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03 December, 2006

Skiing in the rain

Dubai cannot cope with rain. It is a city built only for desert, with flat roofs, limited drainage and few umbrellas for sale. A small amount of water turns highways into slimy, skidding death traps. A downpour floods roads, pavements and car parks, creating gleaming lakes in the desert that last several days before slowly sinking away.

Rain is also not part of Dubai's Great Tourism Plan. It forced Trevor, a visiting customs official, to swap his plans of sun for snow. As the chairlift ascends in the hermetically sealed snow tube, he laments his lack of tan.

"It's not what you expect in the bloody desert is it? Seven days of rain. I definitely wasn't planning on a skiing holiday."

Through his job, Trevor has more knowledge of the capacity of various bodily orifices than any gynaecologist or obstetrician. It will be difficult to regard cylindrical shampoo bottles in the same light ever again, after his cheerily recounted work anecdotes.

One thing in Dubai is always improved by rain. The blue dome of Persia Court at Ibn Battuta mall, which grows duller over time with layers of thick sand and dust, is once again a shining, dazzling azure.

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Blogger MuFi101 said...

It rained SEVEN days???

man i miss dubai

03 December, 2006 21:10  
Blogger MuFi101 said...

finally someting to talk about...THE RAIN

03 December, 2006 21:11  
Blogger Bonny said...

And I thought it was a problem specific to the Indian roads only.. LOL

03 December, 2006 21:14  
Blogger nzm said...

If it continues to rain for 40 days and nights, we may have a divinity problem on our hands!

03 December, 2006 21:53  
Blogger LocalExpat said...

You think that is bad...

what about sharjah..a bit of rain and the whole city is devastated

04 December, 2006 01:36  
Blogger Photograph Abu Dhabi said...

One of my most bizarre days in the UAE occured on a rainy day back in February when I had to make the daunting trip from Sheikh Zayed Road to Abu the rain.

Never have I seen so much carnage on the roads and I'll be surprised if I seen anything like it again.

After passing under a tunnel just past Ibn Battuta mall lay a massive lake where EVERY car was aquaplaining along the road...and just past this lake lay about 8 damaged vehicles and their soaken through drivers waiting for the delightful traffic police to arrive on the scene from the hard shoulder.

From that very spot all the way to Abu Dhabi lay smashed up cars abandoned on the highway for 100km lay many a Landcruiser, Mazdas, Porsches amongst others completely destroyed. Car parts scattered the roads, and trying to dodge car parts on a wet UAE highway does make for scary, albeit amusing entertainment.

"Only in the UAE" our motto is...

04 December, 2006 03:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody know if the "Luxurious Freehold properties" have been damaged by the rain same as last year.

04 December, 2006 09:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in the Middle East, every time it rained and there were accidents, there would be some smart ass who'd say, "Oh these Arabs don't know how to drive in the rain, they don't have the skill" as if there was some driving magic needed (other than slowing down). And "these Arabs" were guys who could drive Toyota Echo's across the desert.

The truth is that the roads get completely, terrifyingly slick - I've had an NDE on a motorcycle so I know that they get slippery enough that you can't even *touch* the brakes without going into a skid. (I finally planted both legs and used the front brake only. Damn close.)

04 December, 2006 10:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It certainly rained on their parade! I felt so sorry for those planning to celebrate that I chose not to post a rather snarky piece under the title "Thirty five and filthy rich" which was, of course, about Ali G.

I'm a big fan of SecretDubai's musings. I was inspired to record a rap-style version of Driving Dubai which I'd post if only I knew how to embed audio in Blogger.

I'm at if you care to visit.

04 December, 2006 10:55  
Blogger truedebbie menon said...

It is interesting that man, like his primitive cousin the Gorilla, builds and then fouls his own nest. Unlike the gorilla, man has the imaginative and creative capacity to elaborate his nest with beauty. Also unlike the gorilla, he does not move on to build a new one after he has fouled it.

The rain cleanses what man does not. I love rain! It not only cleanses, it cools the day.

04 December, 2006 18:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the rain in Dubai over the past few days. I’m from Delhi where this kind of weather can be experienced in the monsoons and early winter, around October.

Of course, when it rains in Delhi, it pours. Here it was a constant drizzle, but a drizzle all the same.

If it rains again, I would advise people to stay off the roads as much as possible. Perch themselves on balconies (the lucky ones who have balconies, i.e.), or open their windows, and soak in the atmosphere. It took me back home… I simply loved it.

04 December, 2006 19:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any truth to the rumour that 7days is under "ínvestigation"?

05 December, 2006 05:52  
Blogger Arabian Butterfly said...

Nevertheless, it's still my favorite place on earth and I am so greatful for living here

05 December, 2006 14:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emaar has banned 7days from being delivered to Emirates Hills and Arabian Ranches properties. Was it something they said?

So, this leavs us with:

1) If you don't like it - go home.


2) If we don't like what you say, shut up. (and then go home)

05 December, 2006 15:32  
Blogger hannibal said...

has EMAAR really banned 7 days??

so much for freedom of press and speech eh???

06 December, 2006 09:48  
Blogger SIN said...

Guys, the 7Days debate has been done to death. Yes, Emaar has banned it for the front page story and the b**** article. They are also having distribution issues (their old company bailed on them), so swing it while you can and in time the drama will probably sort itself out.

06 December, 2006 10:53  
Blogger DubaiTeen said...

Er... how can Emaar ban a newspaper? Shouldn't that be done by a court or something?

06 December, 2006 15:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night was my first time skiing in the rain. It was pretty awesome. I think the combination of it being night skiing and it being raining was enough to keep people away, I had the runs to myself every time. There were a few people around, literally about 4 or 5 other skiers at the hill, but it all worked out so no one was on the same run at the same time. It was a great time to play around with turn shapes, and try out little tips and drills. Oh, and Lisamarie, I made it a point to do the big toe thing.

05 October, 2008 08:15  

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