Dubai Consumer Mirror

Friday, October 27, 2006

Where did all the ladies go?

Did anyone notice the severe shortage of women motorists on the streets of Dubai? What happened to the lady drivers? Feels like driving in Riyadh!

Try this if non of you believe me: Whenever you stop at a traffic light or stuck in traffic, look around you tell me how many women drivers can you spot..

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Burgers from Heaven

One thing I always look forward to when visiting Kuwait is the food. Man, people there know how to eat! Last year, I told you about Buffalo’s and The Chocolate Bar… both were seriously gastro-orgasmic experiences.

This Eid, the family and I went out for lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. Though the place was packed, we were lucky enough to find a table. Since almost every thing I ate during Ramadan had a home cooked theme, I was yarning for a decent burger; so...

Look at the size of that thing! What more can you ask for in a burger? :)

Back in DUBtown

Flew back to Dubai last night after spending much needed quality time with family, friends and really really good food :)

Eid Mubarak to everyone..

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


IOP: I am On a Plane now and shortly will be flying to Kuwait soon to spend Eid over there. BTW.. one of the lady crew is eyeing me (tkhezzni in kuwaiti) cause am still using my mobile.. :)

gtg.. ciao

Monday, October 16, 2006

The ultimate 'man fantasy' video

An M5, M6 and a woman who REALLY knows how to handle a stick.

Boys: Knock yourselves out!
Ladies: Why can't all of you drive like that? :-P

click here if you can't see the embedded player!

Door ding update

Yup, found a new one today.. the best way to start a day, don't you think? :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Restaurant Review: Mawal, Al Moroj Rotana Hotel.

In Ramadan, I try to avoid eating out as much as possible. Not only because having Iftar in Ramadan is all about sitting with family members and enjoying a good ol home cooked meal, but also in Ramadan; most restaurants don't offer any decent "iftar experience".

Serving Iftar is any restaurant’s ultimate test to the proficiency of its kitchen, quality of its food and service of its staff. From my Ramadan dining experience in this part of the world, ALL restaurants in Dubai drastically fail when it comes to quality, price, service or (in a lot of cases) all combined.

Except one.

Every year,
Mawal proves to be -by far- the ultimate Iftar experience.

It is understandable why in Ramadan majority of restaurants prefer to offer an 'Open Buffet' iftar menu. Tying to serve too many people, too many orders in too little time - is virtually impossible as ‘a la carte’.

On the other hand, asking hoards of hungry men, women and children to queue up for an underserved buffet to wait at least 15 minutes before going back with whatever food is left on their plates, is an Iftar experience many people do not like to go through. especially when most of them had nothing to eat, drink or smoke for the past 12hrs or so.

The guys at Mawal brilliantly avoid that from happening. What they do is very smart. They make sure that 12 to 15 small plates of the best Lebanese mezza you can get in town, is on your table when you arrive.

After a very personal and warm welcome, you are escorted to your table and the same waiter asks for your choice of soup and Ramadan drink. In less than 3 minutes, hot fresh aromatic soup is poured in the bowl in front of you followed by a chilled glass of Jellab, Temer hindi or Qamar el Din.

On you table is a paining of platters. You name it, its there: Foul, Hommus, Mtabbal, Tabouleh, Fattoush, Mussaka'a, Lobiyeh bel hamud wel toom, jwaneh mtaffayeh (Garlic lemon chicken wings), mdardara, kebben neyeah, a plate of assorted fatayer, bamyiyeh, falafel, dates, dried figs and apricots... and of course, what table is complete with out the colorful fresh veggies platter.

Once Iftar times starts, waves of hot, freshly baked Lebanese bread make their way to your table every 5 or 10 minutes. I swear, I never needed to ask for more bread. The minute I start on my last piece, more are added without me noticing.

By doing that, you end up nibbling on a delicious variety of dishes at your table, having your hot soup in joy and quenching your thirst with refreshing beverages - by doing that, you brush off that Lets-rush-to-the buffet-before-its-wiped-out feeling you usually get 5 minutes after Iftar starts in other restaurants.

As for the main course, the entirely accessible buffet offers a variety of grills, pastas and mouth watering Syrian/Lebanese main dishes. When I was there yesterday they were serving Kebbe bel Laban, Kousa mehshi, wara2 3eneb, djaj bel freekeh, kharouf ma7shi and the basics (rice, veggis..etc). They were also serving pasta el forno (Pasta, Chicken 'n Béchamel) and Paella for the non-arabic food lovers.

Oh, and if you don't feel like walking up to the buffet, the waiters are more than happy to get you what you want right to your table.

When you are done with your main mail, 5 plates of Ramadan deserts: atayef 3asafiri, ma3mool, 3awameh and zalabiya, land on the table. Those are followed by a large bowl of fresh cut and carved exotic fruits: pineapple, cantaloupe, kiwi, mango and strawberries.

Not only the quality of food is unquestionably tasty, price is extremly reasonable nor the attentive service is fantastic, the overall atmosphere around you is also very relaxed and inviting.
Exactly at the table behind us, Lebanese pop star Dina Hayek and her manager were having iftar as well.

