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04 May, 2006

Mammoth monstrosity

Interviewing a Sri Lankan tourism exec about his country's attractions was fascinating: it is clearly a lush, beautiful place rich in culture and history. Of particular interest was the elephant orphanage or "transit home", which helps raise and rehome small beasts separated from their herd:

"And eventually, once they have grown up enough, they are returned to the wild in Udawalawe National Park. There are normally between 15 and 30 elephants, between 3 weeks and 4 years old, at the facility."

Tourists and animal lovers can visit the elephant home, meet the orphans, and donate money to help conserve the noble pachyderm.

But why bother? For Lo! and on the eighth day, an elephant-shaped hotel was created at Dubailand. Along with three Taj Mahals, two Eiffel towers, and a Pisa-tower in a fucking pear tree.

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Blogger Earthbound Misfit said...

Bravo Bravo.

Loved it....

04 May, 2006 02:06  
Blogger Earthbound Misfit said...

What suprises and disgusts is how many people I have met around here who would rather go to a cheap tacky hotel/mall/"insert Dubai attraction" than go down to a place like Sri Lanka.

No accounting for taste.

Dman Bling culture is like a virus - consuming all in its part.

04 May, 2006 02:10  
Blogger Earthbound Misfit said...

*Damn bling culture is like a Locusts storm - consuming all in its path

04 May, 2006 02:12  
Blogger DubaiSceptic said...

SD: Methinks I detect an unusual note in this posting - (adopts best amateur psychiatrist pose) - sheer feduppedness. Do you need another holiday?

I agree though, with all you say - I'ev been to the pachyderm orphanage and it was really soul-uplifting.

04 May, 2006 08:55  
Blogger DubaiSceptic said...

Oh - meant to add - Don't know if I really want to go to the elephant-island-hotel in Dubai though.

04 May, 2006 08:56  
Blogger Debbie does Dubai said...

did anyone see the Barney kept on one of the projects?

04 May, 2006 09:21  
Blogger el condo said...

I did see the flint stones in Al Ain...

04 May, 2006 10:22  
Blogger archer14 said...

^^Thats because they were screaming in pain after having their soles burned in the traffic jam!

04 May, 2006 11:29  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

The elephant orphanage is great - you can also help feed and bathe the baby elephants. I've been there several times and its been a wonderful experience each time.

There are several places to stay nearby too, ranging from cheap guesthouses to expensive hotels.
Also, ever since Air Arabia started their daily flights to Sri Lanka, its been so much easier going back and forth, especially since the airfare is so cheap.

04 May, 2006 12:15  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Presumably you get to this hotel via a trunk road.

04 May, 2006 12:34  
Blogger el condo said...

That's right, Archer...just after they cut their feet on the flint....stones...

04 May, 2006 13:22  
Blogger el condo said...

Tim: Yep. It does get Pachy in places, though.

04 May, 2006 13:25  
Blogger Minkey Chief said...

Tusk, tusk, tusk. These jokes are becoming heavy going.

04 May, 2006 15:04  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

These jokes are becoming heavy going.

Well, if you can think of any better, I'm all ears.

04 May, 2006 19:40  
Blogger Mohamed Elzubeir said...

Well.. nothing is wrong with building crazy stuff. I would rather go there than an elephant orphanage. Call me cold, tasteless, without a class, etc. but, I'm not much of a nature guy. Keep me in a city with traffic and 24 hours stores and I'll be a happy camper.

So, they cater to folks like me. What's the big deal? Besides, it's not like Dubai has this 'culture' it has to preserve. There's nothing here and this insane construction _is_ its culture.

Not sure what the big fuss is all about.

04 May, 2006 19:59  
Blogger Minkey Chief said...

Well, if you can think of any better, I'm all ears.

The problem is, thinking about elephants needs a lot of grey matter... Ivory bad at this...

(Shudder... please stop now Tim?)

04 May, 2006 20:30  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Besides, it's not like Dubai has this 'culture' it has to preserve.

Erm - aren't you forgetting something?

Here's a clue.

Elephants never forget...

04 May, 2006 21:05  
Blogger Mohamed Elzubeir said...

That's hardly a culture that is comparable with any of the known civilizations. Every people have a culture, naturally.. but.. I think it's best to do a comparison.

When the Chinese started a construction frenzy, there was a concern about the cultural heritage being wiped out to make place for the concrete jungle, 6 lane highways, etc.

However, when Dubai started its construction frenzy, it was seen as modernization and development.

The reason is simple, there was nothing here to begin with. There is nothing that was wiped out. It is a _desert_, turned into a marvel. Love it or hate it, but it is creating its culture as we speak.

05 May, 2006 00:37  
Blogger archer14 said...

The reason is simple, there was nothing here to begin with. There is nothing that was wiped out. It is a _desert_, turned into a marvel. Love it or hate it, but it is creating its culture as we speak.

Did you nick that from some speech at the Arabian Travel Market?

05 May, 2006 01:13  
Blogger jumeira_john said...

At least we can see that local people's eating preference is chaging from eating shawarmas versus the McDonald's..

05 May, 2006 03:27  
Blogger Mohamed Elzubeir said...


Bahahaha.. Funny I spent a few minutes browsing through that glossy meaningless magazine yesterday while waiting for someone at the Shangri La.. someone I left the ATM to meet, later telling me they were unable to, because they were stuck at... you guessed it, the ATM ;)

05 May, 2006 14:52  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Shudder... please stop now Tim?

Not on your Nellie!

06 May, 2006 00:26  

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