Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dubai World Championship-Race to Dubai Nov 2009

This year’s European Tour will end in November 2009 at The Earth Course at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.This is the much publicized Race to Dubai. The Race To Dubai, or to use its official title, the Dubai World Championship will be contested by 60 golfers. They will play for a total of $10 million while a further $10 million will be shared between the top 15 European Tour players. This will replace the Order of Merit prize money. The European Tour have been promoting the Race To Dubai as a new prestigious event and will take place 19-22 November 2009.To buy tickets for this event

Today top golfers Sergio Garcia, Robert Karlsson, Justin Rose, Darren Clarke, and Martin Kaymer as well as UAE's Khalid Yousuf met at The Earth Course and played the last four holes of the new golf course.The Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates was designed by Greg Norman and no one will be competing on The Earth course until the inaugural Dubai World Championship begins in November in order to preserve it for the ultimate test of the world's finest golfers.

The bad news is that a Race to Dubai requirement is that competing players must take full European Tour membership and Tiger Woods has declined to do this.Full European Tour membership requires a minimum 12 event participation.

I have no idea why this is a requirement but if the Dubai World Championship wants to attract all the best golfers it is going to have to make the rules easier or raise the prize money.

2009 European Tour

53 event schedule for 2009
Last event at the Dubai World Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates
The "Road to Dubai" has events in 26 venues, starting this November with the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.
Five tournaments are added to the 2009 schedule but the New Zealand and Asian Opens and Volvo Masters are not included.
The events will be spread out over a 13-month period starting at the end of 2008, with the HSBC Champions event and the UBS Hong Kong Open being staged twice at either end of the Tour.
And BBC Golf correspondent Iain Carter has warned 10 of the events on the 2009 schedule have yet to be confirmed - nine of them in Europe.

Some more interesting info on the European Tour

The European Tour is the primary golf tour in Europe and is second to the U.S. based PGA TOUR in worldwide prestige.
The European-based events on the European Tour are nearly all played in Western Europe and the most lucrative of them take place in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France and Spain. Of the events held in Europe, only one, the Cadillac Russian Open, takes place east of the former Iron Curtain.

In 2008,Florida based Hong Kong amateur, Jason Hak became the youngest player ever to make the cut in a European Tour event, at 14 years and 304 days, breaking the record set by Sergio Garcia at the Turespana Open Mediterrania in 1995.The record was broken by 104 days.

In 1972 the European Tour was won by Peter Oosterhuis from England and his earnings was £10,480.00 and in 2007 was won by Justin Rose from England and his earnings was £2 944 945.00.

Between 1971 and 2007 the following countries produced these leading players:

Australia- Wins 2 -1 player Greg Norman (the designer of The Earth Course)
England-8 wins-4 players (Peter Oosterhuis 4x and Nick Faldo 2x)
Ireland-2 wins-2 players
Scotland-10 wins-2 players (Colin Montgomerie 8x and Sandy Lyle 2x)
South Africa-5 wins-3 players (Ernie Els 2x)
Spain-6 wins-1 player (Seve Ballesteros 6x)
Wales-2 wins-1 player (Ian Woosnam 2x)
Germany-2 wins-1 player (Bernhard Langer 2x)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snow in Dubai

A blanket of snow has covered the Al-Jees mountain.This is rare phenomenon in the UAE.
Al-Jees mountain, 1,737 metres above sea level and 25 kilometres northeast of Ras al-Khaimah city, was covered in 20 centimetres of snow.

Limited snowfall was recorded some years back but this is the first time that the peak of the mountain is fully covered in snow.

Temperatures plunged to minus 3 degrees Celsius on Friday and again to below zero on Saturday.

An area of five square kilometres was covered in snow.

The emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai also had heavy rains on Friday and Saturday in a spell of rare chilly weather.Temperatures can reach 50 Celcius in summer.

Traditional Arabic Food

The UAE is an excellent place to sample all types of Gulf and Middle Eastern Cuisine.Buffet spreads usually have huge amounts of food. These will typically contain the following:

Hummous: a dip made from chick peas and sesame seeds
Tabouleh: chopped parsley, mint and crunched wheat
Ghuzi: a whole roast lamb on a bed of rice, mixed with nuts
Wara enab: vine leaves stuffed with rice
Koussa mahshi: stuffed corgettes

Local dishes include:
Matchbous: spiced lamb with rice
Hareis: a rich delicacy of slow cooked wheat and tender lamb
Seafood: served with specialty rice

Naturally dates are an important feature of the varied Arabian meals

Desserts from the region include:
Umm Ali: a type of bread pudding
Esh asaraya: a sweet type of cheesecake with cream on top
Mehalabiya: pudding sprinkled with rose water and pistachios

Seafood is very popular from this region as the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman serve some locale specialities - lobster, cigale, crab, hammour, shrimp, tuna, kingfish, pomfret, and red snapper. Many hotels will have seafood buffets where you can indulge yourself in these various dishes.

A traditional and very popular snack is the shawarma - grilled slices of delicately spiced lamb or chicken, mixed with salad, and rolled inside a pocket of Arabic bread. It is sold all over the the UAE, and is considered the fast food of the Middle East! Some also contain chilli sauce, tomatoes, mayonnaise and french fries.

Another popular Lebanese type food is manakish which is baked bread meal with toppings. Traditionally, it is served for breakfast or lunch depending on its topping, but the bakeries that serve these pastries are usually open late at night. You could liken it to a pizza and usually is it served folded. Some toppings to try for the novice are cheese, zaatar (thyme) with cheese, labneh (yoghurt type cream) or minced beef. If unsure, when ordering try, Manakish Bjibne (with cheese and olives) or Lahem Bel Ajin (open pie topped with ground beef and lamb, pine nuts, onions and herb)

Other dishes you could try are:
Falafel - fried chick peas
Moutabal: Broiled eggplant, blended with tahini and lemon and olive oil
Fried kibbeh - ground meat (usually lamb or mutton) with bulghur wheat and seasonings
Fatteh (with labaan) - baked chicked peas/pita dish (served with a type of Middle Eastern yoghurt)
Shish Tawook - marinated skewered chicken
Khoshkash kebab - skewered meat in a spicy tomato sauce
Arayes kofta - bread with grilled lamb
Fattoush - salad with a tangy lemon dressing topped with crisped pastry
Baba Ghanoush - eggplant mixed with sesame and garlic
Kellaj - Lebanese bread filled with halloumi cheese, charcoal grilled

For deserts, you could try Knafeh, which is a semolina type desert with cheese and syrup. You will see many of the shops offering baklava, which is sweet filo pastry stuffed with nuts and covered in syrup.

Also, as far as drinks go, the availability of fresh juices is amazing and at very reasonable prices. People like to try the fruit cocktail which is a luxurious heavy concoction, that is sprinkled with pistachios. Other fruit juices are available, but if you don't want sugar added, just say so. Sahlab is a milky type drink which is popular during Ramadan. It is quite sweet and topped with cinnamon.

Tips on Etiquette or Manners in the UAE

How to treat the Arab Woman
Women are respected in UAE society.Some guidelines for the westerner include: respecting the privacy and role of women in society;
stand when a female enters the room;
understand that in many households there are separate living areas, so when visiting a home, you wouldn't socialise with women.

