Dubai Consumer Mirror

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Douchebag of the week

In GulfNews this morning.

Ras Al Khaimah: A man and his wife were handed over to police for stealing in a shopping mall after the couple was caught in the act in the mall's camera.

Mall officials and witnesses said the Egyptian and his veiled wife roamed the mall and when they were in the women's section, the woman started stealing cosmetic items. She hid the items in her handbag till the bag became full.

When they were about to leave the mall, the security guards asked them to show the stolen items.

The man refused and the guards asked the couple to pay for the items and the case would be closed. The man refused, shouting that the guards could not do this to him in front of his wife.

The man tried to leave but the guards forced him to stay till the police came.

The surveillance film shown to the police revealed the woman stealing cosmetic goods.

Yup, blame the guards for hurting your feelings... that will get you off the hook, dweeb.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hang on baby, we are going to Vegas!

Very interesting news.

Dubai World is chipping in for a stake in Las Vegas'
MGM Grand for $5bn. Making Dubai the proud owner of 9.5% share in one of the largest hotels on the strip.

Someone told me that its impossible for a an Arab/Muslim city to invest in a gambling operation and most likely its wrong. But the story was also on
CNN, so most likely its true. I am not worried about Arab's reaction to it, but more towards American one.

Can't wait to see
Jon Stuart's thoughts on it tomorrow night; he is in Iraq at the moment by the way.

I'll be very honest with you, I don't care about this whole arab investing in gambling business. I spent a whole week in Vegas last summer and I stayed in MGM. I didn't hit the tables, instead I spent a small fortune on shows like
BlueMan show, KA and others. So, there are lots of things to do in Vegas other than to gamble.

I am with this move and if they can buy 100% of MGM, I am down with it.

Also, the place is full of themed venues such as
NewYork NewYork, Luxor, Paris and Aladdin (now known as Planet Hollywood). Who knows, we might end up seeing a Dubai themed hotel on the strip :)

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mr. Big Shot

Location: Mall of the Emirates
Time: Last night

Me: Hey man, long time no see .. five years or so. How are you?
Him (puffing Cuban cigar smoke in air): I am good.
Me: What are you doing now? Hope all is well.

(he pulled out a business card from a polished metal case and gives it to me)

Me: Wow, CEO.. congratulations. Since when?
Him: A while back. I own the company.
Me: I am impressed! So, how many employees do you have?
Him: three

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

When at starbucks...

...don't spill your moccafrappelattedoppeccino on yourself.

Here is why [link]

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ITP: "Middle East movie buffs losing out online"

From [link]

Due to film licensing restrictions, which tend to cover distinct geographical regions - most often the US and Europe - Western films such as Pulp Fiction or Shrek 3 cannot currently be licensed for online distribution to end users in the Middle East, meaning internet surfers here simply cannot download content legally online.

Licensing, schmicensing .... can anyone spell BitComet?

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Five 80s cartoon remakes l'd like to see

I think its only natural to expect more Hollywood remakes of 80s TV shows and cartoons. Most of today's Hollywood producers spent their wonder years buying Marvel comics, Transformers toys and He-Man action figures.

Transformars is out.

Iron Man, He-Man, ThunderCars are in the works and now Voltron is WIP.

I have to say that I am a sucker for these remakes. I loved the Transformers movie and can't wait to see Iron Man. Word is that ThunderCats will be a CGI film; personally, I think that will kill the movie.

I'll also hold on to my thoughts on Voltron until I know which one will they do. The 5- Lions Voltron or the 50something vehicles ones. (You know there were 2 versions)

Now, having said that, here is my own top 5 list of 80s shows that I would love to see on the big screen:

5. M.A.S.K.

4. Visionaries

3. Centorions

2. Gundam

1. Robotech
Undoubtedly the mother of all mecha animation. This video here tells you why.

One show I'd love to find out more about is Jumaro. It was a Japanese show about remote controlled fighting robots in action figure size. The show was dubbed into Arabic and Greek languages only.

Here is a sample:

Which one was your favorite?

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007


PostSecret is a project started by a person who invited strangers to anonymously mail him their secrets on post cards. He then shared the post cards with the entire world in a book he compiled.

I flipped through one of the books at Boarders in Mall of the Emirates. Truly soul touching. Watch the Video and tell me what do you think.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pimp my Salik!

Next time you walk around in a parking lot, take a quick glance at the parked cars with all the Salik tags on them.

Doesn't the view remind you of something like this?

