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14 May, 2007

Happy to be a bachelor boy

When I was widowed my landlord said
"Sir I have something to say"
He told me to get out and never return
Until my dying day
He said "Sir, you are a bachelor boy
"And that's the way you'll stay
"Sir, we don't like bachelors here, so please go far away"

Picture the scenario: a married western oil executive - six figure salary/luxury apartment/prestige car - is suddenly, tragically widowed. His company and friends rally round, fix the funeral, arrange for him to have some time off. After the memorial service held at Jebel Ali Religion City, the executive returns to his flat to spend some quiet time grieving.

No sooner has he poured himself a drink and settled down to read various condolence letters than he hears a huge bang. The door is kicked open and the Emirates Elite Eviction Squad storms in.

"This is a family building! Evacuate the premises immediately!"

Shocked, the oil executive starts to protest but it is no use. He is now a bachelor. By definition he is a troublemaker and a pervert, a disruption to the sacred tranquility of neighbouring families. He has no right to live among these normal, decent people. He must relocate at once to bachelor accommodation.

That night, as waits to use the grimy bathroom shared with forty other bachelors in his new shanty villa, he worries that his new bedspacemate will be a snorer. There is no air conditioning so he is also anxious about the onset of summer and arriving at the office each day in a sweat-stained, dusty suit.

There were no parking spaces available near his shanty villa, so he has to cross Sheikh Zayed Road on foot each day to reach the bus stop on the other side. The executive is not quite sure how he will cross the barrier, perhaps his bedspacemate can loan him some wireclippers or a small rope ladder? But several planned pedestrian crossings, that should be ready in a year or so, are at least something too look forward to.

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Blogger Grumpy Goat said...

When I heard about this back in February, I posted my disbelieving thoughts on the subject here. It's clear that the ruling applies to "All single men, no matter whether they are engineers, doctors or executives..."

Interesting then that my landlord was quite happy to renew my lease for a further year.

Perhaps I should expect a call late one night from the Bachelor Police.

14 May, 2007 08:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic but is this likely to be picked up in the UAE press?

Ahmadinejad Blames U.S. for Mideast Ills

Associated Press Writer

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Iran's president led a raucous anti-American rally on Sunday in this tightly controlled U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf, a day after a low-key visit by Vice President Dick Cheney aimed at countering Tehran's influence in the region.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a cheering crowd that America was to blame for creating instability and robbing the region of its wealth.

"We are telling you to leave the region. This is for your benefit and the benefit of your nation," Ahmadinejad shouted to the crowd of thousands at a soccer stadium. "The nations of the region can no longer take you forcing yourself on them. The nations of the region know better how to create peace and security."

Ahmadinejad's visit was the first by an Iranian head of state to this Sunni-led Arab country since its independence in 1971 and his rally was remarkable in a country where political parties are banned and power is held solely by tribal families.

Cheney's quiet visit Saturday to the Emirates, which hosts three American military bases, was part of a tour of the region to try to curb Iran's growing influence. On Friday, from an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, Cheney warned Iran that the U.S. and its allies will keep it from restricting sea traffic as well as from developing nuclear weapons.

The Iranian president has ratcheted up his nation's assertiveness in the Persian Gulf, capitalizing on the Bush administration's unpopularity to challenge Washington's alliances with Arab countries in the Persian Gulf.

Sunni royal families in the Emirates and elsewhere in the region also fear Iran's growing influence, especially the Shiite country's nuclear program, and worry about being sandwiched in a U.S.-Iran war.

Ahmadinejad wants the Emirates, Oman and the other Persian Gulf Arab countries to drop their military alliances with Washington and join Iran in a regional effort to maintain stability in the energy-rich region. Washington maintains 40,000 troops on land bases in Persian Gulf countries outside Iraq and has 20,000 sailors and Marines in the region.

"Every time your name is mentioned, hatred builds up," Ahmadinejad said of the United States. "Go fix yourself. This is Iran's advice to you. Leave the region."

One woman in the crowd shouted "I love you!" and Ahmadinejad paused to respond with a polite "thank you."

"God bless you for loving Iran so dearly," he told the crowd. "I love you."

The crowd, many of them expatriate Iranians, cheered Ahmadinejad and waved Iranian flags. One group carried a black banner bearing a yellow symbol seen on nuclear fallout shelters. Chants of "Down with the USA!" and "Nuclear energy is our right!" frequently interrupted the speech.