Things that males should definitely not do include:-

-Do not talk in public to professional UAE National women, unless it is business related. You will understand when you are allowed to cross the limit, when prompted to discuss other matters
- Do not shake hands with a UAE National female, unless prompted to.
- Do not flirt, touch or hug females
- Do not stare at women or maintain eye contact
- Do not ask an Arab about his wife or female members of his family

Getting your social etiquette right can be crucial in establishing relations, whether business or personal in the UAE. To be aware of the local rules, practices and customs and to familiarise yourself with them can go a long way, and with minimal effort. The following are customs that may differ from social norms in the West.

How are you? Always answer with 'Al hamdulillah' which means All praise is due to Allah. What this means is, essentially is that all is as it should be, since your wellbeing is governed by Allah. Even if you are very ill, you would answer with this phrase.

The sole of the foot is dirty When sitting cross legged, never point the sole of your foot in the direction of an Arab. The foot is considered dirty, and what this act is saying is the same as giving someone the finger - or even worse.

Crossing legs is a no go sometimes Crossing your legs in front of someone of high importance is considered disrespectful and should not be done

Don't give them your back If someone is talking in your direction, you should always turn to face them. And not just in this part of the world. It's just rude otherwise.

I wanna hold your hand Shaking hand is the normal greeting with a male. But having your hand held for longer than usual is a sign of brotherly bonding, not that of homosexual tendencies.Your hand may even be held for longer than usual, while walking down the corridor.

Always shake hands If you don't shake hands when meeting or leaving, it could be considered rude.

The right hand is clean In most instances, the right hand is clean, and the left hand is dirty, so, when accepting food or drink, do it with your right hand.

Shaking female hands is not done Although some do in this part of the world, it should never be assumed that a female will shake your hand which could lead to an awkward moment. A better suggestion would be to wait if a hand is offered by the female. Females do shake hands with each other, and occasionally a kiss kiss is shared.

Show respect to females always Females demand a certain respect in the Muslim world. Always give women the option to sit down where she wishes to sit, stand when she enters the room, and let her go through the door before you. The basic rules of chivalry work well.

Culture demands respect of elders Always respect your elders. It's even more important in the Arab world.

Never give the finger Yes never, but never beckon anyone with one finger pointing up. If you do need to beckon, use your full hand pointing downwards

Say yes to drink, always When offered something to drink, always say yes. Saying no would mean rejecting someone's hospitality. Drink more than one small cup (tea, arabic coffee) but never more than anyone else.

Never express admiration Be very careful when expressing admiration for an Arab's possession. You may find that he or she offers the object to you. (using "itfudul" - my pleasure) And then declining becomes a problem, followed by offering something back at a later date. Stating that you like your friend's Porsche Cayenne is somewhat risky therefore.

Polite chit chat can last for numerous meetings. When initiating business, it may be necessary to meet with a contact numerous times for him to scope you out, before committing to talking shop.

The office coffee shop It is not uncommon for offices to contain a number of sofas, and for many people to come by while you are sitting in a meeting. Bear in mind that while you may pay someone a visit, the pleasantries requirement may be sprung upon you, with numerous people popping by for a gossip.

The closest position is the most important When visiting others' office's you will be invited to take a seat according to your perceived level of importance. This might mean that someone gets up to make room for you. But you may have to move later if you drop down the pecking order!

Patience is a virtue Business may move at snails pace, but patience can buy you a big amount of respect.

Body language in the UAE and amongst Arabs is completely different to that in the West. And because there are many Arabs here from different countries, it would make sense to understand a little about what certain body language might mean. Remember that in the Middle East, the concept of personal space is a lot smaller that in the West, and though you may feel that your space is being invaded, this is a normal part of society. Be careful when dealing with females making sure that you do not stare or initiate physical contact.

Hand on Heart - While this is usually just used as a phrase in the West, the Arabs actually place their hands on their heart to show genuine respect and humility. Sometimes, this is used in combination with a small bow, meaning thank you.

The Chin Scratch - Scratching or holding of a chin or beard is an indication that someone is thinking. It might be wise to wait until the person has finished thinking this before continuing talking, if it takes place during a moment of silence.

Kissing - Friends kissing each other on the cheek is considered normal and not linked to homosexuality. It is a sign of friendship, and it is common amongst male friends.

Kissing the shoulder - This is another greeting and usually one of respect. It is often used when Muslims go on the Hajj to Mecca.

The hand hold - Holding hands even for a long period after shaking hands is common place and a sign of friendship

The hug - If a hug is initiated by an Arab, then it is a sign that you are considered a trustworthy friend.

The refusal to touch - If an Arab refuses to touch you, it may be an indication that he considers you untrustworthy or unclean

Conversational staring - If an Arab stares you in the eye as you speak, it means that he is giving you his full attention. If he doesn't, it means that he may not care what you are saying. Bear this in mind and reciprocate giving eye contact.

The sideways finger bite - If an Arab bites their right finger, it is a sign of contempt and that you are not liked, and this will usually be accompanied by a muttering of some sort of curse!

The hungry sign - If a semi clenched hand is placed in front of the stomach, it means that you are thought to be a liar.

The finger on the Nose - This means that it is the intention of the person to undertake what you are talking about. Sometimes, this takes the form of the finger on beard, nose or head also, all meaning the same.

The cup - The hand signal of putting all your fingers and thumb together, sort of cup like, means 'Wait just one minute' or 'Slow down'. This sometimes may be used to indicate that the person is getting impatient at your speed.

The Head Snap - Snapping of the head upwards while tutting means No or an indication that you are wrong or that what you are saying is untrue.

The Nose Touch - You will often see Arab Nationals touch noses three times as they shake hands. This is a traditional Bedouin greeting.

The left finger clasp - If the fingers of the left hand are clasped together and touched with the right forefinger, this is the equivalent of giving someone the finger in the West. It is a very rude gesture.

The Scratching Claw - A clawing action with the right hand is usually indicative of a beckoning to move closer or to come into a room. This is probably equivalent to a beckoning with the one finger, used in the West, but this would be considered rude, if used in the Middle East.

Of course many Western gestures are used, in this multi cultural society, and you may find yourself learning all sorts of hand movements from all over the world.This was a general overview of what some of the Arab gestures actually mean.

Having Refreshments

- A shake of the cup shows that you have finished.
- Not shaking the cup and giving it back to the server will result in another cup being poured.
- If you prefer another drink before the server comes around with the spout and are offered, then do not be afraid to ask.
- Only use your right hand when drinking, eating or offering.
- Coffee means Arabic Coffee.
- Turkish Coffee is the thick coffee.
- Nescafe means American Coffee.
- If you ask for Nescafe with milk and sugar, do not be surprised if you get condensed milk with 3 teaspoons of sugar.
- Sometimes, but not always, dates will be offered with the coffee.
- You will sometime be given a glass of water with your coffee.
- Increasingly companies are starting to offer Western type of refreshments, although the essence of hospitality remains.
- Tea is actually more popular than coffee, although both are a prominent part of society.

Finally, the dallah makes a great memento of your trip to the UAE. You can get some great intricate designs, both for use and as an ornament, from the souks and the superstores. Shop around for one that you like.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Understanding Arab Names

On your first encounter with names in the UAE and the Middle East, you may end up a little confused. In the West you may have two names or at most 3,so most of the time it is pretty simple. Arabic naming differs a little. It may seem complicated at first but will be easy after reading below.

