Archive for November, 2010

A sideways look at the UAE vs Canada spat


I love this comment from an article on Arabian Business discussing the new visa requirements for Canadian citizens coming to Dubai –

“I’m Canadian…

I think that the visa issue is taking it a little bit too far. However, if it keeps Justin Bieber from ever coming here….I’m all for it.”

There’s a silver lining to every cloud.

Is is 2007 again?


Signs that I have travelled back in time by accident –

– Dubai’s traffic has ramped up again. Despite some big new roads, all the old bottlenecks are there, with 15 minute journeys starting to take 45 minutes again.

– There’s news of a tallest building in the world, and discussions about who on earth is going to live in it and whether there’ll be anywhere for its few residents to park, should they manage not to die of starvation whilst stuck in their cars in a traffic jam trying to get home.

– I am stuck in a shabby hotel with no wifi, sitting uncomfortably at the desk.

– The EK flight I flew to Beirut in had no ICE, just old school fuzzy teeny weeny screens.

– I am doing the same presentations for customers, with few changes since 2006. (This is getting boring now).

Signs that this is simply deja vu all over again –

– I appear to have sprouted lots of grey hairs around my temples, whereas in 2007 there were just one or two.

– It may be the same presentation, but the logo at the beginning now says ‘Oracle’ rather than ‘Sun’. (A good thing in general, but still sad in its own way).

Holiday nonsense


Mr O’Laranon sums up what most people probably feel on the topic of ever-changing, announced at the last minute, rearranged at the drop of a hat public holidays in the region.

I do wish it would get sorted out – there’s really no reason for it not to be.

Like a hurricane


I took some visiting colleagues from Germany to the Marine’s Club at the Seaview Hotel last night – always a great evening.

I asked the band to play some Scorpions, for my Teutonic guests and The Golden Stars Band duly obliged in their usual inimitable style.

Browsing YouTube today I came across the original video for ‘Rock you like a hurricane‘. It’s almost as weird and random as a night out at the Marine’s Club. Who came up with the ideas?

I can just imagine everyone sitting around the table saying things like ‘let’s have a strange wobbly prison fence and a man in an army uniform in the crowd, as well as some big leopard type animals and some men who look like they’re making a potion. Everyone agreed?’

The Queen in Dubai 1979


The Gulf News has some great footage of the Queens’ last visit to the UAE.

I was glad to see that she gets a Rolls Royce for getting around Dubai. Sheikh Zayed seems to have had a large Cadillac limo – not quite as stylish.   

Tough Toyotas


A nice article on a topic I’ve covered before.

Imagine how wonderful a Land Cruiser could be if Toyota/Lexus had hired Range Rover’s design team?

The Queen’s coming over!


Sadly her schedule doesn’t include anything public, it seems – I’d quite liked to have gone along and waved a small Union Jack. I’ve never seen her before.

I’d love to hear the conversations.

UAE UK summary


A nice summary of the links between the UK and the UAE.

One clear area I think the UK needs to improve on is getting more Gulf citizens to come and study in the UK. I meet far too many guys who have spent time in the US. I can understand the attraction of the US, but we need to work hard to have these sorts of people study at our universities and build links with Britain that will develop into strong business and cultural ties.

That goes for other countries too, of course.

Camels and Jeeps


Michelle took a nice picture of camels and our cars from an offroad trip the other week.