The UAE might as well stand for the United Asian Emirates as Asians make up the vast majority of the population. Today however businesses were quiet this afternoon, the roads were empty and the evening rush hour was subdued. This was due to a massive cricket match in the lives of Indian and Pakistani cricket fans. They were (and still are as I write) playing each other in the world cup semi-finals.
This is the first time Pakistan have played India on Indian soil since the bombing in Mumbai. It has caused a security nightmare, but the Indian President was gracious enough to invite the Pakistani President to watch the match.
The WSJ considers this rivalry the No.1 rivalry in global sports !
A lot of my customers are businesses managed and staffed mainly by Indians, so I thought I would invite some of them out for the afternoon to watch the game. We went to a hotel sports bar which was absolutely ram packed with 90% Indians and about 10% Pakistanis. I left at the end of the Indian innings, when most of the customers wanted to go home and watch the rest, and at this point things were fairly amicable between them - I'm not sure if it will stay like that if India lose mind you! - so just as well I left!
The couple of videos attached will give you an idea of the atmosphere and the passion these people have for their game and country. Sorry about the quality, there was very low light and they are just off my phone.
As I write, Pakistan are behind the run rate, but have wickets in hand.... we will see!