Here are some more "facts" about Dubai for Nancy to get jacked up about:
Guide to Dubai
With the world's eyes on Dubai over the ports controversy, here's a ten-point guide for foreigners considering a sojourn in the sandlands:
You will need fluency in Arabic - including several Gulf dialects - to get by in Dubai, otherwise it will be impossible to even buy a loaf of bread or make a phone call.
Traditionally, western expatriate women were required to live in a custom-built compound known as Jumeirah, which became increasingly cramped and run-down over the decades. The government has now built new, spacious enclosures for them in the middle of the desert, scenically and inaccurately titled "Hills", "Lakes", "Meadows" and so forth.
There are two types of driving license in Dubai. Category A is granted only to Arabs and westerners, and requires them to drive at no less than 200kmph on all major and minor roads. Purchase of a high-end four-wheel drive vehicle is mandatory with this licence. Category B is given to Asian expats, and requires that they drive below 60kmph in the fastest two lanes of all highways. Holders of Category B licences may only drive white Nissan Sunnies.
All locals in Dubai - that is to say the men in white and the women in black - have private oil wells in their palace gardens, giving them an average income of two million dollars each per week. When a child is born, a new well is drilled for it (similar to a "christening gift" in the west, but somewhat more useful).
The money used in Dubai is called "wasta". A concept currency called the "dirham" also exists, but it is the equivalent to Green Shield stamps or internet "beanz" and has no real purpose beyond the UAE edition of Monopoly. To earn wasta, you visit important people and say appreciative things, and they may make a donation into your wasta pouch.
Sadly, the era of camel racing is long past, since foetal jockeys were forcibly repatriated to their mother's wombs in Bangladesh. Today's favourite competitive sport among UAE locals is a real-life version of Sim City, where families compete to build the biggest towers, earning bonus points if they max out Construction Chaos and achieve Gridlock Level 100.
All films are banned in the UAE due to various cultural sensitivities. But never fear! Cinema halls are far from silent: being filled instead with the haunting music of the Dubai Ringtone Symphony Orchestra.
Rather than having the internet, the UAE has a special communications system known as the Proxy, which consists of a few outdated html documents cached in a government office. To retrieve one of these documents, sandlanders must produce residence visas, passport copies and salary certificates in quadruplicate, and pay several thousand "wasta". Once the transaction is complete they can happily scan this document into their computer, and surf away! (That's if they're lucky enough not to get the notorious "Blocked" page, which accounts for 97.4% of all html documents in the cache).
As a tourism hub, hospitality in the sandlands is second to none. Any lost-looking visitors wandering around the streets, or entering a hotel, or just driving around in their car will rapidly be approached by one of tens of thousands of charming, multicultural "hostesses" who will help them feel very welcome. (Around 300 of the "dirham" Green Shield stamps is an appropriate tip for their services, perhaps 400 if they take you on a special tour of the back alleys).
Watches and other time-keeping devices are illegal in the sandlands, since punctuality is a serious affront to the local culture. Hazans are sufficient to wake residents up each morning. However, expats desperately wanting to know the time can drive to the Clocktower Roundabout in Deira (or walk, which is probably quicker) and get their horological fix.