Tag Archives: The Dubai Diaries

Affluent Arabs on speed…

27 Oct

If those affluent Arabs want speed, thrills and the ability to judge nice cars in light of buying a few more of their own… well, why not devote 200,000 square-metres of desert to the dream? I guess there’s plenty of room. Who cares if your wife/girlfriend/babies and kids will have to stand on the sidelines in a torturous cave full of air-con and car sounds, screaming in terror as you whiz about around them, loop-the-looping all over the joint, instead of taking them to Disney World?

Yes. It must be a fabulous feeling indeed for everyone involved in Ferrari World, the largest indoor theme park on the planet (naturally), which opened today in Abu Dhabi.

Other “family friendly” activities on offer at this brand new attraction in the middle of nowhere are:

  • A tower ride that shoots riders 203 feet in the air, enabling all involved to feel the same G-forces as a racing driver.
  • A gourmet Italian restaurant.
  • The option of walking through a Ferrari paddock, handling tools used during races and perhaps training to be part of a pit crew, for example, learning how to change tyres on an F1 car.

WOAH! I wish my mum and dad would’ve taken me somewhere like this when I was a kid instead of that effing Flamingo Land. What were they thinking, lubing me up with McFlurries and sticking me on a merry-go-round when I could have tucked into a nice Zabaglione ice cream and puked up my balsamic blueberries on a gravity-defying ride of doom, previously mastered only by astronauts and Michael Schumacher? How dare they have patronized me with the ghost train, when I could have been perfecting the craft of car maintenance? Jeeeeeez. I missed out.

Anyway, it’s lovely that they’ve finished something for once. Good luck with this Abu Dhabi. Let us know how it goes for you.

A very thoughtful gift…

26 Oct

Woweeeee, I am so excited! Look what I got given tonight! Not one but TWO pens with HarperCollins Australia engraved on them, plus a letter. How nice is that?! Awwww, I feel so lucky now. I’ll be framing this letter and putting it on my wall, along with my balloon ride survival certificate and the one congratulating me for lowering myself 80 feet below Fremantle prison last month. I LOVE PENS!!!

The letter says they hope I’ll use them to sign some copies when the book’s published, which is very nice, isn’t it? Even though… I hate to say it, it sort of makes me nervous. Eeeek. Well, there’s a strange discomfort that comes with being gifted such items, you know? It seems like a lovely way of saying welcome to the company, good luck with the book and all that… which it is of course. But what if the book doesn’t sell at all? Shit. Seriously… if that happens I’ll feel especially bad now, like I’ve let them down… I mean, they’ve given me some nice pens! The least I can do is not be a complete failure.

God, I hope I don’t fuck up.

Awww, I really do love them though. This is almost as good as when I started work at McDonalds and they gave me unlimited extra value meals for free! Imagine. I thought life couldn’t get much better. But then it did… at least in the career stakes. And plus, these pens are much better for my arse than complimentary quarter pounders. What a thoughtful present. Yay!

Did you facebook LIKE Burqalicious yet?

Photo of the day: the curious roadside rider…

25 Oct

In the UK, or Australia, most roadside billboards feature the likes of the latest chicken sandwich from KFC. Of course, they have those in Dubai too, but more interesting, I think, are billboards like this. I think you’ll agree, THIS IS SPECIAL.

My friend and I used to welcome this roadside rider on our daily walk home from work, when we first arrived in Dubai. I’ve mentioned this sweaty, polluted journey throughout the book but needless to say it was a voyage you wouldn’t to make yourself too often, consisting of multi-laned motorways, 100 per cent humidity and stares from Arab drivers thinking we were mental as they whizzed past in their humble, air-conditioned Porsches.

This artwork of equestrian excellence features the Sheikh, or the Sheikh’s brother, (or someone of equally high importance) and served to lighten our foul mood every single time we walked past. Here we are worshipping its presence. We don’t actually know what it was advertising, but it didn’t really matter at the time. It was just awesome. So awesome in fact that I have surrounded it in a Photoshop halo. Aaaah.

Photo of the day: the unfortunate accident…

25 Oct

Imagine my delight when, upon leaving my office building one fine afternoon in Dubai, I found THIS, right on my doorstep. It’s one of my favourite moments to recall when remembering the city that was built quite literally around me. Fabulous!

