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29 March, 2006

A flustered virgin

"...and I hope very much that Virgin will always remain a virgin."

A Dubai airport exec's rather bizarre wish to Sir Richard Branson, at a press conference held in the shadow of the Burj to welcome Virgin Atlantic to the sandlands. Is it possible to hymen-test an aircraft?

Equally bizarre, though perhaps explained by Sir Richard's jetlag, lack of sleep and "stinking cold" (according to his PR people), was the goodly knight's apparent confusion over the difference between Dubai, the UAE, and Abu Dhabi:

"...UAE maybe one day, obviously enormous investment's got to go into the UAE to try and turn it into sort of the second Dubai, but it's actually really quite close to here so I'm not sure that we need to set up a separate airline there."

Here's a small guide to help future airline execs navigate more competently around sandlands terminology:

Dubai - a sandy city of brand new skyscrapers and permanent gridlock

Abu Dhabi - a sandy city of 20-year-old skyscrapers and moving traffic

UAE - a very sandy land that is the top of the foot of the great boot of the Arabian Peninsula. It currently contains both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. At least for now.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

29 March, 2006 03:06  
Blogger trailingspouse said...

I hope his pilots have a better sense of direction!

Yesterday I was pricing flights to the UK for an upcoming trip next month and Virgin was MORE EXPENSIVE than Emirates. Very disappointing :( Just hope the added competition will drive prices down with the other airlines.

29 March, 2006 07:31  
Blogger samuraisam said...

Yeah and I just had to endure 15 minutes of Emirates' hold music.

It begins with some stupid woman telling me “Thank you for holding”, and then straight afterwards she says “Please hold… …. …. If you hold your call will be attended to shortly” then they start their stupid theme song in the background, while some vitamin-e deficient woman tells me they’ve won over 250 international awards, and they have wireless internet in first class.

Then it switched to a man, who says the exact same shit.

Then it switched to a different woman, who said the exact same shit.

15 minutes later my phone started beeping because it was running out of battery, it could’ve lasted another few minutes, but I saved my ears and hung up.

29 March, 2006 08:22  
Blogger * said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

29 March, 2006 10:24  
Blogger * said...

HA HAW HAW what they need is this

29 March, 2006 10:26  
Blogger nzm said...

No need to test the aircraft nor question their virginity - they've all had men inside them! :-)

The Virgin lot were out at Bab Al Shams last night, living it up at Al Hadheera. A few of them ended up lost in the hotel maze before being directed out across the beige brick road. It was like watching a flock of sheep - they all followed the leader!

Wonder what's going to happen to that place when it's under the flightpath of the new Jebel Ali airport?

29 March, 2006 10:26  
Blogger grapeshisha said...

At the Abu Dhabi World Leadership Summit last year, he botched up that it was great to come to Dubai's capital. Classic.

29 March, 2006 12:24  
Blogger hannibal said...

And I thought it was only most Americans who had absolutely no clue or concept of Geography outside their own US of A.

sigh !

29 March, 2006 12:32  
Blogger dubaibaggie said...

He should be renamed Sir Richard Branston - he's usually in a pickle.

29 March, 2006 13:39  
Blogger Cokey said...

Hey its no ones fault that they dont know the difference between dubai, uae or abudhabi. Its just that its a tiny stupid country which holds no importance in the world!

So that way no one really needs to know about it. Theres nothing special here except for the sand and traffic!

Hannibal - Its true in USA they dont know much geography outside their own country because its SOOO HUGE ! 50 States with over 100 Major cities, 500 Towns and more than 300 airports. Each city offers something different and amazing. So why should they botherin knowing some country which is like the pinky of the foot.

29 March, 2006 13:57  
Blogger archer14 said...

His bathrobe attire at board meetings have been actually appreciated by many. We also have a desi clone who is trying with all his might to scale this freak of nature. I'm looking forward to more rich Bransonims in the future.

Oh, the irony of it all. So many upscale hotels, courses and bourses. And yet they still don't give a damn.

29 March, 2006 14:13  
Blogger Harsha said...

Any1 saw the front page picture on the Busines supplement of GN. It isnt there online...

No comments on that but, worth a mention.

29 March, 2006 14:37  
Blogger SIN said...

Cokey, not all americans are clueless about geography, but i recall during my early years there, i was quizzed by someone:
Dubai is an uninhabited desert right, so you must travel everywhere by camels.
My response was a simple: 'Nope, been upgraded to Arabian horses now.'
And the fool believed me.

29 March, 2006 15:36  
Blogger SIN said...

Harsha, GN is facing some technical difficulties, hence many of their pages are down.

29 March, 2006 15:37  
Blogger Harsha said...

Sin: they have a different picture for the same article online.