Take the name of the current Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE.

Mohammed bin Rashid bin Saeed Al-Maktoum

His name that he goes by would be Mohammed. That is equivalent to the forename in the West, which is sometimes referred to as a Christian Name.

Al-Maktoum is his family name. This is the equivalent of his surname. So what is all that in the middle? Well, firstly, bin means son of. So we have Mohammed, son Rashid who was the son of Saeed. Sheikh Rashid was the first ruler of Dubai in the UAE era. So it is really simple. Forename followed by father's name followed by grandfather's name followed by the family name. In the case of females, the word bint is used, which means daughter of. An example would be Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, the Economy Minister.

However in general context you will hear reference only to the father's name in general, giving: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum in official terminology, or even Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid. In reality, he is referred to as Sheikh Mohammed, but in context. Out of context, the name could be confused with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi which brings us onto the next point.

Many, many people are called Mohamed, after the Prophet. Spelt in various forms in English, (Mohamed, Mohammed, Muhammed, Mohd.) it is the most popular name in the UAE and, indeed, the world.And while Mohammed is a very popular name, the UAE Nationals have a staple few names that are particularly common, and you should be especially careful in getting the name right.

You will encounter many names that start with Abdul. The term Abdul means slave of and is used in the context of the 99 names of Allah. Since Muslims can not be called by one of these names, it is preceded with Abd or Abdul, so, slave of Allah. For example, Abdurrahman. It is wrong, therefore, to refer to someone as Abdul, on its own.

Just as you get used to everyone's name, you will realize that the some refer to each other by other names. Some Arabs are referred to by other names referring to their eldest son. So, if Mohamed has his first son who is called Saif, you would refer to him as Abu Saif, literally Father of Saif. Similarly, the mother can be referred to in a similar way. She would be referred to as Umm Saif. The Kunya is way of being friendly and respectful at the same time. It is the midway between being too formal (Sir) and too friendly (habibi/habibti). A prime example of the Kunya being used is of President Mahmoud Abbas. He will be referred to on many on occasion as Abu Mazen.

And so, if Dhabi means Gazelle, does Abu Dhabi actually mean Father of the Gazelle. Well, not really, Abu can also mean a place from where something came from. Gazelles (although endangered) still do exist in the wild in Abu Dhabi as well as in captivity on Sir Bani Yas island, etc. The mountain gazelle, which are called Al Dhabi, gave the Emirate its name because the legend is that a bedouin once followed a dhabi to water and all the way to the land that is today Abu Dhabi. Finally, Abu can also be used to refer to something associated with someone, like a nickname. If you carry a laptop or wear a blue suit, you might be referred to as Abu laptop or Abu Blue Suit.

English Arabic Online Dictionary-Free Download

Although English is extensively used in business relationships, in many situations Arabic is the key language.Arabs will be particularly impressed that you have at least made an effort to learn their language, and will score you some brownie points in a business situation.

English Arabic Online Dictionary
Free Download

Just to get you going for now here are some basic phrases.The words are deliberately spelt to help you pronounce them correctly.


Assalaam Alaikum -Peace be up on you
To which the reply is:
Wa Alaikum assalaam -And peace be upon you
This phrase will be used in many different contexts when meeting people.
Marhabbah - hello
to which the reply is:
Marhabbteen - hello
This is probably the equivalent of saying hi in the UK

Sabah al khair - good morning
To which the reply is:
Sabah al noor

Masah al khair -good afternoon / evening
To which the reply is:
Masah al noor

Shukran (jazeelan) -thank you (very much) To which the reply is:
Aafwaan -you're welcome
An alternative to Shukran is Mushkoor

Ahlan wa sahlan -Welcome
To which the reply is:
Ahlan beek - welcome to you (to a male)
Ahlan beech (to a female)
Ahlan beekum (to a group)
This is usually used in introductions

Keef haluk? -How are you?
Sometimes shortened to Keefak
To which the reply is:
Al hamdu lillah (bi khair) - praise be to Allah (well)
This should be the usual reply.
You could use:
Ana bikhayr, shukran - I am fine, thank you
Weyn inta - Literally, where are you?, but probably equivalent to Long time no see
Occasionally you will hear:
Shu-ukhbaarak -what's your news? - which you would reply to in the normal way

Aysh ismuk -what is your name?
Ismi Jason -my name is Jason

Titakellem ingleezi -do you speak English?
Ana la atakellem al arabi -I don't speak Arabic
Terrref arabi? -do you know Arabic
Atakullum inglieezi -I speak English

Inta min weyn? -where are you from?
Ana min ingliterra -I'm from England
Umreeka -USA
Oostraaalia -Australia
Al imaraaat -UAE
Wa inta? -and you?

Maasalaamah -Goodbye
To which the reply is:
Fi aman allah or Maasalaamah

Miscellaneous Words

Inshallah -If Allah wishes
This phrase is used in reference to a future, since all things are at Allah's will. So if you say, see you tomorrow, you might be replied with Inshallah. Indeed, it is used in numerous contexts. You'll send me the report tomorrow? -Inshallah.
Maashallah -What Allah wishes
This is used when complimenting something, usually in the context of family or health.
Mabrook - Congratulations
This is used in any congratulatory context, more so than you would use in English.

Naam - yes
Aywa - yeah/ok
La - no
Min fudluk - please
Shoo? - what?
Shoofi mafi? -what's up? or what's the matter?
Shoo hada? - what is this?
Mafi mushkil -no problem
Itfudul -by my guest / my pleasure

When you sneeze you say
Al hamdu lillah
To which someone will say
Yer humkullah
And you will say again
Yer hamna wa yer humkum

Tamaam - perfect
Baadin - later
Dilwaati - now
Ilyoum - today
Bukra - tomorrow
Ashoofook bukra - see you tomorrow
Aadhi - it's normal
Jebli shai - bring me some tea
Kallemni - call me/talk to me
Ma adhri - I dont know
Maa-i-khussni - its not my problem
Inta kida - thumbs up
Intaa tabaan thumbs down
Areed areef - i want to know
Mumken asaduq - can i help you
Sida - straight
Yasar - left
Yameen - right
Tabaan - of course
Andi - i have
Kam -how much
Affwaan -excuse me
Kull -everything

If you really want to learn the language,you should attend a course by one of the international providers such as Berlitz. The next best option would be to try some of these recommended learning aids on learning Arabic.

The above is a CD learning package

Spoken Arabic in the Gulf Countries (Teach Yourself the Gulf Arabic Dialect)

Dubai New Duty Free Products

Dubai is known as the shopping mecca of the world due to its products being duty free.Here is a list of new Dubai Duty Free Products
To access click here

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Man Arrested in US Consulate Threat in Dubai

Police have arrested an American accused of being behind a hoax phone call that prompted the brief closure of the U.S. consulate in Dubai over security concerns.

The man, who is an American of Lebanese origin, was in custody for making hoax call and claiming the U.S. consulate in Dubai was under a security threat.

The man allegedly called the authorities twice from a public phone on Tuesday, claiming a Sudanese man was planning to harm the consulate.The suspect allegedly wanted to expose the Sudanese man after he was cheated by him.

The consulate was closed Wednesday to public business after a security alert from local authorities and the consulate reopened on Thursday.