I mean, seriously guys .. why does all the tags HAVE to be in that pale orange color? Is there any functional need for the sticker to be spotted a mile away? Why not have it in transparent or black color? If it was up to me, black would've been ideal. Because once you paste it on the windshield, the sticker will virtually disappear.

OK, here is an idea. Since everyone really REALLY hates Salik now, Maybe RTA should consider giving Salik a makeover ... perhaps it would ease on some of the flak they've been getting in the press everyday.

So, RTA, here it goes:
Why not re-introduce Salik tags in a wild range of colors. Giving our stylish drivers the chance to customize their Salik tags in a color that matches their ride, their mood and their personality?

With almost ALL cars in Dubai mostly white and silver; black, white and gray tags will be flying off shelves. Red, blue and their shades can be available..

I've rarely see any green or brown; besides, who the hell would wanna own a green car?!

I think it will work.

I mean, lets face it. We are building towers that spin, buildings shaped after local men and MP3 players, dumping the sea to build islands that look like trees, bars made out of ice and everything from personal loans to grape shisha can be delivered to your house.

Why wouldn't a limited edition colored Salik tags work?

Of course, "special" color collection for our bright-colored-car-owner friends from Oman is available. :)

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

The psudo-local expats syndrom

Many of you will hate me for this, but i am going to let it out anyways.

Why is it that many Arab expats in the GCC, once they get a job in a government body, they get on the most condescending-patronizing-pompous attitude? And that alter-ego persona is only summoned like a vengeful mammoth when they are needed by other expats? Is it an inferiority complex? Do they get so abused due to the fact they are non-nationals in a national organisation, so they unleash this power trip on us, their fellow Arab compatriots?

Usually, you'd hear stories about notional public servants being A-holes to their customers. And I can't deny i haven't had my share of those. But I am not exaggerating when I say, whenever there an expat on the other line/side of the counter - anything that can go wrong, goes wrong.

One very striking example was my experience with Etisalat: I am sure you remember my problem with this incumbent Telco. I was offline for over 6 months before I got a phone line and ADSL.

For my application, I was asked to followup on Etisalat's 101 customer service number.

Of course, every time I had to narrate a brief situation background to why I am without a service all this time; in addition to my personal detail such as telephone number, name, address ...etc.

Whenever I get a UAE national on the phone, he (or she) would usually do the impossible to find out the status of the application, call up all the different department - engineering, operations or whoever... They would never let me hang up before I receive an answer that's satisfying enough.

But when i get an Arab expat on the phone, Oh dear God.

All of a sudden, I receive answers like: "I can't retrieve any information from the system.", "You shouldn't call this number. You need to dial XXX", or "I don't know when they will fix it. Call tomorrow"

One particular Arab expat agent was either extremely stupid or "being ANAL" was an integral component of her DNA map.

Here is why:

Me: Hello, I'd like to followup on a phone line application please. I have the phone number I applied for.
Annoying Arab Expat Female Agent: I need the application number
Me: I don't really have the application number, but you should be able to get it from the telephone number I applied for.
AAEFA: No I can't
Me: Pardon me, but I've called many time before and your colleagues never asked me for an application number.
AAEFA: One minute
(heard a long sigh in the background and abrupt striking on keyboard)
AAEFA: Whats the number.
(I give her the number)
AAEFA: Who's name does the number belong to?
(I give her my name)
AAEFA: No, that's not the name.
Me: It is, I've been calling twice a week for the past 3 months. Agents retrieve my name, my home address and everything.
AAEFA: But the number is not in your name
Me: It should be. That's the number I applied for. How come your colleagues always get my info out of it?
AAEFA: The application is in your name. But the telephone number is still in the previous onwers' name because its not installed for you yet.
Me: (total silence)

Seriously, why does Etisalat employ such imbecile buffoons?

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

On "Who the hell was that?"

I've had my fair share of working in show business. I spent a good couple of years working with renowned Film/TV/music clips/commercials director Tarek Al Ariyan. It was fun working for him. I was involved in the production of at least 3 video clips and actually modeled in one that i think never made the airwaves.

Last night while walking around Mall of the Emirates, I spotted the director, his wife -Syrian Diva Asala Nasri- and her younger brother.

Me: Mr. Tarek, Hi.
TA: Hi!
Me: Do you remember me sir? Its me, moryarti.
TA: I am sorry, please remind me again?
Me: I worked in your production company back in Cairo.. worked on Amr Diab, Assi El Hillani and Hisham Abbas clips. You got me in that Saudi guy's music clip because he didn't want to pay for a male model.
TA (laughing): Oh right right ... yes. How are you? you live here?
Me: Yes... oh.. by the way, this is my wife/

Mrs. M says hi to Tarek, Asala and her brother.

