We have had an interesting couple of days. We had so much rain overnight last Wednesday that the schools were closed early on Thursday due to the water standing everywhere, and the resulting traffic chaos and leaking roofs no doubt. I went down to Sharjah on Friday and the place was a mess, great big ponds of water standing on the highway – it took me over 2 hours to get home again as traffic was at a standstill, not helped by dumb drivers going too fast and changing lanes at the last second as they do here – not really the recommended way to drive on wet roads but there you go. We have a had a cool and overcast weekend which I am loving I must say although poor Stu had to get up at 1am this morning to head off again on another business trip, the last for the year Insha’Allah.
And no we aren’t leaving Dubai*. The min dae I refer to are the 3 days left before we learn if Dubai will be hosting the World Expo in 2020. There has been much excitement about the bid and the prospect here … many projects are waiting with baited breath to be launched on the (hopefully favourable) outcome. The bid page on the website shows a video of a young local boy explaining why Dubai, and the UAE by association, should win the bid – very well done I must say – do have a watch. The theme chosen for our expo – “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
But what is a World Expo in any case? Well the first one was held in London in 1851 and the idea of the expo was not only to entertain people but to give them a taste of cultures and ideas they may not have experienced before. It’s a place for people to see new scientific developments and other interesting things. In fact the Eiffel Tower was commissioned for the Paris Expo in 1889. There is an Expo list on Wikipedia detailing the location, themes, cost, number of participating countries and some other interesting facts about past, and planned, events.
Hot on the heels of this exciting day is of course the 42nd UAE National Day on the 2nd December. The decorations are already up in the city, I drove down Al Wasl road yesterday and noticed all the palm trees have been festooned by ribbons in the national colours. Once again the team of elves has been busy in the night making everything pretty – I have yet to see anyone actually putting these things up, they just appear as if by magic.
Every year cars are also decorated as part of the National Day celebrations – and this year the UAE is going for a Guinness World Record for the most decorated cars – apparently the record is 300 and the organisers of this year’s record breaking attempt on Yas Island are expecting 3000 participants, so they are in with a really good chance. Should be an interesting parade I would say. The event also sets the scene for the Life & Style Show UAE which starts on December 5 at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi. If you are interested in taking part in the record-breaking attempt then please read the conditions before heading down there, as only qualifying cars will be allowed to take part.
In our house we are also looking forward to the start of the festive season. Stu’s sister is visiting us for the first time – much excited planning of what to do and where to go whilst they are here has been underway. We are also having a big Christmas lunch at our place again – 12 guests this year…nice and festive. We haven’t completely finalised the menu but I intend making my “famous” pavlova (thanks to my step-mom’s recipe) and no doubt there will be a turkey on the braai as well. Our guests have also been informed of Secret Santa (which we like to do each year) – where you buy a gift for someone else anonymously and at least have something to open on the day. This year we have kept the value of the gift small as most of the visitors are travelling on the SA Rand, which has taken a pounding lately. The gift should be something to the value of 50 dirhams – which equates to 130 Rand, or just shy of 14 US Dollars (thanks to Travelex for the conversion).I really cannot believe that I am thinking about Christmas and New Year’s Eve and all that again, where has the year gone?
Anyway, Happy Holidays, and good luck Dubai!
* min dae is an Afrikaans expression that means “a few days” and refers to something that is going to happen soon