The man would be referred to Dubai's prosecutor for allegedly making a false report and wasting authorities' time.

The Sudanese man was also in detention and would be brought to court for allegedly cheating the American.No other details were available, and the names of the two men were not revealed. Calls to the consulate went unanswered Friday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

British woman convicted of adultery in Dubai

Read the article below.I believe that non citizens of Dubai should not be convicted under their archaic laws.Not a single member of this crime is a Dubai citizen.She is British,the alleged lover is British and her ex husband who laid the charge is Egyptian.This is a crime which has not affected Dubai in any way.There is not even proof of this alleged adultery except for the word of the ex husband.Dubai cannot expect to be accepted as a "normal" country and still have laws like this.By the way in case you did not know it is a crime to indulge in any activity that can harm Dubai's reputation including reporting on job cuts in Dubai or the fact that property prices are set to drop.I think their own archaic laws are damaging Dubai's reputation.Who gets convicted now?Anyway read the article below and add a comment if you wish.

A British woman today lost an appeal against her conviction for adultery in Dubai.
Marnie Pearce instead had her prison sentence reduced from six months to three by the Dubai appeal court.
The 40-year-old was also ordered to pay a fine and will be deported.
Pearce, a mother of two originally from Bracknell, Berkshire, was found guilty of adultery by a Dubai court in November after being accused of cheating on her Egyptian ex-husband.
She insisted she was innocent and said she feared losing custody of her young sons if she went to prison. She remained on bail while she attempted to overturn her conviction.
It was not immediately clear whether Pearce would have to start her sentence immediately.
She married her former husband, who she met in Oman, in the Seychelles in September 1999.
They had two children, Laith, now seven, and Ziad, four, and moved to Dubai, but their marriage later broke down.
In March last year, Pearce was arrested and accused of committing adultery with a British man who she insisted was only a friend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dubai Gag on Press Freedom

This kind of thing worries me.If you read this article it reports a new 45-article law where journalists and broadcasters could be fined for damaging the country’s reputation or its economy.It seems to suggest that local reporters have been falsely reporting the news which has now caused Dubai property values to fall and companies to start laying off people??Is this possible?Does anyone out there know of any reporters that did this false reporting?Please comment

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

US Consulate in Dubai closed on 21 Jan 2009-security

The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi has announced that its consulate in the neighboring city of Dubai will be closed Wednesday due to security information provided by authorities.

The embassy announcement says the consulate -- located in the Dubai World Trade Center -- will be closed for American citizen services and visa interviews. The statement doesn't elaborate on the nature of the security information.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Be very careful when paying over money to secure a job contract in Dubai.Have a lawyer go over the contract so you are completely covered in case your contract is terminated prematurely.See story below on what could happen

Shalu, a 33-year-old Indian, paid 50,000 Indian rupees ($1,000 U.S.) to an agency that shipped him to a construction job in Dubai on what was to be a three-year contract. Last December he was laid off after just one year.
His company told him and about 250 other workers the work had dried up.
As signs of a deep downturn in the Gulf state's once-buoyant property market multiply, those migrant workers who aren't forced to return are having problems sending money home, and their declining remittances may be a significant drag on the economies of South Asia.
Shalu, who asked to remain anonymous to protect his chances of future employment, had been sending funds back to his wife and six-year-old son, but is now trying to put together the cash for another agency fee to try his luck in Saudi Arabia.

Workers walks to their workplace in the Marina area of Dubai (Steve Crisp/Reuters)

“It's a big problem,” he said by telephone from his village in Kerala, India. “They gave me sudden notice and no release [to find other work].”
A lavish trade and tourism hub in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a prime destination for unskilled workers, many of whom spend hours on dusty construction sites, live in cramped desert labour camps and earn about 1,500 dirhams ($408.40) a month.
There is no current official data on the number of migrants but Human Rights Watch estimates there are three million from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the Gulf Arab state, the vast majority of them in the construction sector.
The labourers, mostly from South Asia, swarm over building sites for landmarks such as the Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, and Dubai's seemingly endless high-rises.
In return, the pay offers a better standard of living for families back home or a chance to put away savings.
The World Bank says remittances from the region, the lifeblood for millions in South Asia and the developing world, could decline by 9 per cent in nominal U.S. dollar terms this year, compared with a rise of 38 per cent last year.
Global remittance flows stood at $283-billion last year, up 7 per cent from the year before.
Workers in the Gulf Arab region sent 21 per cent of total global remittances to South Asia last year, with their funds accounting for 63 per cent of inflows to Bangladesh and 52 per cent of funds to Pakistan.
“There has been a fall in the number of migrant Indians employed abroad,” said Anshuman Jaswal, an analyst at research firm Celent in Bangalore.
He said remittances would remain depressed through 2009 and early 2010, putting pressure on the Indian economy and making it more difficult for it to achieve growth targets. Remittances make up about 3 per cent of India's gross domestic product.
Even before the financial crisis rattled Gulf Arab economies last autumn, the world's biggest oil-exporting region faced a decline in crude prices that steepened by year-end.
The slowdown has prompted delays or cancellations of projects in Dubai and beyond.
Last Thursday Nakheel, the government-owned developer of offshore island projects like The Palm and The World said it was talking to banks about financing sub-developers as some were having trouble making payments.
Analysts say the UAE faces a more abrupt slowdown than its neighbours as job cuts batter demand in the property and service industries.
A higher rate of cancellations will spur more redundancies in unskilled labour, said Roy Cherry, vice-president of research at investment management firm Shuaa Capital.
“Six months ago ... there was a shortage of labour and contractors were aggressive in trying to gain that labour, to train it, and bring it here. Today, they won't have to do that. they might have to cut back on labour.”

Invest In Dubai and Short Term Rental

Renting out a personal property as a holiday home in Dubai has become as much of a trend as it is in other major tourist destinations of the world like France, Italy and Spain etc. Renting out your property on short-term basis gives you a chance to utilize it for your personal use at any time of the year.

A decent real estate in Dubai such as home, apartment, villa or resort can be your second home away from home where you can take respite from the routine life and relax. Owner of a Dubai property can get the best use of it by renting it out on short-term basis for handsome rental yields, and can also use it for personal stays and vacations.

You can do short term rentals due to the following factors:

Dubai is one city that’s rapidly stretching its limits but the space still appears to be shrinking given the multiplying population.
People from all over the world head for Dubai in search of better career prospects.

Moreover, the city flaunts a very appealing outlook which attracts throngs of tourists and holidaymakers globally. So it’s the expat population and tourists who need properties for short term rental most.
Dubai being the financial centre of the world is also home to some major businesses and hosts a multitude of seminars, conferences and corporate level meetings on a regular basis. These frequent corporate activities also create a heightened demand for short-term rental properties in Dubai.

In Dubai, there is a wide array of properties available for short-term rental and their costs vary according to location, type and size. High-end Dubai short-term rental properties include Dubai hotel apartments, furnished and serviced apartments, and obviously, seven and five star hotel rooms and suites.
Serviced apartments in Dubai are also very popular for short stays where the occupant can enjoy the luxury, comfort and services of a hotel at a lesser price.

For families on a short stay, self catering apartments are a popular choice providing the occupants the comfort of home.