Mawal is my favorite Iftar venue .. what’s yours?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Moryarti’s eccentric t-shirt collection

Thought i'd share with you some of the t-shirts I have in my wardrobe..

I think its the best cartoon on TV today

Tata gave me this one.

I know what you think.. you can FCUK off

I got this for five khandred only

Most people never notice its not Hard Rock


My favorite

I never wore this one in public

I wear this one instead :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Car Chats - part 2

This conversation took place on my way back from work when I called a friend asking about his new car.

Be advised: you may find this post very conceited, ostentatious and very very materialistic :o)

Me: Hey man, how does it feel?
Ali: Feels really good!
Me: It should. You've been waiting 6 months for its arrival!
Ali: The dealer told me that my car is the first 2007 model to hit the middle east
Me: Damn. Does that give it a better resell value?
Ali: Neah.. they don't care about these things here.
Me: I hear ya.
Ali: You know something? I haven't been going anywhere in my new car.
Me: Why?
Ali: Its freaks me out that I can't find a decent spot to park it
Me: What do you mean?
Ali: I can never find a place that’s not close to other cars
Me: OOOOOh, you are talking about door dings.... those idiots who park too close to your car and redecorate your doors and fenders.. :)
Ali: Yeah. I don't know what would happen to me if I see a ding on this car - I almost sold my soul to get it
Me: Well, i know what you mean. I already have dings on my car.
Ali: WHAT? You just got yours a couple of months ago..
Me: (sigh) I know man... and I barely use it once or twice a week
Ali: That’s nasty
Me: I just found a new scratch on my way out of the office 30 minutes ago. Felt like someone speared me thru the chest
Ali: Well, at least your car is deflowered now. Mine is still a virgin.. ha ha ha
Me: Dude, you're sick
Ali: I am serious. No matter now many door dings you get, khalas .. it won't hurt you like it does the first time.
Ali: While I have to be worried sick all the time, waiting in vain till that day arrives. The day someone dings my car
Me: pass by my house and I’d be happy to relieve you of that pain. And don't worry, I’ll be gentle

Car Chats - part 1

Had two interesing chats about cars this morning.

The first one on my way to work when some woman called me from some call centre thats doing some servey.

: Alo
: Can I speak to Mr. (
insert miss-pronounced name of wife)?
: This is her husband, how can I help you?
: I am calling from Lexus. We are cleaning up our database. Can we have some of your time?
: Sure, but i am driving now, how long will this take?
: Five minutes
: OK
: Does your wife drive a Lexus?
: Yes she does
: Does she drive it?
: Yes she does
: Do you drive the car?
: If she lets me. But its her car. Its in her name
: OK, then can we speak to your wife?
: Yes you can
: Is she there?
: No she is at home now
: So you won't let us speak to your wife?
: No, i didn't say that. She is at home and you called me on my phone
: Oh, can we have her number?
: sure its XXXXXXX
: No its XXXXXXX
: YYY?
: Yes. But could you not call her now because she is sleeping?
: So, you won't let us speak to your wife?
: No, I said don't call her now. She didn't go to work today cause she is not feeling well
: She is at work now?
: No. I said she didn't go to work
: She doesn't go to work?
: She does - but she didn't go today
: OK. What is her work number?
: I don't know it by heart. I have it stored in my mobile
: Its her mobile number? Can you give us her mobile number?
: No, and I gave you her mobile number
: So you won't give us your wife's number?
: No, i said i can't give it to you because i don't know it by heart. Its in my mobile
: Her Mobile?
: My mobile
: Whats your mobile number?
: You just called me on it
: But we need your wife's number
: I just gave you her number
: Is it XXXYYYX?
: No, its XXXXXXX
But thats a mobile number
: Yes, its her mobile.
: What is her work number?
: I don't have it
: OK. What is her email?

oh boy!

Friday, October 06, 2006

ATM Heists

Obviously these ATM stalkers are either very dense or just new to Dubai.

Besides the fact its illegal, beating someone up to snatch his just-withdrawn cash is a business module that's not a very sustainable one in Dubai.

Any idiot knows that a typical Dubai consumer doesn't hold the monthly paycheck longer than 4 to 5 working days in the bank account. With the way things are going today, Dubai's minuscule white-collar salaries are quickly vaporizing on:

50% on home rent (best case scenario)
20% on car installment
10% on petrol
5% on traffic and parking fines
15 to 20% on education and schooling
10% on water, electricity bills and municipality fees
5 to 7% on telephone bills or phone cards and Internet

2.5% Service fees (if you live in any of those so called New Dubai estates)
8 to 10 % on general groceries
5 to 7% on clothing and laundry
10% on Dining and eating out

12 to 15% on credit card payments
5 to 7% on personal loans
12 to 15% on the other credit card payments
5% on medication/healthcare

3 to 5% on other misc expenses

I don't think any of these percentages are over-estimated and yes, there is a reason why the numbers exceed 100%.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Jesus Camp Trailer