Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Real Dubai

Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi went on the attack against the UAE and their treatment of women. Apparantly for Nancy, its an Arab country so they must treat their women poorly.

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:

1. Language
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.

2. Women
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.

3. Driving
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.

4. Locals
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).

5. Money
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.

6. Sport
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.

7. Entertainment
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.

8. Communication
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).

9. Tourguides
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).

10. Miscellaneous
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.



eteraz said...

lol this is brilliant

nissan sunnies -- killing me.

Richard said...

I just tried to send this e mail to you about yr comment at my blog but it was returned. So I'll try again:

"Couldn't agree more. The latest charge is that UAE supports the Israeli boycott. I don't like the boycott either. But do we refuse to allow any country that maintains such a boycott to do business in this country? Let's solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so no Arab nations will feel the need to have a boycott, why don't we?? But throwing Dubai out of our country for this reason is dumb."


elemental said...

Thanks Richard, sorry, I changed the address to be a real one now.

Its funny how the Israeli/Palestinians conflict is such a convenient political issue when needed yet the rest of the time its pretty much ignored.

Dr Haisook said...

This is the most hilarious article I've seen in my life. It's like your 'nancy' has watched a bunch of fake documentaries on her mini-iPod in some desert, and then decided to write a junk article like that.

All the points listed are wrong. Just to mention the most obvious one; All films being banned in Dubai is such a good joke! Haha, I can't stop laughing, really!!

I've seen most of the movies I've seen in my life there. Big Momma's House, LOTR, The Whole Nine Yards, The Ghost Ship, Out for a Kill, American Beauty, and many many more....

I can't believe persons with such narrow-minded brains like you are using the internet, or even are still alive. I can't believe it.

Before you start flaming, I'm not from Dubai. I'm from Egypt. But I used to live there.