Dubai Consumer Mirror

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Gigs

About 2 to 3 weeks before New Year's Eve, Dubai's entertainment industry usualy flood the space with what it desperately tries to make you believe, is the 'gig of the year'. Nothing and no one is spared: TV, radio, newspapers, web, outdoor ... everywhere you look or turn, its a 'NYE special' in your face.

It seems with 2008's not-so-festive closing notes (brothers and sisters being massacred right next door, companies getting bankrupt...etc); many NYE offers didn't seem to have had enough time to simmer in the thinking department.

Luckily for us, we can be mildly amused with more of what could be comic relief, than your typically inane, intrusive and disruptive pieces of promotional communications.

Here is one sample for you:

Click to enlarge and enjoy this proverbial work of direct marketing. Maybe its another reason Sh. Mo decided to pull the plug on all shindigs in Dubai this year

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gaza Support activities in Dubai and UAE: FYI ..

Few activities i got to know about and are taking place around Dubai and UAE to offer some kind of support to Gaza:
Al-Rahma Commitee for Charitable Activities at Ras-Alkhaimah is accepting donations through Dubai Islamic Bank for our brothers and sisters in Gaza. The package of food for a single family is worth 300 aed and the Medical package is worth 500 aed. The bank Account num # 7144024 in Dubai Islamic BankFor more info, Al-Rahma Commitee in Ras Alkhaimah +971 7 235 2249.

A Silent Sit-in at JBR

Event: Silence for Gaza:

Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: JBR huge parking opposite "zaatar w zeit" & "amwaj sector
Facebook link

Do Let me know if you know or heard of more similer activities and i will post here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

LET THE WORLD SEE! Photos of ISRAELI Genocide against the Gazans

(R) Images collated from multiple news sources
I don't do politics on this blog, but here is my brief analysis on whats happning in Gaza:


Friday, December 26, 2008

Malls in Dubai

Malls are, without a doubt, the main shopping destinations in Dubai. Malls are covered and air conditioned. Most malls have proper food courts and because more and more of them are popping up everywhere, mall parking isn't becoming an issue anymore (except if you are located in Bur Dubai)

However, many malls claim they are the 'ultimate' shopping destination and promise a 'perfect' shopping experience. I think many still need a lot of work to do. Some more than others.

Here are a few things many malls might wanna consider:

Mercato: Basement Parking Pedestrian Crossing
The basement parking lot is a disaster waiting to happen. And i am not talking about the bottle-neck-narrow-single-entry/exit design here. I am not sure know who was in-charge of marcato's basement parking lot design and layout (or the one who signed it off), but i am 100% sure the dumb ass does not have any children. Its enough the stipulated lines can barely fit cars as they are, trying to get to your car with a shopping trolley or a baby stroller, on a busy day, can be an adrenalin-pumped adventure that can (and often does) end up with a fair amount of other car body-paint retouches.

Dubai Mall: Common seating areas/ rest benches
There are very very few places to rest your feet in Dubai Mall. Its funny when you think that someone decided to have a place thats 12 million sq ft wide, with hundreds of shops and countless number of attraction; you'd think someone would've thought a bit more about parents with children, elderly people or persons with special needs. Its doesn't require a rocket scientist.

Deira City Centre: Parking Wardens
Ok, I have a confession to make. Last time I was in Deira City Centre was 3 years ago and to be honest, I can't find a reason compelling enough for me to make the crossing to that part of town. Though i do remember most of my problems in that parking lot could've been easily resolved if there were people that can regulate traffic. From idiots driving in opposite direction, morons doubleparking/taking 2 parking spaces and jackasses with plain jackass driving attitude; on a bad day (Eid, public holiday...) finding a parking spot in Deira City Centre sometimes requires the strength, wits and stamina of a spartan gladitor.

So guys, what do you think?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dubai: New Bank Lows

Is when your employer has plans to fire you, and wake up the next day to find out that your soon-to-be-ex-employer has coughed up millions of dirhams for what basically is, a street sign.

Classy ...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Everything

Belated Eid Mubarak, Mery Christmas, Happy New Years (gregorean and hijri)...

