This morning I received a rather frantic sounding text message from an old friend back home wanting to know if we were ok as there had been some news on the TV about Dubai, and did we still have our jobs? I would like to reassure you that we are indeed ok, and the news that has been reported on CNN and elsewhere about the US Consulate is, according the Gulf News, not true. It was a fake report about someone who was intending to do something against the consulate, at least according to Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim the Dubai Police Chief, quoted in the story.
Apparently the officials at the US consulate do not trust Dubai Police’s abilities or do not believe us which led them to close the consulate.
Today I dotted another “i”, crossed another “t”; call it what you will. The last (here’s hoping) red tape hurdle has now been cleared and is happily behind me. I am, from today, licensed to buy and transport alcohol in Dubai, at least according to the newest piece of plastic in my purse, my ALCOHOLIC DRINKS LICENCE as issued by the Dubai Police. My purse itself may soon need to be super-sized thanks to the vast collection of stuff I now have to carry along with my bank card and credit card; namely my drivers license, labour card, national ID card, e-gate card and car registration card. I would say that the only people making any money these days are the suppliers of plastic. Sadly, like so many of these items, this card has an expiry date and will have to be renewed repeatedly whilst we live here. Along with my license card I also received a voucher to spend at the liquor shop, incidentally run by the very same people who processed said license, namely African + Eastern. They seem to have 4 or 5 outlets in Dubai, one of which is conveniently located near the big Spinneys Supermarket, so after collecting my card I happily set off to get my free wine and buy a bottle of Jameson or two. The outside of the a+e store reminded me of my old clubbing days, a non-descript façade tucked away on the side of the main building topped with a discrete “entry” sign was all that was to be seen. I felt like I was doing something illegal just by stepping through the door. Once inside I was rather disappointed by the selection of wine on offer, further compounded by the price of the whiskey. More than double the cost of same thing at the ‘Cuda’, and then insult was heaped onto injury when a 30% tax was added at the cashier. Needless to say I left with my 4 free bottles of wine and 1 sad bottle of Jameson, and have planned a hasty trip into the desert to replenish supplies tomorrow.
Odd and useless fact #6: 3,241 cars were re-possessed in 2008 (I presume this is in Dubai only) and the population has shrunk by 8% in the last quarter. I have to say that it certainly appears like there is less traffic day to day on the road, but I am certainly not complaining about that!
Oh, and before I forget Cirque du Soleil will be having a show here from the 5th March to the 5th April. I can’t wait! See you there.