Posts Tagged ‘Dubai’

Ramadan Waste in Dubai

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

It’s a little weird that the Jerusalem Post - an Israeli paper – is taking umbrage with the most holy of Muslim holidays, but it raises a fair point, so I’ll allow it: “Ramadan in Dubai: a month of soaring food waste?

Despite the hours of preparation put into the often vast displays of food, waiters at top hotels in Dubai say much of the food left over goes straight into the waste bins.

The amount of food thrown out in the emirate jumps considerably in the holy month – by as much as 20 percent according to Dubai Municipality, with most of the waste comprising rice and non-vegetable foods.

Around 1,850 tons of food were thrown out on average per day during Ramadan in 2010, roughly 20 percent of total waste in the emirate during the holy month, it said.

Dubai wasteful? Huh.

Stinky Dubai?

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Ugh. I feel that I can smell this from here, “Trouble in paradise as plumbing problems hit Dubai’s Palm island“.

Glad I don’t live on the Palm Jumeirah …

Mission: Impossible 4 in Dubai

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

I called it back in December of 2006 that either James Bond #22 or #23 or Mission: Impossible 4 would take place in part in Dubai (see James Bond in Dubai).

Today the trailer for the latter was released, and here’s Tom Cruise base-jumping from the Burj Khalifa:


Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Wow, this seems … wow.

Dubai’s Emirates announces new Iraq route, says flights to Baghdad to start in November.”

As in Baghdad International Airport, formerly Saddam International Airport.

Vanity Fair on Dubai

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

I haven’t read the whole article yet, but check out this Vanity Fair piece on Dubai: “Dubai on Empty“.

It seems a bit racist at points (going “head towel in hand” to get a loan from Abu Dhabi? Really?!) But probably most of it will make all-too-much sense to me …

Dubai Apocalyptic Billboards

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Interesting Gulf News article from the other day: “‘End of days’ billboards in Dubai to be removed, says official.”

Apparently some wacko church in the US is putting billboards up in Dubai that says the world is ending.

On May 21.

Wow, that’s soon.

Empty Two-Fifths

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I just saw a Bloomberg article has a fun fact about Dubai:

In the next two years, tens of thousands of new properties will come onto a market where about 40 percent of homes and offices are empty.

For more, check out: “Dubai Can’t Break Building Addiction With Glut of Properties Still Growing“.

Dunk in Dubai

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Part of me thinks that it’s funny that there are 61 Dunkin Donuts locations in the UAE and none in Los Angeles.

Apparently a new one just opened at Uptown Motor City in Dubai: “Dunkin’ Donuts opens new Dubai outlet“.

Tiger Chokes and Spits

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Oh Tiger!

Did you see this from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic over the weekend? “Tiger Woods may face censure from European Tour for spitting on 12th green“.

How far you’ve fallen …

The Tiger Woods Dubai Update

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Not much more to this story than the title: “Tiger Woods’ Dubai golf course development officially halted“.

Tiger Woods Dubai

I’m kind of surprised it took them this long …

Dubai’s World Islands are Sinking

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Remember The World islands in Dubai? We actually talked about them three years ago today (see The World).

Dubai The World

Well, according to reports from Friday, it’s sinking: “Luxury Dubai development sinking.”

Of course, this all comes from a lawsuit against Nakheel, the state-run developer on the islands, but still, it’s quite possible.

James Bond in Dubai!

Monday, January 17th, 2011

No, not the next movie (the currently titled “Bond 23” coming out November 9, 2012) but the next novel, coming out May 26, 2011.

Carte Blanche cover

Just today publisher Simon & Schuster announced that Jeffery Deaver’s contemporary-set James Bond novel will be titled “CARTE BLANCHE” and is set in Dubai!

Throws another monkeywrench into my whole James Bond vs. Mission: Impossible in Dubai debate (see James Bond in Dubai).

Richest Royals 2010

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Back when we were in Dubai Forbes‘ annual list of richest royals was always a big deal (see Richest Royals).