Washington and Tehran said Sunday that the two countries would hold talks in Baghdad about Iraq's security situation. But Iran remains locked in a standoff with the U.S. and its allies over White House allegations that Tehran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the claims, saying its program is for generating electricity.

The Iranian president received a red-carpet welcome at Abu Dhabi International Airport, where he was greeted by Emirates President Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dubai leader Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the country's prime minister.

During his two-day visit, Ahmadinejad is to meet with government leaders in Abu Dhabi as well as Dubai, one of the world's fastest-growing cities and home to most of the 500,000-strong Iranian expatriate community.

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

14 May, 2007 09:10  
Blogger Sex and Dubai said...

@ anonymous above: your story is best posted on the community blog.

Dubai continues to promote racism and discrimination and its not rocket science to tell that the Bachelor Police target a certain ethnic majority.

Fact is, if the Indian Gov't can't be bothered to step in and intervene then why the hell would the Emirates care?

14 May, 2007 10:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough this might convince a lot of people to leave teh UAE. Ironically it will be the ones that the UAE actually tries to retain/attract. I.E. the guys who went to college and have plenty of work experience in the real world.

Ahh who am I kidding, this rule will be like any other rule there, optional and selectively enforced.

14 May, 2007 11:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this a new section in GulpNews Classifieds ? Bachelor Accommodation Or has it always been there?

14 May, 2007 12:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to invest money in local firms that produce fences and razor wire. The government will be buying a lot of those to fence in those evil bachelors.

Oh and email your senator and ask them to put together a bill that forces all UAE/GCC nationals to live outside the city in a fenced in area so that we can monitor them.

Funny martial status trumps purchasing power in the sandlands.

14 May, 2007 13:08  
Blogger Seabee said...

Yes, yet another in a long sorry line of knee-jerk decisions, no thought given to them before they're announced.

14 May, 2007 13:46  
Blogger DubaiSalsa said...

Hi SD .. well there is only two lines without a third:

- Either the guy had done something bad for which he deserved this.

- Or somebody wanted him to evacuate and took advantage of the sad incedent that took place, where he becomes a victim of somebody's desires...

am not assuming any of the above, but in both cases, he will have to deal with it.It happened to me before, not exactly the same way, but i was told to evacuate...

and i delt with it without complaining.... not coz i did something wrong, its just coz i knew it would have led me no where...


14 May, 2007 14:31  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Dubai Salsa - it's not a real story, it's like an imagined situation. I guess my point is that hundreds of these bachelors are being evicted every day, and the reason there isn't a vast outcry is because they're mainly poorer Asian expats. If it happened to someone European, people would - unfairly - be more outraged.

Just as richer westerners are more likely to get legal and embassy help when arrested and jailed, whereas the prisons here are full of forgotten Asians. Just visit - it's quite sad and shocking.

14 May, 2007 14:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Ahmed! The President.

The reason I am only saying ahmed is simply bcoz I cant spell his full name.

14 May, 2007 16:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Djeeeezz!!! I was shocked when I visited

Happy to live in Belgium!

14 May, 2007 20:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi SD,

on the same topic, i was surprised you did not pick up this article the other day:

Pregnant woman ordered off bus
By Mariam M. Al Serkal, Staff Reporter

Sharjah: A six-month pregnant woman was left frustrated and in pain after she had to get off a bus on Wednesday night when her company bus was refused access to Al Rolla in Sharjah by municipality employees.

(she was in a bus full of bachelors, and the bus was denied entry to sharjah)

Well, I happen to be a bachelor (not asian though) and I was denied access to some appartments or even studios (studios reserved for families???). One real estate agent, even told me that I should marry the girl that was with me just to get a decent apartment...oh, this is in Sharjah by the way.

I dread my next apartment hunt, later this year.

14 May, 2007 20:21  
Blogger DubaiSalsa said...

SD ... well, seems like everybody's imagination works well here ..heh.. anyway, i wasnt evacuated either , it was from my imagination as well

Talking about distinguishing between Westners and Asians in this country.. i have witnessed the most proffessional treatment from Police officers to a case against a British person, who obviously had cause an accident, and tried to get away from it by a very stupid way.... i mean they didnt really give any consideration to his nationality. I witnessed that at the Police Station itself. It wasnt like that they cought him on the spot... and if they really wanted to give him a privillage, it would have been so easy...

anyway, I am not saying that they dont have privilages here...but at least i have to admit that i witnessed a proffesional dealing with a problem.

