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29 January, 2009

Sun, sea and sewage

A few years ago the waters off Dubai were like a lovely warm bath. Swimming was a wonderful experience, at least for people who don't enjoy having to break the ice before they dip a frozen toe in the dark and ominous English Channel. On Midsummer's Day.

For some reason, the habit of going to the beach rather died away. Even the urging of bronzed beach-goddesses like Lola Lebcan didn't raise its appeal. Maybe a sunset stroll to take photos of the Burj, once or twice a year. But no more sunbathing, and certainly no more swimming.

Perhaps it was the dredging for the Palms that ruined the oceans. Not just because it fouled up the water with sand and fine particles, but because it stopped them being an endless mystical stretch of water as far as the eye could see. Now the sea was just a sort of inlet or lake, a sad sandy pond. The real Gulf now started the other side of the World's Biggest Man-Made Artificial Sand-Dredged Islands (tm) all rights reserved to His Majesty's Vision Inc (tm).

Anyway we've had this latest story before, last year on the BBC in fact. But now The Times has picked up on the fact that Dubai isn't quite the unspoilt virgin eco-Eden that Nakheel's vast hordes of paid "ecologists" and assorted "environmental scientists" like to promote:

"A noxious tide of toilet paper, raw sewage and chemical waste has transformed Dubai’s most prestigious stretch of shoreline into a foul-smelling health hazard.

"A stretch of the exclusive Jumeirah Beach - a magnet for Western tourists and home to a string of hotels - has been closed. “It’s a cesspool. Our tests show too many E. coli to count. It’s like swimming in a toilet,” said Keith Mutch, the manager of the Offshore Sailing Club, which has posted warnings and been forced to cancel regattas. The pollution is a blow to Dubai’s reputation as an international holiday destination offering almost guaranteed sunshine and clear seas."

The good news for Dubai is that the sort of tourists who flock in on cheap Emirates deals and hang around the Jumeirah Beach Hotel with their tattoos, guts and lycra on grim and sweaty display are probably not Times subscribers.

The bad news is that like everyone else in the world, they're probably about to lose their jobs, homes and savings if they haven't already. Meaning even a weekend in Weston-Super-Mud or Whitley Bay is going to be beyond the budget, let alone The Arabian Effluent Experience.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nakheel's vast hordes of paid "ecologists" and assorted "environmental scientists" like to promote"

this kind of sums up whole of dubai- pay everyone along the way some bribes or free stay or free propoerty in dubai, and get them to write great stories about dubai. this will make lots of innocents and idiots visit dubai. among all the dump, build a few large roads, and tall buildings, and make it look like this is new york. and let the innocent visitors who stay for 5 days believe it is, by trapping them in hotels and malls, with no public transport of any sort to travel and find out the truth. this has always been the case. and SD, while your rose colored glasses were on during your early years, it looked better. for most of the people, it has always been this bad.

c'est la dubai.

29 January, 2009 14:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A noxious tide of toilet paper, raw sewage and chemical waste has transformed Dubai’s most prestigious stretch of shoreline into a foul-smelling health hazard.

That's 2 million + Indians & Bengali's hawking snot and shitting spiced dysentery into the waters. Ahem.

29 January, 2009 16:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re. anonymous above, you sound like you need a bath - can i recommend the waters off the Jumeira beach for you? Think their impact on your health would be a MAJOR improvement

29 January, 2009 17:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks like someone forgot some very famous country in the western world claims spicy indian tandoori chicken as their national dish. if the spice in the sea off dubai is burning your eyes, you know where to look...especially considering that folks from cold weather countries hardly ever have a bath and if ever, in the sea :-)

29 January, 2009 20:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

secret dubai can u provide us with some proper gossip your site is getting boring now

29 January, 2009 21:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD - check it out:

29 January, 2009 21:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Us folks from a 'Cold Western Country that claims to have curry as a national dish' - do indeed have baths and showers. We certainly don't need a shit filled sea to swim in thank you very much!!

30 January, 2009 13:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much as it goes against the grain and spirit of a blog, is it not possible for comments, insulting to other readers, that they be placed in the polluted waters off Dubai Sailing Club?
Just a suggestion.

30 January, 2009 14:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article is using the sea sewage issue as a eufamism for what dubai has become. The emalgamation of rude and greedy people are the e-coli. Emiratis are the toilet paper and poor hordes of asian slaves are the shit.

31 January, 2009 00:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why a build a sewage plant when you can buy a $500 million yacht. Or a $20 million horse.

I mean whats the benefit of a sewage plant? Are you crazy or what? Stupid westerners. Idiots the lot of you.

Our rulers have Private planes to rival small airlines in quantity. I mean what does Gordon brown have? He has only his prime ministerial salary. You stupid westerners dont know how to respect your rulers, thats the problem. You have no respect.

31 January, 2009 06:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, i am accessing your page from dubai via UltraSurf:


31 January, 2009 15:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A little off topic but I don't know where to turn.
A friend of my is facing financial trouble in Dubai and I wonder if anyone here has any good advice on the issue. He is sincere in his efforts to solve this in a decent manner so advice on fleeing the country won't do.

