Dubai Consumer Mirror

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Guardian disses Palm Jumeirah

Multimillion-pound villas have been squeezed together "like Coronation Street", air-conditioning bills are hitting £800 a month and persistent snags have led some to joke it is more "eighth blunder" than "eighth wonder".

Here is the deal: Everyone I know who lives there, owns at least 3 or 4 houses, consider their crib on the Palm like a get-away home only and £800 is like loose change to them.

Doesn't seem like many "Palm Pioneers" are gonna care about what the Guardian thinks about it.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Stuck on you

In the past 3 months, I got atleast a dozen headhunters offering me jobs in Abu Dhabi ... Half of them offering crazy jobs paying more than two times my salary.

I turned them all down.

Abu Dhabi can't lure me enough like the good ol' D to the X to the B.

What do you think guys?


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Few Facebook Facts

I lately gave my Facebook profile an overhaul. Cleaned some useless Apps, deleted all emails and removed many "friends" I did not know from my list.

That revealed some interesting statistics about my Facebook friends list. Here is what I found out:

- Two are not with us anymore - both passed away earlier this year.
- Three ex-girlfriends - talk about awkwaaaard
- Five turned out to be gay: three male, two female - I didn't know anything about that before Facebook. But I am OK with that
- One is an exhibitionist.
- Five are very radical political activists. Some of their posts could get me into trouble.
- About 6 or 7 friends who turned from being totally westernized, into extremely conservative, rightwing religious.
- About a dozen I honestly, truly, do not remember anything about. But somehow they remember every detail of our one-time-only-met-via-common-friend-encounter-10-years ago.
- Another dozen who, though on my list, totally ignore me when we pass by each other at the mall or somewhere. Here is a question: If you have no plans to say hi to me in real life, why the heck did they invite me to your FB?
- About 3 or 4 friends who were never ever nice to me back in college, work...etc. And they still are – I don't know why am I keeping them.

Maybe I should give my friends list another sweep... what do you think?


Friday, April 11, 2008

First time impressions: Algeria

I've been travelling a lot lately... ALOT!

I've been to countries that I've never been to before. the most interesting one I visited lately was Algeria. It was my first time.

I have to say, before the trip, I had serious concerns when my boss told me: "I know its not the best place to visit, but the team in Algeria really needs your help."

"Oh, one more thing," he added. "For you to take that trip, you are required to complete our special field security training course." So, I did the whole security training, briefing, orientation ...etc and booked my flight.

Since EK has no direct routes to Algeria, I had to fly to Tunis via Libya and then to Algeria. The trip took 22hrs! But that’s another story.

Algeria Airport was nice (I think it was called Bomidyan or something). It was nice, but very empty. Anyhow, we landed at the new terminal. My airport pick up was there on time, that was a relief. Especially after 22hrs of flying around, delays, a full day of airplane food and stale duty free sandwiches at Tunis airport.

"Welcome to Algiers" said the meet & greet person. "First time?"
"I just wanted to tell you that we instructed the driver to take a short cut via the mountains. There might be some roadblocks because of el jama3at el musallaha (armed, extremist groups), but you don't need to worry about that......"
"Hahah, I am only joking with you – welcome to Algeria"

Note to self: Got to learn how to pick up Algerian sense of humor.

I learned a few more things about Algerians. And this is coming from both Algerians themselves and personal experience.

Algerians are very very proud people. I am not sure why, but I am guessing it has something to do with their history in resisting the French colonial forces and sacrificing 2million Algerians along the way.

I also got to learn that Algerians are also very conservative. Extremely conservative. So conservative, that woman never leave their homes after 7pm.

I was driving around with a friend at night. I noticed that there were only MEN walking in the streets.

Me: "Dude, where did all the women go?"
Friend: "They are at home"
Me: "ha ha, very funny. Yeah, i know you Algerians have a sense of humor"
Friend: "No, I am not joking. Most women here in Algeria do not leave homes after 7 o'clock."
Me : "Really? Why is that?"
Friend: "Because if a woman leaves her home after sunset, she is labeled as a whore"
Me : "Ok, and what if she really had to leave the house. Like to see a doctor? Her child is sick? Or attending a class or something?"
Friend: "Then she has to look for alternatives. People here think she should do EVERYTHING to avoid leaving home when its dark."
Friend: "Of course, that’s more common by Algeria's lower and middle class communities. Upper class people don’t care about that anymore, unless they are religious of course. And most of them are."

One thing I know for sure, Algeria is a beautiful country! Of course it gets dryer the more you head south, but Algiers (The capital) is just stunning. I will upload some photos once I download them from my camera.