A common option for all visitors to the city is Dubai Holiday apartments rental. Whether you are on a short or long trip, or even if you are a permanent resident of Dubai, apartment rental is one of the most popular options among all classes.
For tourists and holidaymakers, Dubai holiday homes are an ideal choice besides holiday apartments and holiday villas in Dubai.

Investment in Dubai short term rental real estate can bring you very high returns in the shape of rental yields besides continuous appreciation of your property’s face value. The time is ripe to invest in Dubai (as property prices have dropped 40% already and expected to drop by 60% by end of 2009) in short term rental and start enjoying the handsome profits immediately.

Dubai house prices to fall 60% by end 2009

Real estate values in Dubai could plummet by 60 percent by the end of 2009, according to UAE investment bank Shuaa Capital.

Property prices in the emirate have already dived by 40 percent and rents could fall by 20 percent over the next two years.

The factors affecthis are negative population growth, expected delivery of 35,000 units in 2009, declining occupancy rates, lack of mortgage funding, high job insecurity, and cancellation of visa guarantees for home buyers.

Declining occupancy rates to around 80 percent would cause rents to ease.

Global economic unrest has burst Dubai’s six-year long property bubble as well as hitting the wider real estate market in the UAE.

Cherry said Abu Dhabi would not be immune from the real estate slump, predicting prices have so far plunged 15 percent and could slide a further 5 per cent.

Prices would start to stablise in the final quarter of 2009 or early 2010.

UBS-swiss investment bank predicted Dubai’s population could fall five percent this year on job losses, with the overall UAE population easing 1 to 1.3 percent.

Dubai has a population of about 1.4 million.

UBS forecast there could be an 8 percent dip in Dubai’s population this year, mainly on the fall-out from the construction and real estate sectors.

Also last week, property services firm Colliers International reported an 8 percent dip in Dubai property prices in the final quarter last year.

Separate data published last week from fellow real estate consultant Asteco said rental growth slowed last year in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, after massive rises in the last few years.

It said rents for apartments and villas grew at 4 percent and 8 percent in 2008.

Massive Discounts at Dubai Shopping Festival 2009

Shoppers spoilt for choice with discounts of up to 75 per cent at leading retailers
BurJuman will celebrate this year’s DSF with an unbeatable array of discounts across luxury and high-street brands, as well as enthralling entertainment and the chance to win a luxurious BMW X6 35i and a set of stunning diamonds from Mansour Jewellery.
As a key sponsor of the annual four-week shopping extravaganza, which will take place until February 15, BurJuman’s retailers will offer discounts across all areas of fashion, jewellery and homewares.

Discounts at BurJuman’s retailers include a part sale of up to 70 per cent off at Escada; up to 60 per cent at DKNY and Donna Karan; a part sale of up to 80 per cent off at Basler; a part sale of up to 50 per cent at Pumpkin Patch; and up to 75 per cent off at Zara.

Throughout the festival, shoppers can enjoy an array of entertainment at BurJuman, with special activities and workshops planned for children of all ages. Creations, a fashion initiative organized by DSF in cooperation with BurJuman, will take place from January 23 to January 31 in the Observatory.

Dubai Shopping Festival 2009

This DSF, BurJuman pampers you with the most glamorous offers and chic rewards. From highly sought-after apparels, handbags and shoes, to exquisite jewelry, beauty and leather goods, BurJuman is offering the best in designer luxury brands with discounts of up to 75% off.

For every purchase of AED 200 or more, shoppers will be entered in a draw to win a luxurious BMW X6 35i and a set of diamonds from Mansour Jewellery. BurJuman is also hosting a list of exciting DSF entertainment with showcases by world-renowned balloon artist, Nikolas, and other fun activities for the whole family. Shop over at BurJuman and feel on top of the world this DSF.

The haven of luxury shopping and the residence of high-fashion BurJuman has the world’s largest concentration of high fashion luxury shopping brands. Here’s where the leading fashion icons mingle comfortably with one another; Saks 5th Avenue, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Hermes, Valentino, Prada, Moschino, Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, Emanuel Ungaro, Loewe, Etro, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Christian Lacroix, Salvatore Ferragamo, Just Cavalli, and many more.

Job Cuts in Dubai

The world economy is now definitely in a recession.If jobs are being cut in Dubai of all places then if you needed proof before then this is it.

A Dubai investment is shedding 10 percent of staff, making it at least the second government-owned employer here to announce job cutbacks because of the economic downturn.
Istithmar World is cutting 13 jobs because of "external market conditions" and to match its resources with current needs.
This announcement comes less than two months after one of Istithmar's sister companies, developer Nakheel, cut 500 jobs, or 15 percent of its staff, and said it was slowing work on a number of high-profile projects. Both companies are part of state-run conglomerate Dubai World.
Analysts have warned that Dubai's large debt load could force the booming city-state to slow its growth in response to the global economic crisis.
Dubai World companies and other state-affiliated businesses dominate the local economy, so their continued health is seen as vital to the city-state's success. Several privately owned developers and construction companies have also announced layoffs.
Shuaa Capital, a publicly listed financial services firm in Dubai that trimmed staff of its own last month, predicted in a report Sunday that job cuts are likely to shrink the city-state's largely foreign population by 5 percent in 2009.
Istithmar was set up in 2003 to pursue investments worldwide. Its holdings include stakes in banks Standard Chartered and Arcapita. It and Nakheel last year bought a 20percent share of circus touring group Cirque du Soleil.
In an effort to broaden its portfolio, Istithmar opened an office in New York last October. A spokesman said that office was unaffected by Sunday's cutbacks.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Visit Dubai-Dubai Tourist Information

If you are thinking of a visit to Dubai here are some valuable tourist information
Population of Dubai
Dubai city recorded one of the highest growth rates in urban population because of a business upsurge that has turned the city into the region's main commercial hub. The city has a population of 1.35 million (2005 estimate). Dubai has a highly cosmopolitan environment and a large part of the population are non-UAE nationals, primarily a mix of other Arab nationals, Asians and Europeans. 80% of Dubai's population is comprised of expatriates with Europeans and Asians.

The official language of the UAE is Arabic according to the constitution of the country, while English is widely spoken especially in business and trade fields. Expatriates use their mother tongues but not at official level.

Entry and Customs
Passport valid for a minimum of three months from date of arrival (six months for business travel) required. Often a sponsor will hold a visitor’s passport. In these cases a receipt will be issued. This will generally be accepted in place of a passport where a transaction may require one.

A valid visa Required by all natinalities except the following:

(a) Nationals of the UK with the endorsement ‘British Citizen’ for a maximum of 30 days (extendable on request up to 90 days);

(b) Nationals of EU countries (except nationals of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia), for a maximum of 30 days (extendable on request up to 90 days);

(c) Nationals of Andorra, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Hong Kong (SAR), Iceland, Japan, Korea (Rep), Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, the USA and Vatican City for a maximum of 30 days (extendable on request up to 90 days);

(d) Nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia;

(e) Transit passengers, provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport for up to 12 hours.

The currency of UAE is Arab Emirates Dirhams (AED).

Local Time
The UAE is 4 hours ahead of GMT.

Electrical Current
220 / 240 volts (50 cycles) is the standard electrical current and a 3 square pinned adapter may be required.

Mobile telephones can be brought into Dubai. There are also plenty of public telephones dotted throughout the city. Call cards can be purchased in many locations around the city.