Please check out the details here;_ylt=Ajwtz3z7PQ7JNQbLm2f7NaUjzKIX;_ylv=3?qid=20090127025234AAyF9vr


31 January, 2009 21:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is off topic Minnie but really your friend should pack up and leave. Dont let them feel they owe anything to Dubai. Dubai has been screwing people for a long time so dont feel bad. Best escape route would be through Abu Dhabi airport if Dubai airport might have your friends name on a no-fly list.
If he dosnt have his passport then go to the embassy and say he lost his and get a new one fast.

Dont look back beause its starting to smell real bad here.

Good luck.

01 February, 2009 04:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emiratis cant do anything right, especially not anything for the common good.

Look at how they screwed this company

01 February, 2009 07:41  
Blogger secretdubai said...

I know quite a lot of details about that case, which I can't write about due to legal issues.

But really the phrase: "Dubai International Arbitration Centre" says more about the whole affair than any extra words could. "Dubai" "International" "Dubai Arbitration"... need I continue?

01 February, 2009 07:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heres an update to the "Time to Jail another adultress" case:

I hate Dubai and islam more and more every day! God, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ save this lady from the cluches of a hateful relegion and mean people. The civilized world will be praying for you Marnie, God bless you.

01 February, 2009 08:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD u said "I know quite a lot of details about that case, which I can't write about due to legal issues."

Can you send some info in the next edition of The Secret.

01 February, 2009 08:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what's the problem???

01 February, 2009 08:45  
Blogger colonialb said...

The best bit is the "Poobai" tag at the bottom of the Times article.

01 February, 2009 10:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings from Hong Kong. We also have a pollution problem. But we are above the silly notion of blaming it on ethnic groups. Have been following events and life in Dubai and find myself getting progressively disillusioned with the apparently corrupt and exploitative mentality that prevails in your sand pit. We have lots of expats in HKG too, but they don't appear to be so bitter.

Earlier, you'd written a post about prostitutes in Dubai hotels. Could you also write something about the gay scene in Dubai? Attempting to research it from here without much success.

01 February, 2009 10:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you also write something about the gay scene in Dubai?

Men meet, have a few drinks, then retire to hotel rooms or flats where they fellate and sodomize each other. I hope that helps.

01 February, 2009 11:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Men meet, have a few drinks, then retire to hotel rooms or flats where they fellate and sodomize each other

Islam forbids Homosexuality as its un natural.So its western civilization that finds it acceptable to make ends meet."the end justifies the means"

01 February, 2009 13:49  
Blogger colonialb said...

If dysentery is not your cup of tea then it would appear there is also a special on legionnaires' desease this week-gives a whole new meaning to medical tourism.

01 February, 2009 21:07  
Blogger colonialb said...

sorry, disease....

01 February, 2009 21:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

their is a lot of good butt sex between men in dubai, its the nature of emiratis btw. I used to go to school here and the locals would always try to screw little white boys, to the effect that Choufait school installed cameras in the school toilets. but this is situational homosexuality. As for gays, there are lots of local and expat gays here but as ususal its all hush hush. There was an instance where they busted a gay party and they decided that the solution was to feed hormons to make the convicts less gay. this is a true story. Anyway lots of gay parties here, just make sure its safe, its more fun for all of us that way :)

01 February, 2009 22:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD you are king! Dont let Dubai Inc. pr convince you otherwise. I visited other dubai blogs and the are soo...well lame and without character. they sound like vacation diaries. You know the secret and keep it up. We love you!

01 February, 2009 23:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dubai beaches declared safe from sewage

Read it all at:

See? no worries, go back to the beach and enjoy yourself, shake Mo sez so

Secret Dubai why must you lie ?
Dont you know it makes the baby Jezus cry...

02 February, 2009 04:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let the spin begin!!

02 February, 2009 07:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well here is how the morons at dubai pr spin works:

1. Any issue comes up, dont react to it at all as long as possible, or until it really blows up, so as to reduce mileage on the issue

2. Call up all press, and inform them the vice vision will be very upset if this subject is covered any more. So they stop reporting on it .

3. By now the foreign press would be on some of the stories ( 1 out of 10, atleast 9 stories like this are killed before that).

4. When the foreign press is reporting on this, some serious commissioner of committee in dubai will deny everything, and anything, and say such is not happening in dubai, but maybe in qatar or iran.

5. This goes on for a while, and then it gets quiet.

6. Suddenly the Dubai PR idiots gets a call from the Commissioner, saying that all the problems are solved, and dubai is fantastic again, so publish the story. Now, the commissioner forgets that in the first place they had denied there was any problem with the palms sinking, or shit in sea, or robbery in mall, or sheikh sodomising someone, or villa residents being evicted, or french boy was raped, so on and so forth. So how come suddenly the PR story says all problems are fixed now, when there was no problem to start with? hehehe

7. You dont believe me, watch it happen next time a story hits the news.

02 February, 2009 12:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

more news on THE KHALEEJ TIMES..

Dubai Property Prices May Fall Up to 50 Per Cent: Research
Issac John
2 February 2009
DUBAI - Prices of residential and commercial property in Dubai are predicted to plunge this year by up to 50 per cent and 40 per cent respectively as the real estate market reels under pressures of a correction sparked by weak demand, findings by a new market research show.

