Posts Tagged ‘Dubai’

Banning Mixed Marriage in Dubai

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Yesterday’s The National had an interesting article about banning Emirate marriages to foreigners: “Grand Mufti of Dubai calls for curb on mixed marriages.”

I like how they have statistics for some numbers (30% of marriages this year were mixed) but then they go off into la-la land with sentences like this:

Mixed marriages are more likely to end in divorce and their children are more likely to commit crimes, some experts at the majilis said.

Um, proof please?


Bourdain in Dubai

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Back in April the Travel Channel aired an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations shot in Maine (see Bourdain in Maine).

Now, last week, the episode went to Dubai!

Here’s a clip:

It’s for sale on iTunes if that’s the way you get your cable TV.

Return of the Dubai’s Hard Rock

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

When we lived in Dubai we were fans of the Hard Rock Cafe. It was a ten minute walk from our house and they had burgers, salads and, most preciously, beer. Well, beer for awhile – right before I left they lost their liquor license (see Hard Rock Cafe Dubai Update).

Needless to say, shortly thereafter it closed altogether (see Hard Luck For Hard Rock In Dubai).

Well good news from today’s Gulf News: “Hard Rock Cafe to dish up a second serving in Dubai.”

Soon-ish there’ll be a new 26,500 square-foot restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel end of Dubai Festival City. Also, because it is after all, Dubai, the new Hard Rock will build the tallest ornamental guitar in the world outside.

Sadly Festival City is about an hour’s drive from our old apartment, so our friends who are still in Dubai probably won’t make the trek often.

Also there’s no new news about the Hard Rock Hotel Dubai was supposed to be getting (see Hard Rock Hotel Dubai).

Perhaps the recent economy has derailed that train?

Rory McIlroy

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

I don’t give a hoot about golf (much to the chagrin of my in-laws, no doubt) but I did see a clip of 21-year-old Irish phenomenon Rory McIlroy, who tied a record at the British Open today.

I also saw who sponsors him, Dubai’s Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts (as seen in this clip from ESPN):

I guess he won the Dubai Desert Classic last year, as well. Huh.

UAE Male Infertility

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

This is the kind of shit that drove me batty about Dubai; check out this article from the Gulf News: “Pollution, diet blamed for male infertility in UAE.”

So you’d think there’d be, you know, facts and figures about pollution and diet trends to support the premise of the article.


In fact, I wonder if there is any infertility at all. This quote specifically makes me wonder:

According to a recent World Health Organisation study, there has been a decline in births in the UAE from 5.7 children per woman down to less than two children, over the past two decades.

Perhaps this “male infertility” is just the UAE joining most other developed countries where fertility rates decrease to levels below replacement rates?

How about that?

Burj on a CD

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Now that I’m liberated from my job, I can do things like take back returnables and go to Target in the middle of the day. So I did both this morning.

Because of the early hour, I didn’t expect to see any familiar faces. But to my surprise, I did. Look at what I saw in Target’s CD section:

Yes, that’s Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel on the cover of Owl City’s Ocean Eyes CD.

I have no idea who Owl City is, they’re on Universal Republic records, an American label so I don’t know what their connection to Dubai is. Wikipedia says their genre is “Synthpop, Dream pop” – whatever that is. Doesn’t sound particularly Arabic or Islamic.

I know, lots of questions, few answers. Just thought I’d share.

UPDATE: Found an interview with Owl City (apparently the band is just one dude?) and he says if he could live anywhere in the world, he’d live on the top floor of the Burj Al Arab.

He sounds like a bit of a tool in the interview. He posits that he’d get good at tennis if he lived there because of their suspended tennis court on the top floor. Of course there isn’t one, sadly; he’s referring to the stunt in 2005 where Andre Agassi and Roger Federer played a match on the helipad (see No Tennis Stunts).

So that answers that question.

Sheikh Mo’s Stowaway

Friday, June 11th, 2010

A Romanian dude snuck aboard Sheikh Mohammed’s jet! Dude, if they’d landed in the Middle East we never would have heard this story: “Stowaway survives flight from Austria to London on Sheikh’s jet.”

Gucci Hotel in Dubai

Monday, June 7th, 2010

From today’s 7Days: “A Dubai hotel for Gucci’s girl“.


Prostitutes in Dubai

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Oh snap!

Check out this article in The Guardian: “Why Dubai’s Islamic austerity is a sham – sex is for sale in every bar.”

Gold Bar ATM in the UAE

Friday, May 14th, 2010


You jackasses are making it too easy to mock you and/or too difficult to defend you!

The geniuses at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi have installed, well, the title says it all: “The ATM that dispenses gold bars.”


Dubailand Update

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Just saw this article from Dubai’s Gulf News about the famed Dubailand complex: “Dubailand project continues as it adapts to new market realities.”



I’m … shocked!

