Thursday, December 10, 2009

Arab strap

OYG readers, Dubai is AWESOME and AWFUL both at the same time. A bit like Cheryl Cole. (Only kidding Mess, lol.)

Today, I visited the world’s largest mall, then I went to see the world’s tallest man-made structure, then I went skiing on the longest indoor ski slope (which looms up from the back end of one of Dubai’s several gigantic shopping centres, gleaming in the blistering Arabian sun), then I went to see one out of two of the only seven star hotels in the world and then went to look at the world’s largest indoor aquarium, built in hotel, built on an artificial sand-bank shaped like a giant palm stretching out into the Gulf that supposedly you can see from space, then I had a Sex on the Beach with Dan!

Not the same type of coastal-based rumpo that saw Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors hauled before the local beak, not siree, as Dubai is an emirate in a Muslim state, so shagging out of wedlock is strictly condemned, especially if it’s al fresco nookie (even if it is in the dark and no one is around, and the only way people can see it is if they’re looking specifically for it using special night-vision cameras).

Thankfully, the people in charge of Dubai have waived the usual Muslim laws against booze, hence Dan I were able to indulge in the cocktails. Christ only knows what the authorities would make of two men having an actual sex on the beach ! lol.

We’re going to see the real Dubai tomorrow, so that means going off to the gold and diamond souks, Dan says he’s going totally bling! It’s well cool, we hired a Humvee on the corporate card, honestly I think with the impending merger, Dan doesn’t really give a fig anymore.

After visiting the souks, Dan reckons we can spend the afternoon dune-buggying, and then maybe put in a round of golf on the perfectly manicured and luscious links – it doesn’t matter if the dune buggying over runs, Dan says, as the entire 18 holes are floodlit. A floodlit golf course, mental, I don’t even like golf!

I can’t help but think there must be something a bit wrong with Dubai. I dunno, all this excess can’t be good can it? It’s like that film the Black Button, where the protagonist is offered $10m if he presses a black button, but he also knows that pressing the black button will kill a stranger. It’s a proper dilemma isn’t it? I mean, the guy isn’t told who will die, will it be someone old who’s nearly dead, will it be someone who’s only just been born, maybe it’d be someone famous, funny, evil, boring?

We were driving home last night and saw bus upon bus of Asian men all off to do night shifts working on the skyscrapers. I saw a documentary about Dubai a while back, apparently all these workers come over from India and Sri Lanka and they have to pay their own way, and end up in debt to the construction companies, who keep hold of their passports so they can’t leave, so they’re kept like slaves.

It’s not unlike how the Egyptians knocked up the Pyramids really. Maybe it’s all that sun and sand that encourages excessive construction projects and slavery. It reminds me of the infamous Family Fortunes incident: name a dangerous race? The arabs.

Maybe in thousands of years archaeologists will uncover and discover the lost treasures of Dubai. They won’t find the mummies of the pharaohs though, they’ll probably dig up diamond encrusted Bentleys and massive water parks.

One thing they won’t find is Barry Newsdesk. I’m off back to blighty flying through the night on Friday to see Dippy on Sats and get cracking on the arts project she’s got lined up. She won’t tell me what it is though, I can’t wait, I’ve booked the rest of December off to participate.

Sleep easy


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