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14 September, 2008

Abu Dhabi Annabels

From the people that brought you Jumeirah Janes - welcome to the Abu Dhabi Annabels:

"After eight years in the idyllic French countryside, my husband, Rupert, and I decided it was time for a change. We wanted a taste of city life and a new experience for the children before they turned totally French. So, when we were offered work on a newspaper in Abu Dhabi, we accepted.

"I begin every day on the beach. And so do the children: Olivia, 9, Bea, 7, and Leo, 5. They go to a kids’ club where they are entertained with everything from swimming to tennis to (unbelievably) ice-skating. By nine o’clock, it is already hot and sunny. So, after a visit to the gym, my husband and I go for a swim. We head out into the Persian Gulf from the beach at the British Club (where else?)".

Christ on an old rusty bicycle wheeled around Jebel Ali in the searing heat by some ill-paid subcon labourer.

"The only acceptable place we have viewed (great location: next to the city’s only Marks & Spencer) is the size of our sitting room and kitchen back in France. It has a tiny view of the sea if you crane your neck, a sitting room, kitchen, two bathrooms and three bedrooms. Olivia declares it “too small” and demands that we move our farmhouse out here."

"Olivia" is nine years old. "Bea" is only seven, yet so precocious that she already has an in depth understanding of whingeing for sheikhly favours wasta:

“We can’t stay here,” says Bea. “We must go and see a sheikh and ask him for somewhere to live.”


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Blogger Lady L said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 September, 2008 19:55  
Blogger Lady L said...

Please go back to France!!!!

14 September, 2008 19:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WTF! I have moved to a high pressure sales job in Europe last year and absolutely hates my job and life BUT I got job offers to go back to UAE and have just ignored them. What is wrong with these people? Do they hate the French that much or is it that the Brits get away with murder in this country and that the only qualification for the job is to speak English with a British accent.

14 September, 2008 20:49  
Blogger Joe said...

I see you picked up on Helena Frith-Powell's piece in the Sunday Times. She used to write an appallingly trite column called French mistress in the ST - most columnists get a thumbnail photo at the head of their pieces, but hers was always accompanied by at least a half-page photo of her posing in front of something sunny and quaintly mediterranean (must have been contractual). I found myself audibly groaning when I saw that she'd arrived in the Emirates; God forbid the Sunday Times or, worse, any of local press give her a platform for her pretentious musings vis-à-vis the UAE.

15 September, 2008 08:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annabel can sell Olivia, Bea, and Leo
to a local. Europeans are highly prized by Arabs. She'll get a very good price too.

15 September, 2008 10:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the guys above who crib about helena the writer : dont shoot the messenger. you may not like her mug, but every word she wrote is true.
1. it is hot as an oven , but more uncomfortable since it is humid as hell
2. one month in hotel is what you get, and after that you in the deep end.
3. house hunting is extremely unpleasant, with agents like sharks who even charge for showing you a place. and annual rent is payable upfront. and the smallest decent place will cost you more than new york, unless u are willing to live like shit.
4. she would be swimming, but only for the fist month. all hotels are on beaches, and they block off the sea for all else who live inside the city
5. she has missed on quite a few things, those will come gradually. like education expenses, transportation chaos.

they are destined for misery, considering what they left behind in france.

every word is true, i lived it last year, in a fake plastic city of religious fanatics. and i managed to run away with minimal damage. cant say the same about the rest.

15 September, 2008 12:52  
Blogger Abu Dujaanah said...

Secretdubai....I would really love it if you could blog abt the following intervview:

15 September, 2008 13:55  
Blogger Abu Dujaanah said...

The article is ‘No Threat to Dubai Security’ and the person being interviewed is General Khamis Matar A.Muhairi Al Mazeina

15 September, 2008 13:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dubai vs France? This has to be sarcastic. The only resemblance is that France is also full of Arabs.

15 September, 2008 15:09  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 September, 2008 17:11  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a pathetic article - did they not do their homework before heading for the Middle East??
First the farmhouse and now the beach, the club, the gym, the kid's club, tennis, ice-skating and the Persian Gulf. Lady if you can do all that, you can afford the rent! Obviously little Bea has been well trained!
"Christ on an old rusty bicycle" that supposed to be funny???

