Monday, October 18, 2010

Domestic Violence in UAE

I think the Arab world has some way to go in respect of human rights on this issue.....quotes are from The National today.

A man has the right to discipline his wife and children provided he does not leave physical marks, the Federal Supreme Court has ruled.

The judgment was made in the case of a man who slapped and kicked his daughter and slapped his wife.

According to Islamic law, a man has the "right to discipline" his wife and children, which can include beating them after he has exhausted two other options: admonition and then abstaining from sleeping with his wife. Although scholars differ in their definition of "beating", all agree it must not be severe.

Sharjah Court of First Instance fined the father Dh500
[c.£80] for abuse. The decision was upheld by the Sharjah Court of Appeals on February 14.

Dr Ahmed al Kubaisi, the head of Sharia Studies at UAE University and Baghdad University, said that under Sharia beating one's wife was an option to prevent the breakdown of the family.
He said it should be used only as a substitute to resorting to the police.
"If a wife committed something wrong, a husband can report her to police," Dr al Kubaisi said. "But sometimes she does not do a serious thing or he does not want to let others know; when it is not good for the family. In this case, hitting is a better option."
Cavemen are alive and well in the UAE.....

Full text of the story here

Jet-skiing on the Breakwater

There are times when life feels really good... and today was one of those days for me. Yesterday we were bumming around Shanghai on the last day of our trip to China (more of that later), today I was jet-skiing in front of the Corniche in Abu Dhabi.... all sounds a bit “rock ’n’ roll” ! . I don’t take these sort of things for granted and do count myself fortunate that we have these opportunities. I did manage to take a short video clip on my phone (sorry about my digits getting in the way!) ....

I am currently going through my 1200 pictures and 100 video clips of our trip to China! ... so more of that very soon. Suffice to say for now that we had a fantastic time and loved every minute.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Trip to China

On Monday we travel to China for an 8 day tour - I can’t wait it will be so interesting. For one thing, it will be nice to get away completely from things here. It won’t be relaxing, but “change as good as a rest” kind of thing. We will fly from Dubai on Emirates to Beijing, do a couple of days there then fly to Xian. Xian is where the Terra cotta army can be found. After Xian we fly to Shanghai, then after a couple of days back to Dubai from there.

Everything is laid on and we should get to see loads of great sights - I think my camera will be overheating!

I’ll post again when we get back....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pizza Burger - yeah ok, whatever!

We were out and about this evening and just wanted something quick to eat, so we went to Burger King in Khalidiya. BK in my opinion serves up a completely superior burger to McDs - and I do count myself as fairly knowledgeable on the subject! So, a Whopper meal with cheese and a round of onion rings it was!

Burger King have just launched the “Pizza Burger” - posing the question “Pizza or Burger”.........


... now you may have superior burgers, but you ain’t doing so well on the intelligence front! I’ll go with the clown on that one any day. How is it anything remotely like a pizza?

This is a pizza.....


In what way exactly is the PIzza Burger like a Pizza?? Oh... it’s round.......and sliced....

So I thought I would make some other suggestions for those great guys in the marketing department at BK.......

Announcing..... the Quiche Burger


....and how about the Sponge Cake Burger


..... or maybe the Cherry Pie Burger

Anyway... this thing contains about 2500 calories which BK suggests as a meal for three with fries and drinks - so that’s 833 calories each, just for the burger never mind the fries and drink.

So, maybe we should just call it..... the Cardiac Burger !

Actually in Arizona there is a place called the Heart Attack Grill - it looks fantastic! (and has some interesting looking waitresses too!)



Here’s the menu...


Eat your heart out Burger King !!!!

( terrible pun I know )

Monday, October 4, 2010

F1 Tickets

My F1 tickets have come through! Woo hoo !!

I’ve got Mark , my brother coming over and Steve and Doreen, Caroline’s uncle and aunt. Should be a good time had by all!

Thinking of booking to go up the Burj Khalifa on the Monday as part of a day trip to Dubai.

Getting excited already about F1....


Saturday, October 2, 2010


We had dinner with friends last night at Hakkasan in Emirates Palace. I have been to the London venue of Hakkasan and really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere, so I was hoping this would be replicated in Abu Dhabi. I wasn’t disappointed - it was just as good. The layout and decor was almost exactly the same as I remember it from London and once the restaurant had filled up it had a great atmosphere.

The food is gorgeous and really well presented. I started with crispy duck rolls, followed by crispy shredded veal in hot and sour sauce, finishing with chocolate fondant with banana ice cream - yummy!

Don’t hesitate - go!

Here’s a couple of reviews....

Friday, October 1, 2010

Al Reef Villa

Well after a week of phoning endless agents, visiting numerous villas and making various offers, I think we have finally secured a villa in a development called Al Reef. Al Reef is located next to the airport (although not on the flight path) and is a nice community development. We have had quite a stressful week trying to get things sorted, especially as it is next to impossible to get a straight answer from agents as to what is available at what price etc etc. The developer, Manazel, has an office there where you can arrange to rent directly. If you want to give this a go - good luck! Frankly, the guys in the office are next to useless, don’t have keys to half the properties and never get back to you on your questions. If you can get any sense though, they are probably the cheapest option. Many agents are also working the development, some of which are offering the villas at the same price as Manazel, others higher. We have made probably 5 offers this week, which have either been turned down for various reasons (e.g. “the owner has decided not to rent the villa now” - yeah, bollocks. “The owner will wait only a maximum of 10 days before you move in”. “the owner is holding out for a higher price” ) or never had an answer at all.

Finally today we have placed a deposit with Pink Properties. I know of stories where this has still not been the end of the story and the property has still been lost - so it’s fingers crossed. Although I think you ultimately pay a little higher for a property through Pink (as I think they are pretty shrewd and more commercially savvy), I can’t complain about the service, so hopefully all will be well.

So the next stage is to get hold of a contract, have my company raise the 2 cheques (6 months apart) that they require, pay a 5% commission to Pink and arrange our move in. To secure the place we have had to agree to take immediate occupation after contract signing, so we will end up with a few weeks overlap with our existing apartment. We go on holiday to China next weekend (more on that to come) so we wanted to have everything signed, sealed and delivered before we went - otherwise we would have had a very stressful 10 days when we got back. It is a pain though, because it will mean I will have to pay back to my company the money for the overlap - but c’est la vie.

In parts of Abu Dhabi the housing market is a little less hectic, and in Dubai it is so laid back it’s almost comatose! Al Reef however has proved to be a very popular location with expats and demand is high. Therefore it is a case of taking what is available at the time, with only minor negotiation, otherwise they are getting snapped up pretty quickly - at least the 5 beds which we wanted. I think there is much more choice of the smaller villas.

So, fingers crossed and we may be moving in soon!