On the other hand, at that same time, another case was against an Asian, and the police officer was really trying to help at least to let the guy out, regarded that his brother deposit his passport till the trial.. the Asian started to act smart with the police officer, which drove him crazy...and decided to keep the guy in jail till the trial...

Sometimes people would misuse the kindness of others...

14 May, 2007 21:08  
Blogger Dubai Jazz said...

When I was just a little child...
I asked my mother where will I be?
Will I be evicted, will be I homeless?
That's what she said to me;
Quo sera sera,
Whatever will be, will be..
You can always come back to me..
Quo sera sera...

14 May, 2007 21:37  
Blogger Kiwi Boy said...

SD, you're a riot! "Jebel Ali Religion City" cracked me up.

The bachelors need to form groups or unions and make themselves heard. You're doing great by spreading word about them, but they need to stand up for themselves, too. Tell the media about their evictions and treatment from neighboring families. Draw sympathy from the better-off Dubaiians, you know.

14 May, 2007 21:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

witty, compassionate, and not a flaming bigot. So rare in these sandlands...despite being a capitalist scumbag investment banker, i think i'm falling for you secretdubai...

14 May, 2007 23:27  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Dubai Salsa: my take on police in the UAE is this.

Most of them earn low pay and do the shittest job in the world - I don't know what percentage of it involves driving through rush hour traffic to get to a minor accident site, but I'll warrant around 70% of their working hours at least.

They often come from poorer Arab and regional countries such as Sudan, or from the lower echelons of Emirati society (not the officers, but the regular police) and as such are at the very bottom of the pecking order.

People in public service jobs get grief all day, but these guys probably get it based on their skin colour and accent as well. Not all of them, and not as bad as your average Asian labourer will get it, but what kind of attitude do you reckon the average blacked-out Lexus driver gives to a Yemeni migrant of fairly humble background and education? I'll bet bowing and scraping is at an absolutely minimum.

Then of course they deal with hordes of frustrated and sometimes arrogant and rude expats, with relations made worse by the fact that while this is an Arabic speaking country, Arabic is a minority language here and many police struggle with English and Urdu, if they speak it at all.

So my advice with the police would be to be as polite as possible, and thank them for their time even if they're just handing over accident papers for insurance needs. It takes one foul, rude person of nationality X to turn that officer off the entire nationality.

So while I do poke fun at some of their antics on my blog, and while I deplore certain instances of heavyhandedness or corruption or stupidity, at the end of the day I think they deserve our sympathy if not our respect.

14 May, 2007 23:28  
Blogger rosh said...

If this is infact true, it's quite sad & unfortunate. I assumed this was directed towards labourers - the majority of who are hardworking people, but been far less fortunate, in every aspect.

I am not sure if there is more to the story or the new law?

I know about 8 singles in Dubai and 4 in Sharjah from various nationalities. Most have lived here for the longest time and consider this their home. It'd be devastating for these souls.

What if the "bachelor" owns his apartment, would he be evicted or prevented from continued ownership?

15 May, 2007 00:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops ... this law is yet to come !!! ... I was evicted from my building a year ago by Rocky Real estate not because of making trouble but because I was guilty of being bachelor.

Later on searching for apartments in dubai , I noticed similar scene in many places. You goto a building with vacant apartment , watchman comes out with a big attitude and while he is pulling keys of vacant apartment he will ask you if you are bachelor, if yes , he would not even reply back . He would simply turn around and go back to his room.

Not difficult to figure out ... dubai is big racist place and from my humble experience I figured following priorities:

1) Royalty
2) West Europe / American couples
3) Locals
4) European bachelors
5) Camels
6) Asian couples
7) Dogs
8) Jews
9) Asian Bachelors

But before someone comments that I should love it or leave it ... calm down , got my visa and am off to UK in 3 months time. You enjoy the artificiality of this place and before you are over with it , some such funny decree will make your life miserable !

15 May, 2007 00:28  
Blogger DubaiSalsa said...

DS... I've never thought of becoming a policeman... but I feel like being one now


15 May, 2007 01:04  
Blogger DubaiSalsa said...

DJ... Nice one in fact... if you allow me to correct something here ( from a friend) its : Que sera sera.