Residential rents of both apartments and villas are also forecast to drop by 25 per cent while commercial rents are poised “to fare even worse,” according to the report by Landmark Advisory, the research wing of a Dubai-based property company.

02 February, 2009 13:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just come in from Dubai. back in good ole Bahrain. from these posts it seems like nothing has really changed

First blame some ethnic group. then members of ethnic group fight back and point shortcomings of accusers. then some degree of peace prevails.

then everyone blames the government. which is then followed by a national saying thing like " You dont like it get out".

Err well nothing has changed like i said earlier

left in 2005. nothing i saw in the past three days convinced me to shift back

miss my friends but hey there is modern technology

02 February, 2009 20:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From ABS-CBN news report

DUBAI - A five-star hotel in the Gulf business and tourist hub of Dubai said on Monday it is running tests for Legionnaires' disease after a guest reportedly died from the illness.

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi said it is conducting the tests in coordination with the Dubai health authorities after the death on Friday of British cricket commentator Bill Frindall.

"No evidence of legionella has been found to date at the hotel based on initial testing," the hotel said in a statement. "Hotel management is continuing to monitor the situation."

The hotel said two other guests had been reportedly diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, a form of pneumonia caused by potentially lethal airborne bacteria.

04 February, 2009 04:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Secret Dubai Blog Master,

For the last 6 months I have been working hard to create, what I hope is, an excellent visitor guide to Dubai. A website where any visitor, or resident for that matter, can find out information on things such as restaurants in Dubai, get the info on the latest events that are on, even just check the current weather forecast.

I now believe that my site is getting to a stage where it is becoming a worthwhile resource for people to know about and to that end I wanted to email you, to ask if you would not mind checking out my site: It would be an absolute honour if you would consider adding my site to your blog along with the other sites listed under your links title? I would be happy to pay some sort of advertising fee if this was required.

In any event, I would love to hear any feedback you have on my site and any ways in which you think I can further improve it.

Best Regards
Neil Waller

06 February, 2009 03:54  
Blogger WebJunky said...

what a joke this is. well what do you expect when you continue to dump half the world's sand into the river and build buildings? then add to that the so called "free speech journalism" - NOT. the core problems of this place are far beyond belief. for so long the governmet has shifted the focus on the up and up (good) only to distract everyone

06 February, 2009 07:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be an absolute honour if you would consider adding my site to your blog

Arise, Sir Neil. But if you visit our gilded emirate, beware the eastern harlots for they carry the sex-plague from the dark continent...

06 February, 2009 12:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We, people from the west, don't need your Dubai sewage...Go, flocks of stupids to get rich at the looks like paradise is full of shit...ha,ha...I'm really enjoying that (take a great swim in your eco-eden guys)

06 February, 2009 19:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not so much that the water is polluted that disturbs me, it's the way that, like the Soviet government of old, they always stonewall everything and blame the media etc.

07 February, 2009 16:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

quick one, is there any truth in the rumour that the son is taking over by force from the father?

08 February, 2009 15:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11 February, 2009 14:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear SD,

Why does it feel like there is a worldwide campaign against Dubai. The media all over the world are focusing on the negative news of Dubai. What happens in Dubai is relatively normal for any city. It feels very unconfortable that the world wants Dubai to fail.

SD, I know your blog is very representative of life in Dubai but is it really that bad. Do we want Dubai to fail.

In all of the GCC countries we see the wost of crimes against people, both personel and private. But Dubai can change that.

Dubai is the first step towards liberal Islam. It is truly where East meets West. Dubai, fror better or for worse is Islam's greatest modern city.

Dubai can be a model city for the future, why not write about Dubais future not demise.

13 February, 2009 02:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to tell you, but Dubai and Islam don't mix at all.

Their only goal is to make money out of anything they can, plate numbers, plots covered with dust and sand, salik gates, traffic fines, visas, prostitution and the list goes on....

Justice system = Pig shit

Everythings price is beyond your imagination in a shit-hole city like dubai with ZERO customer service.

And I still couldn't access flickr the last time I was there, is that site still considered as pornographic site ?

Dubai has gone from good to poop since Jan 2006.

3years of disaster, loot and corruption.

13 February, 2009 12:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dubai is Islams greatest city precisely because it is furthest away from Islam.

14 February, 2009 00:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

secretdubai, can you please check your inbox...

14 February, 2009 18:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

secretdubai, is there a way to contact you...?

17 February, 2009 15:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

United States: Chesapeake Bay
Dubai: Business Bay

Any questions?

01 March, 2009 15:25  
Blogger Qaisera said...

Nice post. This post provided very useful and important information.


15 April, 2009 09:12  
Anonymous joye said...

This is really very meaningless to attach the name of Dubai with Religion.
All religion are same for only one GOD.
Dubai is only recently build beautiful modern city, we cant connect it with the name of religion.

06 March, 2010 13:06  
Anonymous garry said...

Dubai is ultra modern city with latest idea but any city or man made object never meant to connect with the religion.

06 March, 2010 13:11  

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