Dubailand was the conglomerate of theme parks that was always touted as “twice the size of Walt Disney World” using phrases such as “45 mega projects” and “5 billion square feet” – even though right now it’s all desert. I railed on it quite about over at Newlywed in Dubai.

Anyway, here’s today’s key quote:

Theme parks still on the list include Universal Studios, Six Flags and Legoland, [Khalid Al Malek, chief executive officer of Dubai Properties Group] said.

No mention of the other parks, which include (but are not limited to):

Warner Bros. Movie World
Dreamworks Animation Theme Park
F1-X Theme Park Dubai
Marvel Superheroes Theme Park
Dubai Snowdome

Huh. Reality.

But it seemed like such a good idea four years ago …

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Yep, the ‘Armani Hotel Dubai’ opened this week in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building: “Armani Debuts in Dubai.”

Wonder how tough it’ll be nowadays to fill those 160 rooms that start at $750 a night …

Sex in the Abu Dhabi City

Monday, April 12th, 2010

I could care less about Sex in the City 2, I really could.

But last summer I mentioned how they wanted to shoot the flick in Dubai, and Dubai naturally balked at the questionable content (see Sex And A Different City).

So now I guess the movie takes place … in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.


See Abu Dhabi is less concerned about image than Dubai. More conservative, even. If they were brothers Dubai would be the flashy one with a fancy car – like a stupid-expensive Lamborghini. Abu Dhabi would have a more stoic Bentley.

Thus it seemed really odd to me that they’d let them film in Abu Dhabi. So I did a little research.

Apparently the production filmed in Marrakech, Morocco as a double for Abu Dhabi.

I can only assume that they called it “Abu Dhabi” instead of “Dubai” out of spite? I mean, Dubai is still better known. And glitzier.

And if you’re playing that much with reality, shoot, go film it in Epcot and save some money.

Anyway, here’s the trailer if you care:

Word Cloud

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

I found this website, that builds word clouds out of text files.

So I uploaded the 380 pages of my Newlywed in Dubai: Best of the Blog book and came up with this:

Pretty cool.

Burj Khalifa Construction Marvel

Friday, March 19th, 2010

I missd this from last Friday, the New York Times has an op-ed about Dubai and specifically the Burj Khalifa: “The Age of Concrete.”

Key quote:

From a technological standpoint, it’s profoundly impressive that a reinforced concrete frame has outperformed the steel of Taipei 101 — the previous record holder for height — by 1,050 feet. This achievement suggests a new era in structural engineering: the compressive strength of concrete has tripled in the last four decades, allowing concrete structures to be thinner, lighter and far, far taller.

Dubai News

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Dubai has been in the news quite a bit lately, and it’s not good: “Airline Crew Face Jail In Dubai Over Sexy Texts” and “British Couple Appealing Dubai Kiss Conviction” and “Dubai’s Moral Crackdown Is Kiss Of Death For Tourism.”

Spies Should Leave … or …

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Continuing our coverage of the Mahmoud al Madbouh assassination in Dubai (which I still find fascinating) the Dubai PD have made a new pronouncement: “Spies ordered out of Persian Gulf.”

It wasn’t terribly forceful, however:

“Those spies that are currently present in the Gulf must leave the region within one week. If not, then we will cross that bridge when we come to it,” said Dahi Khalfan Tamim, a lieutenant general with the Dubai police.

So either “we will cross that bridge when we come to it” means something more bad-ass in Arabic, or they just want to evict the wuss spies.

Dubai Defaults on Knickerbocker

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Istithmar World Capital, the private equity and alternative investment arm of Istithmar World, part of Dubai World, a Dubai government-owned company (phew) has defaulted on their $300 million mortgage for the former Knickerbocker Hotel building in Times Square.

For more, we go to the Wall Street Journal: “Dubai World Coughs Up the Knickerbocker.”


Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

How did I not think of this?

How did Foreign Policy magazine make this joke and not me?

In their post “This will not end well” they make a joke about the Dubai assassination and the subsequent Israeli … blockade … involving the 2008 Adam Sandler movie You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

How did I not think of this?

Dubai, Assassinations and Israelis

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Uh-oh. Retaliation begins: “Dubai: Israelis Will Be Denied UAE Entry.”

Of course, we’ve talked about Israelis and Dubai before (see Shahar Peer and Dubai).

But this is different.

The Emirates will now ”deny entry to anyone suspected of having Israeli citizenship,” Tamim said at a security conference in Abu Dhabi Monday.

So if my name sounds Jewish I’m not allowed in?


Of course it still amuses me that Jeffrey Katzenberg and Stephen Spielberg are building a DreamWorks Animation theme park there (see News: DreamWorks Animation Theme Park in Dubai).

UPDATE: The article has a little more meat on it now, including this very interesting note:

[Dubai police Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim] did not explain what procedures would be used to identify the Israeli visitors, except that the police will ”develop skills” to recognize Israelis by ”physical features and the way they speak.”

Yes, you heard it here, they’re going to use sci-fi to keep the Jews out.