You feel Homesick man ??? i guess you do...

its nice using Spanish in your comments...isn't it ? But i know you prefer French ... heh

15 May, 2007 01:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Batchelor is Dubai's politcally correct way of saying 'single Asian male'

15 May, 2007 03:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try being married to a local, landlords will not accept you even in you are European, this place is getting unbeleivable

15 May, 2007 11:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H in A says
I was waiting for the " get out of dubai if you dont like it brigade" to put in their appearance and defend the crap that goes on. DXbinas and salsa's of the world, what you love about dubai today is what is going to be hit tomorrow in some unknown new law.if u dont see it thank your stupidity. and then you will come running to SD. And to talk of locals...oops...they are above the criticism of mortals and will say "get out ungrateful shit" forgetting they shd be grateful for all the money expats are working and generating for them, it is basically money coming from outside attracted by expats,managed by expats, so others can take the credit. dubai has nothing that the locals have given away free to expats, except crap laws like this bachelor law.
Every time someone criticizes anything abt dubai, i have noticed the "get out" brigade rising up, and pulling down some other country to make dubai look better. it is not always about spin, you know. sometimes you need to look inside and fix it.honesty.i thought it was part of all religious beliefs.other countries may be better or worse, we are not discussing that, we are talking about what is wrong here.especially since all media here seems to be afraid of going anywhere near it, except to sing poems of praise.
and finally, it is not about getting out, someone has to make sure that those have not got into dubai yet gets the true picture so they dont sell their homes and come here without checking.

15 May, 2007 12:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can somebody elighten me on this..

why the sheikhs are addressed with so many adjectives, suffixes..etc whenever they are to be mentioned/quoted in a news report... i have noticed columns of newspaper space wasted just for a simple reference..imagine the amount of printing material wasted each day, week, month, year...fortunately when they are dead its not that complicated reference..

15 May, 2007 14:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quick response to the poster who ranks races, nationalities and animals to show who's got the power in Dubai. You're describing a pitiless Darwinian place, not an artificial one. Spending power rules. Camel breeders spend more money on camels than Asian bachelors spend on themselves. Camels therefore take priority. In a sort of Hobbesian way, this city is too real.

15 May, 2007 14:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why would a six figure oil executive live in a shanty house?

15 May, 2007 16:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and finally, it is not about getting out, someone has to make sure that those have not got into dubai yet gets the true picture so they dont sell their homes and come here without checking."

I agree with H in A above. I too have been tricked by UAE superficial media craze. I went there thinking that i'll be well off than what i've been earning here in manila considering that i was already earning higher than the average filipino wage earners. but in 10 months, i've had it with dubai. Discriminating arab bosses who aren't even qualified in their posts (i mean come on! who are you kidding with your substandard education and you've been treating asians like me like rubbish?!), high cost of living standard, extreme heat, etc... Most of my fellow kabayans are there because it isn't easy for them to get a job here and I don't take it against dubai for giving my fellow kabayans the opportunities, and helps our economy too with the remittances, for that matter.

Maybe i'm just being hypocritical but there comes a point where you just say i'm done with it! It's just but proper to let people know what they should expect in dubai if they're planning to work there.

Maybe the locals have the right to shooo away the whiners. But it's with exchanging opinions like these that makes a society better (again, I salute you SD for making the effort in this blog). If dubai really is serious in moving forward than just its claim of being the greatest what-have-yous, then listen to the cries of its residents. why restrict the people from complaining? They may in fact be less fortunate and was forced to work outside their home countries but that doesn't mean they don't have the right to asks for little convenience to have a better life there. that's what pushed them to work there in the first place - to make their lives better.

Never understimate the power of the expats! What do you get from merely 900thousand plus mostly dimwit arrogant locals? do you think they can build dubai as it is now?

Recently i've been to macau and hongkong. And darn! these cities are thriving well because of the expats. The british/westerners have done an excellent job in building these cities. Even after the british colony's turn over of hongkong to mainland china, expats are still there to continue build the city.

and oh, if i may add, I wouldn't have had the luxury of having a 6-day vacation in these cities if I was earning what I had in Dubai. It was a good choice to go back to my country and start from where i left!

agnostic filipino

15 May, 2007 17:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Vote for your indian president at

15 May, 2007 19:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm... maybe some Dubai police cops are from Sudan (I met one), but the majority (from poorer Arab countries) are from Yemen. Then you go to Sharjah and they are Palestinians. Not sure about Abu Dhabi and other emirates.

My experience with Yemeni policemen? They are very poorly trained and have very little inclination to try and help you out.

Come to think of it though, I do remember seeing how much police officers make -- not bad (I think it starts at 6k/mo.).

15 May, 2007 20:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Vote for your indian president at

Is Shelpa frigging Shetty in for the race?