On a related note, the story in Gulf News on how much money DDF truned over in 24hrs, made the hair on the back of my neck stands up.

Spend wisely boys and girls... and don't believe everything you read in the papers, we are yet to reach rock-bottom.

Enjoy the long break.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Arabian Park Hotel

More workers in Dubai are losing their jobs. One 3 star Dubai hotel came up with month long offer: If you lost your job, bring in your termination letter and get a free mea per dayl. The hotel then promotes this offer through the press.

The hotel's "offer" created 2 extreme reactions in the public. One side saw it as a noble and generous gesture; the other questioned the integrity of the hotel's intentions and if the hotel's management is running a marketing campaign out of other people's misfortune.

Which side are you on?

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I am not big on shameless promotional plugs on this blog, but I am starting to like AdNation. A couple of days back, i stumbled on a story there about the Rahma (that's mercy in Arabic) campaign on MBC and a few saudi prints.

For those who are not into free2air TV, Rahma is public service ad campaign aimed at bringing under the spotlight the plight of many mistreated low-wage expatriate workers and domestic help in Saudi. MBC is airing the TVCs on its channels for free. The campaign is following a "in-your-face" and "shock-and-awe" theme.

To me, this was what really shocked me:

"I’m sure there are abuses," Turki al-Sudairy, president of the Saudi government-appointed Human Rights Commission, said, quoted in the CSM. “But a neutral person would think that all Saudis are doing this... We want a fair judgment... [The Human Rights Watch] never thought that there are cases where the girls are hurting their employers.”

Oh wait, but there is more ..

“many Saudis say that they, too, are victims, citing instances of maids running away to look for higher paying jobs after their employers had paid several hundred dollars to bring them to the kingdom”.

[insert nauseated emoticon here]

Check out the whole story on AdNation ME here...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Retail Therapy

Firend: Do you know much MoE wants charge me for that stand I want to rent? You know, the tiny ones you see in hallways - usually selling stuff you'd only get at the Everything-for-one-dirham stores?
Me: How much?
Friend: Dhs 720,000 ... per year.

Basically, my friend needs to secure Dhs 2000/-, everyday, just to cover RENT only! Many businesses in Dubai prefer to live in Denial to what is happening around them.

How long do you think they'll last?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Two friends

She sat next to my tiny cubical at the office. She first walked in about 2.5 years ago. She was still new to the job. I gave her the low-down on the getting around the office, the annoying management systems and all that stuff HR usually promise to take care of when you are hired, but never do. We had lunch several times. We had loads of common friends. She was smart, a good laugh and pleasant. A really great person to have around in the kind of office I work at.

Few months later, I realised she hasn't come to the office for a while. I was told her father was sick. Very sick. Cancer sick. A while after that, he died and she took personal time off to deal with it.

After her father's passing, she did checkups and discovered that she didn't only share her father's looks, he also passed on some of his bad cells. She took leave of absence to deal with that too.

He, was my childhood best friend. We know each other since since 1st grade. We both were kindda nerdy at school. We shared the same fascination by Lego, aircraft model building, sci-fi movies and cartoons. We both spoke better English then the rest of the kids on the block. At school, we both got our lunches stolen, regularly. We both had dreams of being toy-designers that can fly jet fighters and have superpowers, all at the same time. We stayed best friends for 10 good years.

We lost touch in the 1990 gulf war. Our families drifted apart. I came back to Kuwait for my high school diploma, he stayed behind. Last summer, I accidentally passed by his old house back home. I stopped and asked around. I was told his family still owns the place, but no one has seen anybody living there. Though the last time i tried looking for an old friend didn't go very well, I really wanted to know what happened to/with him, his family.

I started googling his name. Every couple of months, I would try a different search. A different spelling of his extremely Arab name. Last month I got a hit. I found him. I even found a photo of him. He lost lots of hair. He still has that geeky smile though. It was him. He has published articles in several scientific journals. He lives in the US. Works as senior consultant. Teaches classes too. I got his email and sent him one last week. Its been 20 years since we last spoke.

Today, he called me.

Today, she died.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Old friends

Facebook can connect old friends, but not old friendships...