in Dubai... and you should smell the women!

08 November, 2005 15:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secret, I wonder how long you have been a journalist... wonder which school you went for the training...you are from UK-and in Media. so I wonder which newspaper you are working for... Fox, BBC, etc...my guess is that you are about 30something unattached cute/pretty women who is extremely energetic and positive and love life in general...

08 November, 2005 16:08  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Actually we didn't buy that shisha - I was just astounded at the price. It was in Trocadero. We mainly drank at the 100% non-smoking Polar Bear pub just near Chinatown.

Even other pubs have non-smoking areas (albeit tiny) now, which is great.

08 November, 2005 16:21  
Blogger Intellectual Primate said...

I dont think its fair comparing the after smell of shisha with unmistakable essence of oud.

08 November, 2005 16:46  
Blogger samuraisam said...

nomadic, go to the madinat, and their are various places there that make excellent shisha, problem is the price ):

08 November, 2005 16:47  
Blogger Intellectual Primate said...

if you want real urban shisha then you drive to deira, pass the police HQ turn left at the Mulla Plaza R/A and to your left you will spot 'Al Fishawi'! Ask for your favourite flavour there, and you will elevate! In the case the journey seems daunting, then look for 'umm kulthoum'on zaabel road just before the exit into Nasr Cinema, or 'klasikiyat' opposite the lamcy plaza open carpark.

08 November, 2005 17:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i live in nyc here the standard price for shisha is $15+tax+18% tip
which at 20 dollars is roughly 73.5 aed. Its sad but thats what me and other new yorkers pay for shisha and most of the cafes here are preety crowded.

08 November, 2005 17:21  
Anonymous el condo said...

Smokin's bad fer health.

An someone better break this sheesha myth. It seems to have to do with the "Oh! I'm in Arabia! How quaint!" mindset.

Every time I'm walkin past a sheesha joint in Dubai with my kids, they wheeze, "Oh Dad, can't we take some other route? Can't stand that sickening overly-sweet artificial strawberry smell."

Then we do a two km detour just to evade the all-pervasive strawberry flavour. I heard they'd banned it in Sharjah (like smokin's banned in Media City).

08 November, 2005 17:30  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

In Barcelona last summer, Offspring was mighty keen to fill his lungs with the ole double apple. We managed to find a place - it cost about the same as a beer.

08 November, 2005 17:45  
Anonymous Ozzy said...

Welcome Back SD

Dont give DCA too many ideas....they'll put in the Oud Spray and charge another 10dhs for 30 mins at the short -term parking! They should have SIGNS there telling you the rate...frikkin Emirates towers is cheaper!

08 November, 2005 17:53  
Anonymous laymoon said...

the fanciest shmansiest sheesha i know in london is the 20 quid that the management of Levant behind St. Christopher's place have the gall to charge......150 dhs for a shisha anyone?

09 November, 2005 19:50  
Anonymous hooka said...

apparently hooka isnt as healthy as people thoght. i saw something on the news that said one session is equal to 5 packs of ciggs :/

04 August, 2008 18:44  

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