29 March, 2006 15:42  
Blogger SIN said...

What more can u expect from GN...sigh
Anyway, here's a question...
There was hue and cry abt Jacko being caught wearing an abaya, where the whole argument of non-muslims wearing traditional garbs was brought ot the forefront. Yes, i'm not forgetting that he was dressed as a 'woman', but what's the rule for non-muslim men (Branson plz take note) wearing traditional arab attire in that stupid photo op of his?

29 March, 2006 17:06  
Blogger archer14 said...

^^because the rest clandestinely hope that he'll transform into an Arab a la Jackson?

29 March, 2006 18:01  
Blogger flamin said...

hymen-test an aircraft

LOL!! :D

29 March, 2006 18:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


As an American, in America, I can admit to not knowing very much about the UAE. I am aware of the geography and know that it sits on the Arabian Penninsula, bordering Saudi Arabia. How it relates to Oman and Yemen (if at all) is something I do not know.

The population of the UAE had been very small, and as such, not all that much international press had been generated about the place. Who (or what) would they have written about in the 1970's, 1980's and heck, even most of the 1990's? Not too much.
The stories we do hear now, are generally about the explosive growth that Dubai has undergone, and the tolerance of western culture.

The only Americans who'd traditionally done business there were involved in the oil industry. And most people that I know who worked overseas (in oil), worked in Saudi Arabia, not the UAE.

Dubai grabbed a bit more of my "mindshare" when pics of that tennis match between Agassi and Sampras, way above ground, found their way to the Internet. I came to be interested after a frined of mine went to work in Dubai this month (ironically, for Emirates Airlines).

29 March, 2006 20:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious, regarding this story:

I'm not sure I understand. What exactly are criminals doing to blackmail people through these phones?

29 March, 2006 20:26  
Blogger Cokey said...


I just came back to Dubai from USA and out of 100 people I interacted there only maybe 2-3 know about UAE. And only because of the DP World chaos. Also they have linked this country to terrorism and money laundering doesnt really have a good impression.

But people in the UAE think...Damn our country is the famous of all. Its got the tallest buildings(which isnt even 25% complete + Tokyo already announced the tallest tower) and Best hotels (helloo...Las Vegas?!) and wow construction boom (China and malaysia is far much better)

In conclusion, All Dubai has is Hype! Nothing else.

30 March, 2006 02:08  
Blogger Cokey said...

I'm not sure I understand. What exactly are criminals doing to blackmail people through these phones?

Oh well....In Dubai, its a piece of cake to get girls and put the cam in their pants. So after break ups these pics travel around. And the girls ashamed of this! Although they never get this concious while having the sex and so called illicit relations.

I hope you get it!

30 March, 2006 02:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can say this about having the world's tallest building. You may as well hang a gigantic "target" on the side of it, to help assist future terrorists in making a good, clean "hit" with their airplane. To a terrorist, it will always be a symbol of American infidelism and American money corrupting the wholesome people of Islam. Remember, anything "western" on the Arabian Penninsula came from the USA, right? ;-) Before the British had "Lawrence of Arabia", we had a lesser known guy named "Larry of Arabia"... ;-)

In 1999, I interviewed for a job that was located on the 99th floor of the WTC (tower 1). I am VERY glad I did not get the job. (phew).

30 March, 2006 03:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


so it has nothing to do with "bluetooth" wireless technology so much. It has more to do with the innapropriate use of camera phones? (there is a difference) The article seemed to very heavily focus on the "bluetooth" aspect. Perhaps that term is used more generically in the UAE?

30 March, 2006 03:58  
Blogger hdastoor said...

Sorry to dissapoint you GLENGARRY, but Osama has approved the building,so its off limits to all terrorists

30 March, 2006 09:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you do, file an approval application with Bin Laden?

30 March, 2006 19:16  
Blogger Debbie does Dubai said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

31 March, 2006 00:25  
Blogger Debbie does Dubai said...

I dont think he had any problem in finding 'Great Britain' when he was here:

31 March, 2006 00:28  
Blogger Shaper85 said...


I think (could be wrong though) hdastoor is referring to the fact that most of the buildings being constructed in the UAE have some involvment from the Bin Ladin Construction Company, which of course is owned by the Bin Ladin Group and family of which Osama Bin Ladin is part of (even if his family did "disown" him).

31 March, 2006 16:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"most of the buildings being constructed in the UAE have some involvment from the Bin Ladin Construction Company"

Exactly! So if a plane would be flown into one, his family gets even more money once they rebuild.

It's like the owner of a glass window replacement company, who keeps a BB gun in the trunk of his car

31 March, 2006 20:57  
Blogger dubaiproperties said...

so is it true that Richard Branson bought Great Britain on The World?

01 April, 2006 16:44  

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