15 September, 2008 17:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

15 September, 2008 13:55

and to learn how and when the secret police strikes and their tactics, do read the blog

16 September, 2008 13:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Ramadan violators penalised Dh1,000

By Bassam Za'za', Senior Reporter
Published: September 16, 2008, 23:52

Dubai: A salesman and a female visitor who publicly drank juice during daytime in Ramadan were each fined Dh1,000 for breaking article 313 of the Federal Penal Code.

The Dubai Court of Misdemeanours found 30-year-old Lebanese salesman, S.O., and 28-year-old Russian woman, O.D., guilty of violating the Federal Penal Code, thus marking the first verdict of its kind since Ramadan started on September 1 this year.

The couple were caught publicly drinking juice in the waiting room of an Eppco station before iftar.

The duo pleaded not guilty and asked for leniency as they were non-Muslims and were unaware that their act was punishable by law here.

17 September, 2008 11:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't HFP telling it like it is? Is she responsible for the plight of the ill-paid subcon labourer. And, why are you picking on her kids?

At anonymous—15 September, 2008 12:52:

Personally, I do not agree with imposing fasting on everyone. I, also, do not agree with the hypocrisy that goes with this period. What I do agree with, however, is that if you choose to live in a particular country then you ought to abide by the rules.

The rules are clear and known to everyone.

AED 1000/- is steep, but, if they were nabbed in one of the neighboring GCC states, it could have been worse: bad hair cut, plus jail term for the remaining duration of Ramadan and a fine.

Folks, just familiarize yourselves with the rules and adhere to them.

My prayers to all the victims of unfair laws/rules.

18 September, 2008 09:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

however, is that if you choose to live in a particular country then you ought to abide by the rules.

You might like to mention that to all our bearded/kaftaned/hijabed 'guests' who live in Europe.

18 September, 2008 11:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might like to mention that to all our bearded/kaftaned/hijabed 'guests' who live in Europe.

I thought I did! Well at least to the bearded/kaftaned/hijabed 'guests' who peruse this blog.

Tell your government to enforce the rules! Do not let the defaulters get away with it.

18 September, 2008 12:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell your government to enforce the rules!

If my government knew how to enforce rules, there wouldn't be any mosques in the UK.

18 September, 2008 16:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the Ramadan violators, a major problem is that many laws here are NOT "clear and known to everyone". At the same time, though, I don't think the UAE and/or its respective emirates would like to draw attention to their laws for fear of showing the world how backwards this place really is.

18 September, 2008 22:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the UAE and/or its respective emirates would like to draw attention to their laws for fear of showing the world how backwards this place really is.

Don't worry. The world knows quite well, and it isn't fooled by highways, fancy shopping malls, and
hi-tech skyscrapers. Sandpit countries with robed men and covered women, where Islam rules,
equals backwardness. It's a well known equation.

19 September, 2008 10:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to love this blog, but it really seems to be getting more and more abstract and absent-minded. It's just wandering about, not making much of a point.

Has a new author taken over or something?

There's plenty of amazingly-stupid crap going on in this dump of a country, so it's not a lack of material.

Man I hate living in the UAE! Buddah, Jesus, Allah, Please, SOMEBODY GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!

20 September, 2008 00:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secret Dubai:

You should do a posting about Vidalia (TOR / Privoxy). Using these tools, and the Firefox browser, you can view any site, even ones that are blocked.

Check it out. A very useful tool at getting around Etisalat.

20 September, 2008 00:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ bin ber..

nobody is saying you should not follow the rule of the if in dubai they will allow you to break he rule of the land if you are a foreigner with the wrong skin color.

i am just laughing my ass off the at rule itself...not whether you should follow it once there or not. to people who grew up with self respect in free countries, this is a ridiculously funny notion that u can be jailed for eating. i dont think people here would even underdstand what i am talking about. and my biggest laugh is reserved for dubai tourism, and its promotion as worlds largest and biggest and best and most modern, with 192 nationalities living, with 191 of them starving fearing jail sentence.

20 September, 2008 12:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Secret Dubai,
I love the blog and would love to get in touch but I can't seem to see any contact info for you. I'm a UK-based journalist and I'd really like to get in touch with you. Do you think you could possibly email me at I'd really like to interview you about blogging/censorship etc etc, all discretion assured etc.
All best and looking forward to hearing from you soon I hope.

21 September, 2008 05:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Jolt for Tenants Sharing Villas
Khaleej Times, Joy Sengupta
22 September 2008

DUBAI - The housing situation in Dubai and neighbouring emirates is in for a turmoil, as Dubai Municipality announced a 30-day deadline from Sunday for residents sharing villas to vacate them, giving the thousands of tenants a rude shock.