Country Dialing Code: +971

To make an international call:
Direct dialling
00 + Country Code + Area Code + Local Number

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tiger Woods Dubai-under construction

The Tiger Woods Dubai, a member of Tatweer Dubai, has successfully completed bulk earth works at the 55 million sq. ft. golf community development, enabling the project to progress to the next phase of construction.

All remaining bulk earth works are now complete on the road network, commercial buildings, residential plots and Al Ruwaya Golf Course.
The resulting effects on Al Ruwaya Golf Course, Tiger Woods Design’s first project, is dramatic typography, with elevations reaching an astounding 78 metres above sea level, including a difference of 29 metres between the lowest point, the lakes, and the highest point.

The elevations have been designed to craft a unique interface between the Al Ruwaya Golf Course and the residences, thus creating a more natural playing and living environment.
Keeping pace with the work on the bulk earth works are other individual elements at The Tiger Woods Dubai development that contribute to the overall progress of the project.
The plant nursery at the massive golf community development already boasts over 60 acres of grass - the equivalent of nine holes - and houses nearly 4,500 trees and a wide variety of shrubs.
The nursery features a reverse osmosis (RO) plant that purifies 5,000m3/day of treated sewage effluent (TSE) water to specified standards. The treated water will ensure both golfers and residents will be able to enjoy crystal clear lakes and other water features.
Located at Dubailand, the world’s most ambitious leisure, tourism and entertainment destinations, The Tiger Woods Dubai is fast taking shape as an exclusive golf community encompassing a professionally-staffed golf academy; a 139,000 sq. ft. clubhouse with premium amenities; a high-end destination spa; 22 palaces; 75 mansions, and 100 luxury villas and community service facilities.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dubai- Damas-New Accessories Gold Stores

Jewellery and watch retailer Damas International Limited has opened nine different stores at Dubai Mall.

This is a part of Damas' store network expansion strategy that aims to solidify its jewellery distribution network in the Middle East.

Tawhid Abdullah, CEO & MD of Damas said: “The distinctive formats of these stores are also in alignment of our strategy to increase our market share."

The new nine outlets cater to a wide range of customers of different nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds and introduce a new format - Damas Concept Shop. The Concept Shop houses Damas' own brands and will showcase Damas' diamond and gold new creations.

The other stores opened are - Damas 18K, Damas Les Exclusive, Paspaley Pearls, Tiffany & Co, Graff, Folli Follie and Leo Pizzo. The ninth store, Damas Italia, will open on January 10 and will house Italian brands such as IOSI, Porrati and Nouvelle Bague.

Damas operates 467 stores in 18 countries around the world, as of June 30, 2008.

Singer Fergie & Josh Duhamel to start off in Dubai

Less than 24 hours after their fantasy nuptials, Fergie and Josh Duhamel were at Los Angeles International Airport Sunday with bags in wedding-banded hand.
While the casually dressed couple appeared to be headed on a tropical honeymoon, E! News has exclusively learned from a source close to the newlyweds that the duo are planning to begin their husband-and-wife life in Dubai, before jetting off to an unknown island destination.
Meanwhile, it's already time to cue the baby rumors.
Despite the bride's tight, high-waisted jeans, a paparazzo dared to ask if The Dutchess was expecting.
"I'm pregnant with twins," Fergie, 33, joked.
The "Glamorous" star's mother, Terri Ferguson, talked to E! News' Ryan Seacrest this morning gushing about the event and saying her daughter has "never been pregnant," but that with all the rumors, "Josh's mother says, 'Would she hurry up and have that elephant,' it's such a long gestation period."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dubai Shopping Festival Launch Party cancelled

The Dubai Shopping Festival Launch Party has been cancelled as a mark of solidarity to the Gaza people.However Sheikh Ahmed added that all other DSF 2009 activities would go on as planned from Jan. 15 to Feb. 15.Please note only the Launch Party has been cancelled.

Dubai 23 Marina set to reach 380m

Hircon International, the developer of 23 Marina plans to position this iconic skyscraper to be one of the Middle East’s tallest residential buildings. The mega-structure will have 57 swimming pools, a world record for the number of swimming pools in a single building. Every duplex apartment in the building will have an independent plunge pool, apart from the temperature controlled pools and the children’s pools on the other levels. Hircon International is a joint venture between ETA Star Properties and Hiranandani Developers.

“23 Marina once completed will be one of the best residential buildings in the world. It will have every form of luxury a resident can dream of, like a 5 star health spa, Jacuzzi for every duplex, private and high speed elevators, grand sea view and many more, it is known as 90 levels of luxury. Hircon is proud to develop one of the tallest and most luxurious residential buildings of this world. We are overwhelmed by the amount of response and attention this landmark has generated, well before its scheduled launch” says Darshan Hiranandani, Director of Hircon International.

Once completed, 23 Marina will boast uninterrupted sea views. The magnificent lobby and the six storey high grand entrance are set to mesmerise visitors to this huge building. Mr Hiranandani further adds “The building will add glory to the Dubai skyline – the icon of the Dubai Marina. Construction work is progressing as per the schedule. Neither the work, nor the bookings have been hampered by the global credit crunch”.
23 Marina is located at the entrance of the Dubai Marina, near the Dubai Media and Internet cities. It offers complete view of the Palm Jumeriah, Burj al Arab and Sheik Zayed Road. It is due for completion later this year.

© 2009 Mena Report (

New tool to end smuggling into Dubai

To combat smuggling, customs department has launched a well equipped mobile laboratory, the first of its kind in the UAE, to detect entry of
illegal substances into the country.

The laboratory is equipped with the latest devices and equipment for detecting different kinds of smuggled items including drugs, explosives, and also the hidden spaces used for storing illegal goods, a Gulf News report said.

The laboratory, which was launched last Thursday, is directly linked to Dubai Customs operations room where the computer system receives instant reports and results from the moving laboratory computer, the report said.

The equipment in the laboratory also includes a telescope for examining narrow places, remote and close detection device and external monitoring camera.

The facility so far has been effectively used in detecting drug smuggling at Dubai Cargo Village and has also foiled an attempt to smuggle a shipment of fireworks at Jebel Ali Port.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Geri Halliwell to open nighclub in Dubai

Dubai is where all the celebs are hanging out these days. And Geri Halliwell is the latest to invest there, as she’s planning on opening up her own nightclub in Dubai.

According to the Daily Star, Geri is joining forces with her new boyfriend Nick House, who own two London nightclubs, Mahiki and Whiskey Mist. The two are in talks to bring a third business to Dubai.
Dubai definitely seems like the place to be!

Existing clubs in Dubai

Some of the best and biggest clubs have closed or struggled in recent years, but there are still a few good options for those looking to hit the emirate’s dancefloors.
Oxygen, at the Al-Bustan Hotel, and Tangerine, at the Fairmont Dubai, are classy club oases for discerning punters. Trilogy (website: at the Madinat Jumeirah is one of the hottest new venues, a massive space split across three floors, Charlie Parrot’s (website: at the Oasis Beach Hotel has live music or a DJ most nights.

Live Music: Planet Hollywood (website:, Wafi Pyramids, off Al-Qataiyat Road, is a reliable option, with an eclectic selection of mediocre to good bands and covers outfits. Bordertown, Al-Rolla Road, is a Mexican theme bar that stages live bands most nights of the week. The Irish Village, Dubai Tennis Club, off Al Garhoud Road, also hosts many live acts.

