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31 March, 2006

Con City

UK politician George Galloway recently foiled a sting by the News of the World's fake sheikh, Mahzer Mahmood, who tried to implicate him in political corruption and making anti-semitic comments. What partly saved the day for Galloway was his extensive regional knowledge and experience:

"In their appearance, these men did not remotely resemble devout Muslims or Islamists (which is what they later claimed to be). Neither wore a beard."

Writing on the Guardian blog, Galloway noted a Dubai connection with one of his attempted scammers, "Sam Fernando":

"Dubai seems a point of reference for the con artists at the News of the World. It came up in their scams against Sven-Goran Eriksson, Carole Caplin and Sophie Wessex. So what is it about Dubai?"

What is it about Dubai indeed? Most probably its glitzy, multicultural, wheeling-and-dealing crossroads-of-the-Middle East image. It's where the very rich and the very shady do business. It's also seen as having more money than sense. So if you want to masquerade as a dodgy Arab businessman, claiming a Dubai connection and namedropping a few sheikhs is a very easy disguise.



Blogger LazyOwl said...

Wow! Dubai connection. I like that.

Where bussiness become "Shady",money turns to "black".

31 March, 2006 07:33  
Blogger Debbie does Dubai said...

if you thought that is shady - check out "DubaiWood"

Thats it Ive had it - im moving out!

31 March, 2006 08:28  
Blogger samuraisam said...

dubaibuy, that was so fucking hilarious.

31 March, 2006 10:01  
Blogger archer14 said...

Little is known about the hundreds of thousands of fake sheikhs masquerading in dishdashes. Often they truly believe they are the nationals here, which makes their act all the more convincing. I'm talking about those bangladeshis.

31 March, 2006 12:51  
Blogger CG said...

1970's - Dubai - The worlds best kept secret

1980's - Dubai - The worlds most desired residence.

1990's - Dubai - The Russians were buying one way tickets.

2000's - Dubai - The land of get rich quick schemes.

2010's - Dubai - The place that once was.

2020's - Dubai - Home to the worlds leftovers.

Time to get out me feels.

31 March, 2006 13:29  
Blogger crazy1 said...


I hope you will posting a blog about the recent HRW report.

31 March, 2006 13:36  
Blogger Shaper85 said...


That timeline is so true although there wasn't much of a Dubai in the 1970's; Sharjah was the place to be, that is, until they became all Islamic.

31 March, 2006 14:08  
Blogger Neglected-ism said...

@Shaper85: It's better for Sharjah to be 'Islamic' or they will end up being a copy of Dubai. People like you complain about Dubai and it's people like you (again), who will make Sharjah the same as dubai...and then STILL complain.

31 March, 2006 15:32  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

So I'm not allowed to voice my opinion? What I said was very true - Sharjah was the "happening" place before Saudi Arabia bought it out and they became hypocrislamists. Dubai was already the rising star in the UAE and it became more desirable to live there.

I don't understand what you mean by:
"who will make Sharjah the same as dubai"
Sharjah is, and probably will always be, the bedroom state for Dubai's less-than-affluent workforce. Just like Ajman and Umm Al Quwain are becoming the bedroom states for Sharjah's less-than-affluent workforce.

31 March, 2006 16:33  
Blogger 1234dsfs said...

We hate Dubai so much.. We had enough of it... We are LEAVING..

Instead we have one more of your airlines to ferry more of bitching expats to this junkyard...

The phrase 'dont like it, vacate it', seems to fall on deaf ears.


31 March, 2006 19:57  
Blogger the shadow said...

I think Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain should be considered as a single megacity (call it "Dub City" or whatever). That's how the reality of it works anyways.

Also, I can't wait until they finally film a James Bond movie here. It's only a matter of time. If not Casino Royale then the next one for sure.

31 March, 2006 20:08  
Blogger CG said...

Shaper85, you are right about Sharjah being the happening place before they decided to sell themselves out to Saudi Arabia. On Al Wahda street there used to be a really raunchy place called the Bangkok Cellar. It was the 'in' place back in the old days. Between that and the Red Lion in Dubai, there were very few watering holes.