Somehow it fell through the cracks this July, but luckily I just thought of it today (what with it being the UAE’s National Day today).

So here’s the article: “The World’s Richest Royals.”

Key quote:

No surprise then that Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum fared the worst. His fortune dropped $7.5 billion this year as his Dubai Holding crumbled under a $12 billion debt burden. This comes on the heels of last year’s loss of $6 billion, making him the biggest loser on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s 15 richest royals two years in a row.

To boot, Dubai had to ask for another handout from fellow emirate Abu Dhabi in December, to the tune of $10 billion. Abu Dhabi’s ruler, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan, though not as heavily indebted, also saw his fortune shrink for the second year in a row, down $3 billion as result of last year’s 40% decline in oil export earnings as well as double-digit declines in real estate and stock markets. He falls down a notch to No.4 on the list.

Here’s the list:

1 ) King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand
Fortune: $30 billion (unchanged)

2 ) Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Brunei
Fortune: $20 billion (unchanged)

3 ) King Abdullah bin Abul Aziz, Saudi Arabia
Fortune: $18 billion (up)

4 ) Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan, United Arab Emirates
Fortune: $15 billion (down)

5 ) Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai
Fortune: $4.5 billion (down)

6 ) Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein
Fortune: $3.5 billion (unchanged)

7 ) King Mohammed IV, Morocco
Fortune: $2.5 billion (unchanged)

8 ) Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar
Fortune: $2.4 billion (up)

9 ) Prince Albert II, Monaco
Fortune: $1 billion (unchanged)

10 ) Prince Karim Al Husseini, Aga Khan
Fortune: $800 million (unchanged)

Tom Cruise Hangs From Burj

Monday, November 1st, 2010

And then there’s this: “Tom Cruise hangs from world’s tallest building“.

Tom Cruise risked his life performing stunts for “Mission: Impossible 4″ in Dubai over the weekend: the star, 48, dangled almost 2,717 feet in the air near the top of skyscraper Burj Kahlifa, the tallest building in the world.

It’ll be interesting to see this flick, directed, of course, by the guy who did The Incredibles and Iron Giant (yes, I’m serious).

Dubai Real Estate

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Did you see this article in Time Magazine? “The Rent Too Damn High in Dubai? Not So Much“.

Apparently 825 of the Burj Khalifa’s 900 ultra-luxury apartments remain unoccupied. (I assume that’s since the January opening).

Key quote:

But it’s the units that will be completed that are looming as a problem. The Dubai economy must still digest a flood of housing units coming on line or soon to be opened, which will further dampen prices. Through September, 27,000 residential units have been put on the market, and another 9,000 are expected to be completed by the end of the year, according to real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle. For 2011, the firm forecasts that about 30,000 new units will come on line.

This is a whole new economic crisis!

Death in Dubai

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Tragic, and avoidable: “Fellow competitor blames heat, safety lapses in death of swimmer Fran Crippen“.

Key quote:

An American swimmer blamed the blazing heat, unusually warm surf and lack of medical and safety personnel on the course for the death of former University of Virginia swimmer Fran Crippen, 26, in an open-water race Saturday in the United Arab Emirates.

Unfortunately, that sounds all too much like the Dubai I know …

A Little Bit of Dubai in Portland

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

On the drive to South Portland this morning to get bagels (I love you 158 Pickett Street Cafe), I saw a surprising oil tanker in port – the Dubai Star!

You might recall that Portland is the largest oil port on the East Coast (thank you Portland–Montreal Pipe Line).

When I got home I did a little research on the tanker, I guess it’s bad PR when the first article one finds is “Oil spills into S.F. Bay south of Bay Bridge.”

Then I found this photo:

Boats gather oil spilled by the Dubai Star oil tanker, background, off the coast of San Francisco on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009. The Panamanian-flagged ship began leaking bunker fuel during a fuel transfer Friday morning. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


So yeah, that’s what’s in Casco Bay right now.

M:I Arba’a

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Oh yeah: “‘Mission Impossible’ filming starts in Dubai soon“.