Non Muslims are allowed to drink in designated areas such as pubs and clubs.The rule is that clubs have to be closed by 3 and no drinking before 7 PM at Ramaddan.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dubai Cares to help in Gaza Emergency Mission

Dubai Cares and La Chaine de L'Espoir on Joint Gaza Emergency Mission

A joint Dubai Cares and La Chaine de L'Espoir mission is en route to the Gaza Strip, where a specialized surgical and medical team will treat children wounded in the ongoing war. The 4-member medical team includes Vascular surgeon Eric Cheysson, chest and cardiovascular surgeon Daniel Roux, Neurosurgeon Baris Turak and a logistician and is expected to enter Gaza today as an advance team to be followed by more specialties.

More than 750 people have been killed and more than 3100 injured in the fighting in Gaza, one of the most densely populated places in the world. According to the latest UN estimates, Palestinian children, who are dying at a heavy rate in this war, account for approximately one out of every three persons killed.

The mission follows an assessment of the needs of the civilian population in Gaza and a survey of local hospitals, which are struggling to cope with the high number of casualties amid limited specialized staff and diminishing levels of medical supplies.

HE Reem al Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares, said: "We continue to closely monitor events in Gaza and have been in contact with medical officials there in order to get an accurate reading of the situation. Officials at Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest hospital, are overwhelmed with the high number of casualties, especially among children, and have made an appeal for medical support. Dubai Cares' joint mission with La Chaine de L'Espoir is our response to this appeal."
The joint Dubai Cares-La Chaine de L'Espoir mission will provide specialized medical services not currently available in Gaza to perform life- and limb-saving operations on injured children. In the absence of these specialized surgeons, treatable limb injuries can result in amputations.

The medical team is headed by Dr. Eric Cheysson, Vascular Surgeon and Vice President of La Chaine de L'Espoir, who said: "This mission will support our colleagues in Gaza who have to cope with severe circumstances to treat children who continue to pay a heavy price in this conflict. With this specialized medical support, we hope to minimize the impact of these injuries on children and help them lead a normal life once the war is over."
*Source: ME NewsWire
Dubai Blog

Mohammad Asif detained in Dubai-opium possession

Mohammad Asif's name is on a list of people who cannot enter the UAE

Mohammad Asif has been barred from entering the UAE after being deported from Dubai last year for possession of an opium substance weighing 0.24 grams.
PCB officials of the time had revealed the nature of the substance, but court and police documents now finally confirm the details. Asif was caught with the substance in his wallet at Dubai airport on June 1, 2008 when travelling back to Pakistan after competing in the Indian Premier League. He was detained for 19 days before being released.

The documents also shed light on the conclusion of the case, revealing that the public prosecutor advocated not filing criminal charges based on several factors: "that the accused was arrested at Dubai airport before being able to actually enter the state, the trifle amount of the drug, the serious consequence of putting him on trial and enforcing a judgment against him, and for the sake of avoiding pressures on courts and prisons."

Asif's urine sample taken at the airport was negative, however, putting to rest much speculation that Asif was intoxicated at the airport. But during an interrogation with two investigators, Asif said he did not know of the nature of the substance, thinking it to be a herbal remedy and said he used it to boost his blood pressure and energy levels.

"I started using it once every year, one small piece each time when necessary," the interview records Asif as saying.

Asked if he knew what the substance was, Asif replied: "A herbal dark substance found with me which I use for energy ... to reduce blood pressure and gain energy. I have obtained it from one of the public curers in Pakistan."

Asif acknowledged that he last used the substance in Pakistan four months before the case. The sample was tested in a laboratory in Dubai and it was confirmed that the substance Asif carried in his wallet was 0.24 grams of opium.

"I did not intend to bring it to the country and I don't know whether it is a narcotic drug or otherwise and I don't know whether it is prohibited in the UAE or not," Asif told the investigators.

Though Asif is currently suspended from all cricket by the PCB - he is facing a separate inquiry for a positive steroid test at the IPL - there are repercussions for his future appearances for Pakistan in the prosecutor's order against him.

The attorney general deported Asif and had his name put on a list of prohibited names who cannot enter the UAE. "The concerned authorities in the CID should be notified to take all the necessary actions to deport the accused from the state and include his name in the list of persons prohibited from entering the state once again," the order reads.

Given that many international teams have refused to tour Pakistan in recent years because of the instability in the country and the fact that the UAE is a very viable and feasible neutral option - one that has been used - the order effectively means Asif will not be able to play for Pakistan there.

Though the PCB says they do not have the relevant documents of the case, the feeling within the board is that this case at least will not be pursued actively internally. Officials believe that if the IPL inquiry finds Asif guilty and bans him from cricket, that may be punishment enough. That case is currently awaiting another hearing, due to be held on January 24 in London, but which has now been shifted back to India.

In 2006, Asif and Shoaib Akhtar were pulled out of the Champions Trophy in India after both tested positive for nandrolone during internal PCB testing.

Dubai streets to be named

H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minister of Finance and Chairman of Dubai Municipality today issued a decision setting up a committee for naming Dubai streets.

Seeking help from social figures and dignitaries and experts, the new body will give streets the names which reflect the history of the emirate.

Dubai Municipality will have the final say to pick up the most suitable of names recommended by the committee.

Here a few members of the committee:Abdul Rehman Saif Al Ghurair, Butti Saeed Al Kindi, Bilal Rabea Al Bodour, Jamal Khalfan Huwaireb, Jamal Ahmed Al Ghurair, Saleh Saeed Lootah, Ibrahim Shareef Bal Selah, Abdullah Mohammed Ghobash and Juma' Khalifa Bin Thaleth.

For more news from Dubai visit this link
Dubai Blog

Jobs In Dubai

If you are looking for a job in Dubai visit the links below.I recommend the first 3 without a doubt.

I also recommend that you go to this site where you can join a forum and get some inside info on the company you might be joining

Please do a bit of research on the potential company as there are quite a few companies laying off people and you dont want to make this move and then find yourself without a job.

Dubai to show first ever budget deficit for 2009

You know the whole world is definitely in a global recession when Dubai starts to show a budget deficit.See article below for more details.

From Reuters
Dubai expects to post its first budget deficit in 2009 as major infrastructure projects weigh on its budget, but the Gulf trade hub plans to raise spending 11 percent, a senior policy-maker said on Saturday.
The government fiscal deficit was expected to reach 4.2 billion dirhams ($1.14 billion) in a 2009 budget based on an oil price of $45 a barrel, said Nasser al-Shaikh, director-general of Dubai's finance department.
Total government spending in 2009 was expected to reach 135 billion dirhams, Shaikh said, with 37.7 billion dirhams of that to be spent on the public sector alone.
"As far as I know we have never had a deficit in Dubai before," Shaikh said.
"Operationally we are at a surplus of 3 billion dirhams but if you add investment in infrastructure, the deficit is 4.2 billion dirhams," he said, referring to major projects such as the emirate's metro network and new airport.
These projects would not however be delayed or cancelled, he said. "His Highness (the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum) has made it very clear that we will continue with our projects," he said.

Total revenues in 2009 were estimated at 138 billion dirhams, a 4 percent increase from 2008.