31 March, 2006 21:56  
Blogger al-republican said...

I am leaving Dubai end of April ,too, but for entirely different reason. I really will miss this place and it's people!

Are you guys serious you will leave, too? I think you all should. Seriously, I left America simply because I didn't susbcribe to their ideological and political beliefs. There is more to life than just pecuniary benefits. It's no point living here, hating the system and the people, and continuing to live here. It's "hypocritical" (to use a very often used word).

If Sharjah is "hypocritislamist" then it shouldn't be anyone else's bedroom either. Get up and leave, I assure you will be happier with life. I did, and I dont regret it one bit! Well, sometimes I do, but looking at the larger picture helps! I would hate my hard-earned money to go as taxes to kill my own brothers in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the World!

31 March, 2006 22:13  
Blogger al-republican said...


Dude, I know this guy! Hahaha! He had earlier released a music video as well and one of his friends forwarded it to me to check it out :P

31 March, 2006 22:23  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

@Al Republican

Oh please, you obviously find it easier to run away from things you don't like. Your attitude is typical of someone who can't take critisicm well. The UAE has so much potential but it is hindered by many of the things that are discussed on this blog. Any free country would allow its residents to criticize the system. If you want change to come from within then you have to accept different viewpoints and choose whether to accept them or not instead of saying:

"Get up and leave, I assure you will be happier with life."

Who hasn't heard some variation of that statement before? And incidentally I have left the UAE for greener pastures, although I did try to tolerate it as much as I could before I got a better offer elsewhere.

01 April, 2006 00:29  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

" Any free country would allow its residents to criticize the system. If you want change to come from within then you have to accept different viewpoints and choose whether to accept them or not "
Views from people like you who stated repeatidly how you hate the UAE are not appreciated.
Al republican...where are you going?

01 April, 2006 01:14  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

Not everything you hear in life will be something you want to hear. That said, I've never said that I "hated" the UAE so don't automatically assume that people who post a negative view about the UAE hate it. Most people are frustrated with it, but hate is a very strong word.

01 April, 2006 02:32  
Blogger LazyOwl said...

Al Republican. You seem to be a reasonable guy. I have read few valid points raised by you. C’mon you can do better than that without throwing that over worked infamous phrase “If you don’t like, Leave”. How do you feel if ask “ If you don’t like what we say, why are you here?”

It may be hard to digest, but truth hurts. If you don’t agree. Prove it, argue in a sensible way. Sorry no soft corners here. Everybody is equal here. This is a blog not a court room.

Like or not this is how we feel about UAE. Ever thought about being on the other side of the fence? If you are fed up, and want some ego-boosting news, I’m sure you all know how to find them. This is “Secret Dubai Diary”, so what do you expect?

Now please don’t try to justify things, by saying “ they did this in Iraq” etc, etc. Instead learn to call “a spade, a spade”. We don’t hate UAE, but definitely hate your attitude.

01 April, 2006 05:15  
Blogger LazyOwl said...

The last should be corrected as "their attitude"

01 April, 2006 05:44  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

"How do you feel if ask “ If you don’t like what we say, why are you here?”"
This is a blog...this blog does not pay me money...does not give me a job opportunity..does not give me a better the UAE that you continuely view in a negative way.
I just don't understand why it bothers you to say "if you dont like it leave"..I think its because it doesnt solve your "problems" here...
I am living abroad...and God knows how much I admire things in that country and how many things I totally disagree with and hate...although I have the choice to stay here if I choose...I won't based on the fact that there are things I know I can't live. So I leave as soon as I am done with my studies there...
So, if you dont like it much as you hate that phrase...Its a fair one I think..cause if you are guess is this place has things it can offer that your own country didn't...and although there are things in you country that made you leave there are things you obviously miss ...I guess no place is perfect..
I dont impose my way of life here, I work full hours here in Ramadan, fast while everybody else eats infront of me..try to organize my breaks so it fits my prayer time..stand in the line that is mixed...never I thought I should impose my way of life here..cause this is not my country.
So I wonder what makes you feel entitled to do so in the UAE...
And Shapers...go back and check your previous changed your personal discription in your blog..but it was different ;)

01 April, 2006 07:11  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

01 April, 2006 08:38  
Blogger Cokey said...

Yes Dubai is like a hoe! People come, explore it, pay it and leave! Is that what you want to hear Lemon n hot honey? Dubai is such a disgrace.