Reminds me of a statement I made four years ago (see James Bond in Dubai):

I bet you that at some point in the next two James Bond movies (#22 or #23) James Bond will visit to Dubai.

Now, maybe he won’t be cruising down Sheikh Zayed Road in some crazy-fancy car, or swinging from a crane onto one of the Emirates Towers, or ski racing the bad guys at Ski Dubai, but I could see him cruising around the Palm Jumeirah in some huge yacht. Maybe having a meeting (and drinks, if they have a bar?) at the Burj al-Arab hotel, too.

I know James Bond is a snobby south of France / Bahamas kind of guy, but Dubai is getting pretty big and pretty global.

Just a thought.

*If I’m wrong on this, maybe Dubai will feature in the next Mission: Impossible movie instead, which I hope they make with Brad Pitt instead of Tom “Crazypants” Cruise.

Bond #23 might be “suspended indefinitely” but damn was I right about Mission: Impossible 4.

Well, not the Brad Pitt part, but the Dubai part.

Telegraph Island on Warehouse 13!

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

So, being a busy summer and all, I’m a bit behind on some of my television shows. Yesterday I caught up on a few of the recent episodes of ScyFy’s Warehouse 13. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s like The X-Files, but instead of aliens and conspiracies these government agents track down historic “artifacts” that have supernatural powers and lock them up in, well, Warehouse 13.

Some of the artifacts so far include: Lewis Carroll’s mirror, Ben Franklin’s lightning rod, Sylvia Plath’s typewriter, Edgar Allan Poe’s quill pen, Harriet Tubman’s thimble, Timothy Leary’s glasses and the Studio 54 disco ball. As you can imagine it’s a combination of the historic, the nerdy and the, well, goofy.

I’m not really selling it, am I?

It was created by Jane Espenson, who worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and wrote episodes of Gilmore Girls, Battlestar Galactica, and, oddly, the third ever episode of The O.C.

It’s good. Well, good for ScyFy.

Anyway, one of the episodes from about three weeks ago was called “Around the Bend”. In it the goofy guy agent (why is the guy agent always goofy and the female always by-the-book?) goes a little crazy and starts imagining conspiracies and betrayals among the Warehouse 13 crew.

The artifact that caused this?

The telegraph from Telegraph Island!

Pete playing with the telegraph from Telegraph Island

Pete gone crazy because of the telegraph from Telegraph Island

Pete almost shooting his coworkers because of the telegraph from Telegraph Island

You might remember Telegraph Island from our days in Dubai, twice we drove up to the Musandam peninsula to Khasab, Oman (see Khasab and Khasab 08).

The Musandam peninsula

Remember, we took the dhow boat cruises along the fjords and went snorkeling?

Closer on the peninsula. Note the fjords.

Well smack dab in the middle of the fjords is Jazirat al Maqlab -Telegraph Island. It’s a rock, really, about the size of a football field where in the 1860s the British built a submarine telegraph cable through the Persian Gulf to India. Apparently the construction crew found the locals hostile, so they built the station on an island for ease of defense.

Telegraph Island

Oddly, Telegraph Island doesn't even make the map on Google

I’m not really sure what happened next, either a mainland cable route opened, or some other alternative appeared, but the British abandoned Jazirat al Maqlab shortly thereafter. I think they were there all of five years.

Today all that’s left are stairs down to a dock and some squared off rocks.

Well, that, and a phrase.

Apparently the expression “around the bend” was coined because of the number of British troops who went crazy taking the cable around the bend in the Gulf, i.e. the Strait of Hormuz.

I’m amazed that Warehouse 13 referenced it. It’s quite the esoteric joke. Not even a half-percenter, I mean, how many people in the world have been to Telegraph Island?

I certainly, have been around that bend.

Dubai, Global City

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Looks like Dubai is number 27 on The Global Cities Index for 2010 from Foreign Policy, A.T. Kearney, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Here are the top ten:

1 New York
2 London
3 Tokyo
4 Paris
5 Hong Kong
6 Chicago
7 Los Angeles
8 Singapore
9 Sydney
10 Seoul

Boston is number 19.