Omar bin Abdul Rahman, Head of the Building Inspection Section at the Dubai Municipality, said on Sunday that landlords must ensure that only one family lives in their villas. If they failed to comply with the new rules within the deadline, the municipality would slap fines up to Dh50,000 on them, the official said. The civic body had already said it would not take the responsibility of making the landlords refund the rents collected in advance. The deadline announced on Sunday is all set to land many tenants in deep trouble. “There cannot be any bachelors, labourers or more than one family in the villas. Though the campaign in this connection has been on for quite a while, the landlords will now have to ensure that regulations are complied within a month, that is 30 days,” Abdul Rahman said.

“They (the landlords) need to evict the families and others sharing villas, failing which they will face heavy penalties. If a villa still houses more than one family, bachelor or labourer after one month, the landlord would face fines up to Dh50,000, in addition to the disconnection of water and electricity supplies,” Abdul Rahman told Khaleej Times.

22 September, 2008 13:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

things are gonna get a lot worse, bofore they get better. with more people coming from the west (due to the financial collapse going on over there) the complainers will be even more miserable as they become more replaceable

22 September, 2008 22:11  
Blogger Alisha Coelho said...

ugh, maybe we should ship Olivia, Bea and Leo to camel racing stables...they'll hopefully grow up to be less obnoxious that the author... though I take that back cause no child shud be the objects of the HH's fetishes... Let's send the mother to Sonapur for a day instead.

23 September, 2008 10:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sd, do you fast too?

please post more often :)

25 September, 2008 10:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

something the community will enjoy

check it out

26 September, 2008 12:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently an insurance company nearly wind up....

A bank is nearly bankrupt......

How it affect you? Did you buy insurance? Did you buy mini note or bonds?

Who fault?

Now using tax payer money, $700B is used to save finance industry only, how about the industry that you are in.....retail industry, construction industry, manufacturing industry, R&D, electronics, electrical, mechanical, chemical, IT etc.... each industry will be able to enjoy at least $10B.......

The top management of the Public listed company ( belong to "public" ) salary should be tied a portion of it to the shares price ( IPO or ave 5 years ).... so when the shares price drop, it don't just penalise the investors, but those who don't take care of the company.....If this rule is pass on, without any need of further regulation, all industries ( as long as it is public listed ) will be self regulated......

Sign a petition to your favourite president candidate and ask for their views to comment on this......If you agree on my point, please let as many people know as possible....

Media and finance sector are the only two sectors ( hopefully Hacker can also ) which can overcome political incorrect power, so it is time to fine tune to the correct path, so hopefully media can united to report the truth......

27 September, 2008 20:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You might like to mention that to all our bearded/kaftaned/hijabed 'guests' who live in Europe.

They are not guests, they are citizens who pay tax and exercise democratic freedoms. The fact that they choose not to turn into clean-shaven moral degenerates with no religious values is a choice.

If my government knew how to enforce rules, there wouldn't be any mosques in the UK.

Likewise for gay bars, clubs and various other immoral shit you Brits spread.

Scary Bearded Guy

03 October, 2008 22:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Dubai laws are only enforced when it suits the authorities.

Local emirati murders foreigner? No problem.

Local emirati rapes foreigner? No problem.

Local emirati runs over (and then reverses back over) foreigner? No problem.

Foreigner drinks juice during Ramadan? They have broken local laws and should thank their stars that they only got fined and not beaten, beheaded and whipped.

Let's face it - the UAE is not a civilised place with anything approaching the rule of law.

It is run and owned, by and for, a small coterie of corrupt locals who can do what they want when they want.

The laws based on religious tenets are purely used as a way to oppress any one at any time.

Everyone knows that Dubai is basically a giant brothel and bar for rich Arabs who can arrive, get drunk on Johnny Walker and have sex with a blond Russian.

Cultural and religious values my ass.

18 October, 2008 11:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Likewise for gay bars, clubs and various other immoral shit you Brits spread.

Scary Bearded Guy aka "Milk Sheik"

And this coming from the guy who more than likely goes to gay clubs,drinks alcohol and vacations in Europe with money skinned off a struggling sponsor-ee.

Hypocrisy: You're full of it.

23 October, 2008 20:25  

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