Luckily I had my camera on me, so before the hour was out, everyone in my entire friendship circle was able to enjoy this unfortunate accident along with me.

It’s a shame I didn’t have a video function at the time, too, because then I would’ve been able to share the looks of absolute misery on the poor construction worker’s faces as they skidded about under the wrath of their furious manager: “WHY IS OUR CRANE IN A HOLE, YOU IDIOTS!!!!” (in Arabic).

Eventually the crane was lifted out of the hole by another crane – which was nice. Lucky there are so many of them around.

Did you ‘like’ the Burqalicious facebook page yet?! (oh go on)

Photo of the day: the best Dubai lunch, ever…

22 Oct

It’s not every day you get to order a footlong crap for lunch, but if you really fancy such a delicacy you’d do best to head to Dubai, where it can be found on the Subway menu. YUMMY!

When I first took this photo back in 2007, my friend ‘P’ who works in the marketing department at everyone’s favourite sandwich shop almost had a heart attack. She forwarded the salubrious snack to her colleagues and I think some action may have been taken towards getting it off the menu quick sharp. But alas, alack, the men at the other end only spoke Arabic and didn’t really seem to understand what was wrong. “But it is a nice sandwich, inshallah?”

Bless.

I’m not sure if you can still order a seafood and crap sandwich for your lunch in Dubai, but I really hope so. I really do hope so.

Get more crap on the Burqalicious facebook page!

Burqalicious – the countdown

22 Oct

Now that I’m back from my travels round this fabulous country, I’m left with no job and no real purpose. I’m a gypsy vagabond living in Bondi. As I type, the Lifestyle channel is flickering fashion advice at me from a giant plasma screen – the irony of which is heightened as I slob about on my new plush sofa wearing mismatching socks and a t-shirt. I might leave the flat today. I might not (sigh).

Yesterday I was offered a glimmer of hope in the form of a call from a recruitment lady, who teased me with the prospect of working for a large Aussie bank. I KNOW!!! The pay would have been more than I’ve ever earned in my life, but sadly, having scoured my CV I am assuming this sensible woman has since realised that placing someone like me in the company of numbers and finance would have been a very bad idea. Numbers hate me and for the majority of my life, so have banks. Why stop now?

Anyway, as the world of banks and finance turns without me, something to look forward to is the release of my very first book, which is all set to hit a shelf near you next February; I am told, February 1st, so mark it in your calendars – whoop!!! The title has been changed a bit. At first I just called it ‘The Dubai Diaries’, but now it has evolved to ‘Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries’ which is far more chick-litty and catchy and will hopefully encourage lots more people to pick it up and at least THINK about buying it before it hits the bargain bin. Oh yes!

I will have to employ a large group of people to scour all good book shops (and KMart) to pull them all out again if that happens, by the way. I can’t think of anything more embarrassing. In fact, seeing my book in the bargain bin would be the literary equivalent to having the school bully pull my knickers down in the playground, in front of everyone. But we can’t think about such things. Not yet, anyway. You can help stop this from happening before it starts. YES, YOU!!!

In preparation for this release I have set up a facebook group, so I’ll do my best to keep it updated with lovely things to do with… well… the book. And also Dubai. And maybe even some other things that I’ll twist to seem like they relate when actually they don’t. JOIN ONE, JOIN ALL! And tell your friends, too.

As you can see, the cover is looking very glitzy indeed. I am told it will feature added sparkles when it’s done, which is very exciting isn’t it?! I harboured the hope that perhaps the publishers would add some sort of hologram that’d reach out from the handbag there and grab prospective buyers rather controversially in the nether-region, or a mini battery operated laser light show from the top of the Burj Al Arab for added attention seeking purposes. But that wasn’t in the budget. And I think it looks very nice anyway. And yes, that lady on the cover is obviously me. They took the liberty of portraying me after a boob job, botox and collagen in my lips, which I think was very sensible.

I always wanted to see my own book in a book shop and I consider myself very lucky that I’ve been given this opportunity. Even if I’ll be a jobless, rotten corpse on a Bondi sofa by the time of its release, surrounded by coffee cups and cat fur. On that note, if anyone has any odd jobs for me, do let me know. I’ll do anything. (But not that).

Back to the TV…. Ooooh Trinny and Susannah, excellent….

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