When Sheikh Zyed died, this person calls our company and said hes from muncipality trying to print a magazine for condolences. He wanted us to give an advertisement in the magazine and when I said no. He threatened me by saying in gay Arabic english accent - "No, Shiekh Mohammed gave order for everyone to print ad or Sheikh Mohammed will be very angry on you"

He annoyed us for whole week every hour. I just slammed the phone by sayin "Tell Sheikh to lick ma balls" and he never called :)

Moral of the Story: Locals are such sissys!

01 April, 2006 13:46  
Blogger secretdubai said...

hes from muncipality trying to print a magazine for condolences

Newspapers make an ENORMOUS amount of money when sheikhs die from those condolences ads. Do they give all or part of it to charity? They damn well should do.

I imagine any sheikh worth their salt would far prefer a donation be made to a charitable organisation they supported than a pointless, showy-off advert be taken out in a local newspaper.

01 April, 2006 14:04  
Blogger ReginaFilangee said...

its just one big laundrette! all the dodgy money from all over is brought to Dobuy for laundry.

01 April, 2006 16:59  
Blogger al-republican said...

Shaper85 and LazyOwl-

I didn't rule you both to leave this place. I simply tried to echo your feelings and SUGGESTED you to act on it. You can call me a loser for not being able to handle the US, but it won't make any difference to me. Like I said, I made a call that I am not willing to pay taxes to a government that will use my hard-earned money to bomb my brothers in the Muslim World, I guess you are not faced with a similar problem as you pay no taxes here, plus the UAE does not go around meddling in other countries' affairs. But, even if it was, I wonder if people who complain about this place ad hominem would have got up and left? America was definitely "greener" vis-a-vis my educational qualifications, but minting money was not a priority for me.

You are free to voice your opinions, but it is hard to feel that many people here rant just for the sake of ranting. There is no substance in such rhetoric. For example, I have a lot of friends who keep telling me how fake the economy is here and how the stock market is one big bubble that has to burst very soon, which I tend to agree with to tell you the truth. But, almost all of them have invested in it! So what are they trying to do? Make hay while the sun shines? It's the Dubai-dilemma: Love to hate it, but can't live without making a few quick bucks.

Hot Lemon and Honey-

I am going back to Pakistan, in sha Allah. Our government is working on a big project for transfer of semi-conductor and integrated circuits fabrication technology to Pakistan. They are setting up manufacturing plants so that we become more independant as a nation and don't have to import such stuff in the future. Exactly what I have always dreamed of doing!

01 April, 2006 19:19  
Blogger archer14 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

01 April, 2006 20:33  
Blogger archer14 said...

^ Import IC fabrication units for what exactly? Definitely not for public consumption.
And no, don't tell me it's for the military.

01 April, 2006 20:36  
Blogger al-republican said...

Hehe Archer14-

Some of this is for the military! But, the scope of work is open to a wide range of industries. Some of this has to do with solar powered electricity generation and other industries that can use this technology are embedded microcontrollers, PLC and PLD designs etc. At the moment, a lot of engineering companies in Pakistan that use these components and semi-conductor wafers for their applications are importing such circuitry from the West. The import estimate is around US$50 million for wafers alone!

01 April, 2006 21:38  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

"Tell Sheikh to lick ma balls"
how civil...

02 April, 2006 20:29  
Blogger LazyOwl said...

@Al Republican

Good Luck Dude.Wish you all the best.

03 April, 2006 01:03  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

Good luck Al Republicans..very impressive. :)
Just curious to what happened to lazyowls comment follwing mine..

03 April, 2006 03:49  

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