The deficit represents 1.3 percent of Dubai's gross domestic product at the end of 2007, Shaikh said, predicting a balanced budget within two to three years.
"We have a number of options. One is the capital markets if they open up," he said, adding that Dubai could also rely on its reserves if needed.
Dubai has suspended a tranche of a 15 billion dirham ($4.08 billion) notes programme intended to fund development projects "due to market conditions," he said. [nLA478187]


Shaikh reiterated remarks made at the end of last year that Dubai's economic growth was expected to be between 4 and 6 percent in 2009, compared to an earlier forecast of 11 percent.
"In the current global environment this (11 percent) is not achievable," he said. "We are in the process of revising our strategy."
Dubai had appointed consultants as part of its decision to seek a sovereign credit rating by mid-2009, without naming them.
A committee set up by the government to tackle the impact of the global credit crunch, to which Shaikh belongs, has focused mainly on the emirate's once-booming property sector, he said.
"On real estate we have a somewhat clear picture of what is coming," he said, reiterating that the number of new residential units in 2009 would -- "best case scenario" -- reach 32,000. "Gradually we need more liquidity injected into the banking system but I don't think anyone can give you the ultimate figure of how much is needed," he said.
The United Arab Emirates' central bank set up a 50 billion dirham emergency bank lending facility in September and the government has injected part of a 70 billion dirham rescue facility into bank deposits.
Dubai's sovereign debt stands at $10 billion while debts of state-affiliated firms amount to $70 billion, Mohamed Alabbar, a member of Dubai's ruling council and chairman of Emaar Properties EMAR.DU said in November. (Reporting by Raissa Kasolowsky, Editing by Peter Blackburn)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dubai Shopping Festival 2009

Dubai Festival City proud to be part of the month-long extravaganza

Al-Futtaim’s Dubai Festival City will once again be the preferred destination for shopping and entertainment activities in Dubai as the city gets dressed up to welcome visitors for the 14th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival 2009 beginning January 15. Al-Futtaim is the key sponsor of DSF 2009.

The vibrant destination has become a complete experience, widely appealing to locals and tourists alike who continue to throng the retail resort that showcases over 600 outlets including 25 international flagship stores and new-to-market brands, over 100 restaurants, caf├ęs and bistros, a 12-screen cinema complex and dedicated parking area for 13,000 cars. Dubai Festival City retail tenants are expected to offer innovative discounts, prizes, bargains and special offers during the month-long festivities.

The flagship development of Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate had successfully hosted the grand opening and closing ceremonies for Dubai Shopping Festival 2008 in an evening filled with glamour and grandeur which in a way celebrated the successful partnership between Al-Futtaim group and Dubai Shopping Festival and also confirmed Dubai Festival City’s position as a leading destination for shopping and entertainment in the Emirate.

“Al-Futtaim is a committed supporter of Dubai Shopping Festival. We believe Dubai Festival City stands for values, beliefs and lifestyle experiences, the same values which underline DSF 2009. This year’s event promises to be very special indeed and we are proud to be associated with this shopping and entertainment extravaganza,” said Charles Awad, Al-Futtaim group.

Al-Futtaim’s retail division represents some of the most prestigious and popular international brands. The group’s retail portfolio includes Toys R Us, Marks & Spencer, Plug-Ins, ACE, Intersport and IKEA, among others.

“With a retail network of 150 outlets in the UAE, a purchase is made from an Al-Futtaim outlet every three seconds. By creating unique retail experiences Al-Futtaim’s retail division has plans to raise the bar by offering its customers the best international brands, outstanding showrooms and facilities as well as quality customer service,” Mr. Awad added.

Established in the 1930s, Al-Futtaim initially operated as a trading company. Rapid development throughout the 1940s and 1950s saw the company establish itself regionally as an integrated commercial, industrial and services organisation, positioning itself as one of the leading businesses in the lower Gulf region.

For More Information Please Contact:

David D’Souza
Director – Public Relations

GMASCO Marketing Communications
Al-Futtaim group company

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dubai airport expanded

I did not find Dubai airport to be very user friendly.You have to be careful when you are there because the path seems to lead you directly to the transit queue and I actually waited in that line for a while before I realised that I was in the wrong queue.At the top of the escalator turn right and not left where everyone seemed to be going for me.But anyway the airport has expanded so I hope they upgraded the signs as well.
Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 opened in October 2008 aiming to increase the number of passengers to 60 million in 2010.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dubai to host Pearl Tender

If you are travelling to Dubai and will be there between Feb 12-16 please take note of this show below or if you are thinking of going to Dubai and you are interested in pearls then try and make your holiday fall on Feb 12-16

Dubai to Host Pearl Tender
-- JCK-Jewelers Circular Keystone, 1/6/2009 8:49:00 AM
Some of the world’s rarest and most sought after natural and cultured pearls will be offered in a private tender of the Dubai Pearl Exchange.

Leading producers Paspaley Pearling Co., Robert Wan, Jewelmer, and Cogent Trading will gather for a world first showcase of gem quality pearls in Dubai. The invitation-only event is set to take place Feb. 12-16, just prior to the inaugural World Pearl Forum in Dubai. Top pearl buyers from the international trade, leading jewelry design brands, and members of the Dubai Pearl Exchange will present closed bids for up to 80 lots of important single pieces and gem quality matched sets as well as strands of significant rarity. Never before has such a collection of pearls been offered for sale.

“This pearl tender will enable us to showcase our very finest pieces to a truly international audience,” said Nicholas Paspaley, chairman of Paspaley Pearling Co.

Paspaley’s pearls to be sold in the tender include one of only five Nautilus pompilius pearls known to the Gemological Institute of America. Paspaley will also offer an extremely important cultured South Sea strand with a centrepiece of over 22mm in size. This strand was previously exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute, the N.Y. Museum of Natural History, and several other of the world's leading museums.

Organizers anticipate that several millions of dollars in pearls will be offered for sale at Dubai’s first-ever pearl trade tender.

“The Dubai Pearl Exchange’s inaugural tender of rare pearls is a key element in drawing the pearl trade to Dubai and underscoring the UAE’s historic and ongoing relevance in this international market,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre.

Taking place alongside the inaugural pearl tender is the World Pearl Forum, a conference dedicated to the production, business, design, marketing and certification of the global pearl sector, as well as the official opening of the Dubai Pearl Exchange, a membership-led pearl trade networking hub located on the 62nd floor of Almas Tower within Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

Caption: Pearls to be offered at the Dubai Pearl Tender include a peacock multicoloured cultured Tahitian pearls for strand (top) from Robert Wan Tahiti Perles; gold cultured South Sea perals for strand, earrings, and ring (center) from Jewelmer; and a white cultured South Sea pearl strand from Paspaley Pearling Co.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lindsay Lohan moving to Dubai

If you needed another reason to go visit Dubai here's one.
Lohan & Ronson moving to Dubai?
CBS42 - Birmingham,AL,USA
A source tells the publication, "Lindsay and Sam loved the tacky glitziness of Dubai. There is so much money and opulence out there it really impressed ...
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Lindsay Lohan moves in near to the Beckhams in Dubai
And did you know the Beckhams have a house there
By 3am 3/01/2009 When the Beckhams snapped up a luxury pad in Dubai, they could use it to escape the frenzied media circus back in LA.
There you go then.All the celebrities are moving there to escape.This might be the only way you ever get to see a celebrity.
Travel to Dubai