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22 May, 2006

Eye on Dubai

Dubai is making more headlines than Paris Hilton these days. And unsurprisingly, there's as much dirty linen as glittering party frocks hanging on the line.

The Sunday Times exposes the victims of the "Light House Affair", a multimillion dollar property fiasco. Due to be finished last month, the planned Marina tower is a few abandoned foundations in the sand:
“We could lose our money, our flat, our future — everything,” says Roger Blakeley, 46, from Lancashire, who has put down £90,000. “We chose Dubai because Sheikh Mohammed (the emirate’s ruler) assured western investors their money would be safe. It’s time for Dubai to show that foreign buyers have rights and are protected when things go wrong.”

The admittedly partisan and patchily written DAFKA comes up with the bizarre theory that falconry is funding Al Qaeda. According to former UAE falconer "Alan Parrot":
“The Sheiks fly into hunting camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan on C-130 military cargo planes filled with SUV’s, supplies and even steamer trunks full of cash. They meet with al Qaeda leaders or bin Laden himself while in these camps and discuss their Muslim obligations and unity. When they leave, they leave all the vehicles, supplies and any other useful equipment behind as donations to al Qaeda for its efforts at jihad."

The Sun reveals the details of Naomi Campbell's million-quid birthday bash at the Burj:
"The party, starting on Sunday, is being hosted by Naomi’s boyfriend — multi-millionaire Dubai playboy Badr Jafar. Each of the three days will be themed, with Sunday dubbed “All White”."

And the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wades through the gleaming hotels, booming business and mega projects to reach the stunning conclusion:
"So beneath the glitz and gleaming skyline Dubai is a theocratic Islamic state that no American would want to be a citizen of for more than an hour."

Well, as they keep kindly pointing out to us, none of us non-dishdash will ever be citizens here or have any political rights. We're just "guests", temporary people, visitors, here to make a few, increasingly worthless oily dollars, so move along, move along.

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Blogger Earthbound Misfit said...

ah the truth comes out.

Oh joy.

Time to tap dance down the hall.

22 May, 2006 22:53  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

When I heard about the Lighthouse project being apparently abandoned, I wondered what would happen to the foundations. Someone is bound to take over the project rather than demolish the foundation and start again. Hopefully they can incorporate what the original guy stole as a loss and give the original buyers their property.

That DAFKA article could make sense - it doesn't really seem like that extreme a conspiracy theory.

Who is this Badr Jafar guy? I've never heard of him although £1 million seems kinda low for 3 days rental of the WHOLE Burj Al Arab. Maybe just enough to rent the place, but what about the catering, decorations, etc.?

22 May, 2006 22:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theocratic?? Hmmm... I suppose the worship of money is a kind of theology.

23 May, 2006 00:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jafar is the 20-something, Anglophile scion of the Iraq-born owner of Sharjah-based Crescent Petroleum, a major shareholder in Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas (which is controversially importing natural gas from Iran). They held a party in Bab al-Shams last night, not Burj al-Arab as reported in the Sun. Tonight's party is in Boudoir, apparently.

23 May, 2006 09:23  
Blogger Jassim said...

We have been debating on my blog *shameless plug* about the idendity of Naiomi's new boyfriend Badr Jafar... I personally dont think it is Dana Gas's Jafar but instead just a fake name made for the press release. No?... either way the deal between Iran and Sharjah for Gas maybe controversial but lets not make it seem like it is something from a George Clooney movie. Iran and the UAE just couldnt agree on a price thats all.

23 May, 2006 10:10  
Blogger The Wanderer™ said...

"Dubai sounds like a fake country. Or an exotic place only vacationing al-Qaida cellmates and CIA spooks know how to find"

Nothing irritates me more than people assuming Dubai to be a country itself. When will they ever get around to the fact that it is not?!

23 May, 2006 10:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

King for a Day

Everyone's creeping up to the money god,
putting tongues where theydidn't ought to be,
on stepping stones of human hearts and souls,
intothe land of "nothing for free."

Well the way that we're living,
is all take and no giving,
there's nothing to believe in,
the loudest mouth will hail the new found way,
to be king for a day.

Everyone's licking up to the new king pin,
trying to get way up with a smile.
Sing for your supper boy and jump to a finger click,
ain't my way of living in style.

'Cause the ladder gets longer,
and ambition gets stronger,
I can't satisfy the hunger,
that bad old moon has got you in its sway,
to be king for a day.

You're only here once so you got to get it right.
(No time to fuss and fight.)
'Cause life don't mean much
if measured out with someone
else's plight. (In time you'll see the light.)

Well the way that we're living,
is all take and no giving,
there's nothing to believe in,
the loudest mouth will hail the new found way,
to be king for a day.

23 May, 2006 10:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

23 May, 2006 12:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im a television entertainment producer working in the DMC . Im looking for some paid help regarding one of my shows . Please call me . Ali - 3506009

23 May, 2006 15:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope Naomi threw a cellphone [ ] at someone during the party.

23 May, 2006 19:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In other news
What that creepy Modehsh does when he is not creeping ,(some of),us out while we drive around town and see him on the roadside.

23 May, 2006 19:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

too bad I cannot insert the following video as refuses to accept it.. however for your viewing pleasure here is a mashup of the real dubai

24 May, 2006 00:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

click310 - excellent, excellent.
I am off to London soonish...I'm going to get a friend to tidy that up, add some images of my own and soundtrack it to Martin Luther Kings "I have a dream" speech. It WILL be an internet hit. Cheers

24 May, 2006 09:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More Dubai Fun

25 May, 2006 07:40  
Blogger Hello said...

The Lighthouse debacle - another story the local media has had its hands on for more than a month but could somehow not find the cojones to publish...

25 May, 2006 15:05  
Blogger kingfisher said...

click 310

thanks for the link to the video clip, it's fun.

25 May, 2006 15:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey SD-

Have you seen the 20 page overview of Dubai in June's Vanity Fair issue? It's worth a read...

BTW: I love your blog--lived in Dubai for a couple of months and you are right on the mark with your comments and observations!

25 May, 2006 22:28  
Blogger EnglishTeacher365 said...

A quote from the Pittsburgh article: "And it shows that relatively good things can evolve in the Muslim world without the United States having to use force to create them."

As if ... the only good things in this part of the world are products of US "creativity"??!!

Such as Iraq, Israel, etc ... not to mention Hamas and Al-Qaeda.

28 May, 2006 09:39  
Blogger Anon said...

You never struck me as a SecretSunReader kidda!!

28 May, 2006 13:35  
Blogger secretdubai said...

You never struck me as a SecretSunReader kidda!!

Daily. And the Mirror too (though its website is appallingly bad).

I actively look forward to the News of the World every Sunday.

28 May, 2006 13:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really interesting stuff. Nice to know there's people like you.

30 May, 2006 07:07  

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