TA: So where do you work now?
Me: I am working in technology now .. left this whole show-business business back in Cairo

Odd moment of silence hits - time for the exit queue.

Me: Its nice seeing you again sir.... (turning around to Asala Nasri) ....and its a pleasure to meet you in person Madam Nasri.
Asala: Likewise.

We walked away.

Wife: Do you think he remembered you?
Me: He. has. no. clue.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Iron Man has a friend in Dubai

In the highly anticipated Iron Man movie, Ghostface Killa a rapper -who is also known as Ironman- will be playing the character of an Arab Shaikh from good ol' Dubai.

From the leaked trailer, it does seem that the film will have more than one reference to the Middle East "situation". But According to this, the Dubai-based Shaikh character person is actually one of the good guys and will help Iron Man/Tony Stark (Played by Robert Downey Jr.) kick some bad-guy butt.

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Things you DO NOT need to know

Check out the whole list here [link]

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Face to face with death this morning.... twice

What you are about to read happened this morning at approximately 9:20 AM. Everything you will read happened to the letter and without any exaggeration.

It all started when I followed my wife this morning to the car dealer to drop her car for the regular oil service. On our way back, we decided to drive home so that I can take my other car to work and she can spend the rest of the day using mine. (.. yeah yeah I have 2 cars -rolling eyes)

Few blocks away from home, I took the usual road that leads to our block. The road was only 2 lanes, a single lane in each direction.

Down the road, I spotted a silver Peugeot that quickly overtook a bus coming in the opposite direction. The Peugeot got on my side of the road, driving in my direction but quickly swerved back into the right lane.

They do that here all the time on this road. And the Peugeot was relatively at a safe distance from where I was, so I maintained my speed -which was about 50kph.

Suddenly a white Toyota Prado popped out from behind the same bus, got on the wrong side of the road, coming in my direction (again) and started to pick up speed.

I slowed down, trying to give the Prado a chance to either slow down and get back into his lane or accelerate and take over the bus. Instead, the Prado decided to maintain speed, not over take the bus and stayed driving in my direction.

The Prado was locked on a imminent collision course with yours truly.

I immediately maneuvered to the extreme right, off the tarmac and onto the dirt; with my wife's "lookouts" and "what the hell?" in the background AND milliseconds before the Prado passes by barely missing the tip of my left side mirror.

I looked back and saw at least 3 cars that were behind me that did what I did to let the Prado take over their lane as well.

Furious and scorching with rage, with all the power my 8-cylinder, 4.5L, untamed Bavarian muscle can give, I made a 180 and caught up with that @#$%^ing Kamikaze who was stopped by a red light down the same road.

I got out of the car, walked towards the white SUV, Adrenalin pouring out of my ears and ready to rumble.

About to commence my barrage of verbal (and potentially physical) abuse, the white Prado driver rolled down the heavily tinted window.

It was a Woman.

She looked European.

"I am sorry, I am sorry, I am new to Dubai, I am new to Dubai," she preempted me with what sounded like an Irish accent.

Taken off guard by the fact she was a mid-aged woman, I went: "DO YOU want to KILL yourself? What the heck are YOU DOING?"

"I didn't know it was a 2 way street, I am sorry, I am sorry"

Then I spotted a 2-year old toddler in his chair on the back seat of the car. And that sight just drove me MAD!


At that moment I walked away and head back into my car.

I turned the car around again and drove back on the same road, took a ONE WAY side road that usually takes me straight to our building.

While I was telling my wife about the child in the back seat of the Prado, she yelled "LOOK OUT" ... And I SLAMMED the breaks!

A muthafckingcocksuckingasswipescumbag sharjah plate pickup driver was in the opposite direction of the ONE WAY road I was on.

His truck stopped a few inches away from my car. But after seeing how I got out of it and almost running in his direction, he quickly turned left and drove into another side road in the opposite direction as well!

This shitface was deliberately trying to take a short cut to catch the near by exist, not considering that he was in a blind spot and in the opposite direction of incoming traffic.

"God! How will this day end?" I said to my self.

Both drivers got away with being Bona-fide morons-on-wheels today, and I dodged two potential appointments with Mr. Lucifer & Co in less than 5 minutes.

I needed to release all my compound steam on somebody!

I dialed 800 9090.

I will leave the rest to your imagination.

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