Monthly Archives: November 2005


The trouble with living in a city that is midway through a major growth spurt is how it affects the roads. Not to moan about traffic, but the fact that every primary road in Dubai is having major roadworks over the same area at the same time. So, when there’s a major accident on one, as has happened a couple of times on Sheikh Zayed Road near Mall of the Emirates, the city is poleaxed.

In a 21st century version of the Wacky Races this morning, traffic updates are sent via text (‘cos we can’t talk on the phone while driving, silly’) across each road. Something like this:

Me: Two hours later, still stuck, tried to be clever and track through Knowledge Village but road is closed. Am back where I started. Is it home time yet?

JJ: Highway’s nuts. Beyatch Road is blocked too. Gaaaah.

Linda: Deserve a medal for getting here – am exhausted.

The Frenchman: Am in camel and bandit country, Ras Al Khaimah.

Mercy: Move over Phileas Fogg, I’ve been round Dubai in 80 days. Muscles have atrophied from being stuck behind the steering wheel for so long. Have lost the will to go on.

Mike: Still in bed. Staying here.

Tim, who lives near the Burj, deserts the beach road and goes back over the highway, through Emaarville, and then back over the highway to Dubai Media City and still gets there before any of us.

The simple answer seems to stagger the road planning to protect our exit routes when the highway gets blocked.


No love lost for Lovejoy

The Yanks have finally lost it with the news that Ian “Lovejoy” McShane has been voted No.10 in their sexiest man alive poll. Apparently it’s the ‘tache and the Blackburn accent that does it …. wonder what Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and George Clooney (none in the top 10) think of that? Unless the top 10 has been designed to be ethnically, ageically and politically correct?

The great escape?

Stories of Michael Jackson’s Gulf tour of duty – as well as his questionable bathroom habits – have reached his homeland of America. The New Yawk gossip pages recount tales of Wacko in shopping malls, as well as his plans to buy an island home in Bahrain (wasn’t The World good enough?).

As always, the final word goes to E! Online’s uber-gossip??Ted Casablanca. He reckons MJ’s move to Bahrain reeks of Roman Polanski’s justice evasion tactics in France. Sadly, Ted lets himself down by demonstrating how few Americans are able to distinguish between Saudi Arabia and any other country here in the Gulf.

Michael’s in Muscat

Relief at last: on the seventh day, there was paper.

Meanwhile, and probably not linked, Michael Jackson is currently staying in the Grand Hyatt in Muscat – either he’s trying to increase his air miles by adding another GCC state to his tour of duty, or else he’s seeking pastures new.

Why are we waiting?

Day 5 in the Big Brother house, and the inmates are still suffering as Big Brother withholds the right to the basic human necessity of loo paper. We’d be staging a sit-in if we thought it would do any good…..

Loo watch

The proverbial has really hit the fan. It turns out that there is a Dubai Media City shortage on toilet paper – according to Facilities, they have had no stock of the white stuff since the end of last week. We’ve been on Loo Watch since Thursday evening, mistakenly blaming the cleaners for forgetting to replenish stocks, and apparently Facilities have been flooded with complaints this morning.

After another call this morning, when every bathroom – ladies and gents – in our building had run out of paper as well as the scratchy paper hand towels, we were informed that Facilities have not been provided with supplies from DMC management. Calls to colleagues in the other Phases confirm that this is indeed the case across the whole of Dubai Media City.

So, we’re left to wait … and wait … to the extent that all trips out of the free zone are accompanied by a pit stop of the non-petrol variety (including me in a hotel VIP majlis wash room this afternoon). A phrase springs to mind about organising and brewery.

Blue movie?

Today at Virgin, rifling through the Recommended DVD section, I came across the Bollywood romantic thriller Jism. Or it might have been Jism Ka Richta – I was scurrying away in shame and didn’t take time to read the DVD case. But three cheers for Virgin – who said viewer freedom didn’t exist?