15 May, 2007 20:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad SD, I think they have blocked because it is contrary to values and morals of our society. Clearly the Winston Smiths are working overtime...

15 May, 2007 21:37  
Blogger DubaiSalsa said...

Anonymous @ 15 May, 2007 14:48 ...... whatever the reason is .... This is the reason that is bothering you now ? the amount of spaces and ink they are useing ???!!From all the wasted things in life, you chose to complain about this,though if you calculate all those wasted spaces and materials you mentioned they will come to be a small figure of what is wasted on more important things... especially that you are living on their land and still complain about their right to do whatever they want in their country... this is stupid

It really makes me feel sick when some people try to act as clean and honoust and start waving their fake slogans in the air,when they are asked to do so in their own countries.... and even if you do so in your own country ... show me what you really contributed to change ...

16 May, 2007 14:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let CNN, BBC or Fox News splash this news as a human rights issue, and just watch the Dubai authorities change their tune... maybe that's what's required... to really internationalise it because you cant really depend on any embassy to do anything.

17 May, 2007 19:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey DSD,

This sounds like an Indian movie. Such an executive will have a villa in Jumairah or even a permanent room in Burj Al Arab. It would have been more realistic if he was local rather than European.


20 May, 2007 07:36  
Blogger LoneTraveler said...

Secret Dubai,

I am not sure if this is the best way to solicit your thoughts, but with all the talk of society/status/treatment on this posting, I thought it could be a good place to start.

I am an American who is considering a job posting in Dubai. I have read as many blogs as I can to get a feel for what it's like, but I thought I would ask you and your readers directly. What is it like being a Westerner, particularly an American who every bit looks the part, in Dubai? Is there any tension? Should I be weary when trying to integrate socially? Would it be hard to bring a young family there?

I know those are wide open questions, but I am not sure exactly how to ask. I have lived and worked in the US, Caribbean, and Singapore. Now considering Dubai. Any comments from you and anyone else would be really great. (or suggestions on other blogs or message boards I should visit). Thanks.

23 May, 2007 19:32  
Blogger secretdubai said...

particularly an American who every bit looks the part

This I am a little confused by. If you mean you're a paleface, well, there's tons of us here and it's no issue.

If you mean you wear a baseball cap with "Death to Eye-raq!" and have George W Bush's face tattooed across your chest in a large loveheart, then yes, you may create a little tension ;)

Generally speaking there is a great deal more migration between the US and the UAE than you might think. Many emiratis study overseas in US colleges, a lot of regional Arabs do likewise and they tend to have American accents (or Canadian) when they speak English. American popular culture is appreciated, and though there is a lot of anger towards the West and particularly America regarding Iraq and Palestine, generally speaking educated people here will treat you with peace and respect.

You do have to take into account the legacy of western colonialism - though this perhaps affects Brits more than Yanks here - and try to moderate your behaviou/reactions sometimes: show a little more humility and deference than you otherwise might, because we are generally prejudged as arrogant by Middle Easterners. There is a chip on many shoulders here, and one can understand it, because the Middle East has not been fairly treated by the West.

I would urge you, if you haven't already, to get an overview of the Middle East situation from neutral news sources. The BBC is a good place to start, having lived here I can vouch that their coverage is fair and balanced and neutral in tone, and there are other sites such as Indymedia that will be helpful. You probably have a broad knowledge anyway, having been an expat, but I imagine for an American brought up on a diet of Fox News, this place would be quite challenging. Then at least when you come here, whatever your personal politics, it is easier to empathise with the anger even if you don't share it.

23 May, 2007 19:50  
Blogger LoneTraveler said...

secret dubai,

Thanks so much for the response. It is great to get your feedback.

I agree with you completely that a good handle on geopolitical and regional news helps tremendously when trying to understand societal bias and culture. I am an obsessive international news reader, so I think I will be ok in this department. But, even with that, I am very apolitical by nature, and am very discreet in the views I hold, trying to show the utmost respect to everyone. As the saying goes, never talk about religion or politics, right?

From your response, though, it seems like I may be overreacting to any concerns I might have about standing out too much, or having any trouble on a more personal level because of being Western/American (my 'look the part ' comment was just a reference to being the blonde haired, blue-eyed American stereotype. But minus the pro-'Dubya' tatoo, ha).

From every article I read, Dubai is very international. Perhaps it has become so cosmopolitan that it is becoming a melting pot, and Americans are able to mix socially in everyday life very easily and without any worry of tension. Would you agree?

24 May, 2007 13:53  

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