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11 July, 2007

A Dubai fairytale

"Mysteriously veiled women flit below magnificent crescent-shaped archways while men in long white flowing robes sit by the side of the canal drinking Arabic coffee."

When exactly did this Sydney Morning Herald journalist visit Dubai? Their Souk it up article is dated 1st July 2007 but there is no way even a mad dog or an Englishman is enjoying al fresco hot beverages at this time of year.

Though perhaps heatstroke is the kindest explanation for such a fevered advertorial storycake. The Madinat is indeed scenic with its artificial canals and faux windtowers. But "men in long white flowing robes" drinking coffee in 100 degree heat? Not unless Jumeirah International has started scattering actors around its properties for extra Arabian authenticity. "Mysteriously veiled" women "flitting" about? Come on. This is barely a step away from the harem scene in Carry On Up My Camel.

"I throw open the veranda doors..."

And crank up the air conditioning?

"Except for the occasional golf buggy that zips along the path, I could easily imagine sailing through an Arabian Nights fairytale with Sinbad the Sailor."

The keyword here is "fairytale".

"The writer was a guest of Emirates and Madinat Jumeirah."

Say no more.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

first!? yay!

12 July, 2007 06:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you feel like throwing up at this blunt advertising they call news??

reminds me of a report i read long back on Global village. I think you did blog that. So true..

"Mysteriously veiled women flit..." yeah right... "men in long white flowing robes sit by the side of the canal drinking ..." of course they do...

12 July, 2007 07:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the last para explains all.A dumbo will not venture out in this heat to have his cuppa,other than the Labourers who have no option. Could it have been, that the jurno had seen the labourers have their afteroon meals and in a fit of enlightenment penned the lines.

12 July, 2007 09:25  
Blogger EyeOnDubai said...

Ooh, that's priceless! Lyrical waxing defined...
..great find sd.

12 July, 2007 10:16  
Blogger hut said...

Exactly, "and if you don't like it you can go home!!"

12 July, 2007 13:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, some fine day, someone who actually knows and has lived in Dubai will write something honest and truthful about the place, steering a course somewhere straight between the Arabian nights crap and the liberal outrage at the poor exploited workers... When's your book due SD?

12 July, 2007 14:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me the hotel being being described in the article is simply the best hotel in the world. And believe me I have seen some top hotels every where.

If you want some relaxing therapy, I will advise taking a room there for a couple of days. Or advise anyone who visits you to stay there. It is awsome. I personally like it more than the burj.

12 July, 2007 14:36  
Blogger screwed.mind said...

I can smell traces of dope while he was writing this.

I gotta run not to puke on my desk....see ya..aauuuurrgghhh

12 July, 2007 14:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's most likely that he never visited Dubai. He was given stacks of videos and DVDs and magazines and he pored through all of them, and came up with the prose.

Now where did I leave my travel feature on the Azores?

Nawab of Kabab

12 July, 2007 17:39  
Blogger Unknown said...

But "men in long white flowing robes" drinking coffee in 100 degree heat?

You know, I'm really sorry to say it, but I'm terribly disappointed in you.

The Farenheit scale? Seriously, SD, there are limits.


12 July, 2007 18:01  
Blogger rosh said...

SD - this is Public Relations at work! PR professionals spin around facts to meet client's expectations.

Pre-Iraq war, the US & UK governments had all sorts of PR and non PR campaigns to get the "truth" out to public.

Dubai is just getting the message across at an opportune time i.e. the "vacation" period of the year. Given that folks are looking for vacation spots, some may pick up on this article and visit the city when they please? It's not like the tourists are asked to come over ONLY during the summer?

For the record, I dislike PR.

12 July, 2007 18:09  
Blogger JT Sullivan said...

drinking coffee in 100 degree heat

Maybe he meant 100 degrees F? That translates to about 38 degrees C.

I'll pass, on the coffee & take chilled Guinness or Murphy's Stout!

12 July, 2007 20:03  
Blogger Bravecat said...

But wouldn't it be nice, if it were true?


12 July, 2007 23:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12 July, 2007 23:54  
Blogger Mark said...

Hey , your blog is real cool ! You sure are lucky to have this load of traffic ! Check out my blog ( I am based in dubai too)

13 July, 2007 11:52  
Blogger Gerri said...

You have really interesting post on Dubai. My wife and I are thinking about moving over there in the near future. We have heard that the money can be good but not too sure what the quality of life would be like.
Keep it coming.
Show Me The Money

13 July, 2007 14:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent idea BUKOWSKI! Secret Dubai, yes please!!!! this book could be a bestseller and secondly help to disseminate knowledge of the “real Dubai” at an increased speed. This is implying that there is already a trend towards documentaries and reports coming out, that reveal a more controversial picture of the “glittering mirage”. It does not reach the ordinary Western citizen yet!

You could actually annonymiously even put together a collection of insider stories from different authors (editing our combined bad English approach :-) ) and easily ask for assistance from some well known institutions. (You will get it and I believe many bloggers would be willing to assist you) Personally I have a story about Dubai that could make every Westerner shiver and instantly reconsider a vacation in Dubai. Certainly many others do as well! Such an effort could help preserve the environment, make a step towards social justice (HR), protect whatever is left of local culture, avoid future internal instability and is this respect make a contribution to sustainable development by getting rid of this “mass tourism” madness. Maybe it would even help “nationals” to realize that becoming the “red light district” of the GCC is not such a positive future after all? (Sorry, forgot that it is not true and these things do not happen in Dubai!)

This reminds me that all of you have the option to oppose such articles, by e.g. approaching the editor of the Australian magazine. His name and email is available online and it just takes a minute to say thanks on behalf of all the exploited laborers.
Certainly you are not allowed to raise your voice in the UAE, since it is illegal and as foreigners we should always respect and adhere to these regulations, but this does not stop you from being active in the rest of the world. Phone or write to magazines or TV stations that spread these false illusions, write to your Congressman (Senator, Chancellar or whoever – Germans please write to Angela Merkal, to question or sincerety when it comes to HR vs economical interests) plus so much more – there is so much that every individual can do, just by showing a little social responsibility. (also for future Emirati generations – imagine you would be a voiceless minority in your own country, just think of it for a second ….)
Besides imagine just how much work SD puts into this blog, please do your share as well.

PS: Talk about tolerance ROSH there is a tolerance plea for you on the United Blogging Emirates “Hooters” controversy!

13 July, 2007 16:28  
Blogger Jassim said...


13 July, 2007 21:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol. Since lying is haram in islam, they flew down an australian woman to lie on their behalf. and wow..did she do it in style. this is what i really hate about dubai marketing...they believe stooping to any level and lying is okay. as long as you con people to move in..and then they are stuck and cant get out anyways...


14 July, 2007 19:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wish you all success! May you be blessed. Hope your thoughts are put into action by those who can.

14 July, 2007 22:52  

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