The Universe. Some scratches of Beryllium. Diving. The Navel of the Galaxies. Maybe god. Maybe the void. Maybe you. Maybe it's just cryptical

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dubai: to Be or not to Be?

Place: Dubai
Mood: Confused
Song: The World Is Not Enough * Garbage

"If you can't have it all
Then nobody will"
from The World Is Not Enough by Garbage

If you can't have it all, then nobody will. That sets the tone perfectly for Dubai.

So I went to Dubai. Finally. And dare I say I wish I had not. It's the perfect place not to live in. If I want to describe Dubai in one adjective, it would be counterfeit, better known in slang as FAKE. Huge skyscrapers that galvanize everyday life and change the course of Dubai not on a yearly basis, but rather on a daily one. These abhorrent buildings are not even assembled geometrically to create some sort of harmony is this fricticious environment. Buildings, buildings and more buildings. And there's no such thing as this building is pretty because every damn building in Dubai is pretty. So it's nauseating at the end.

Now the Taxi, which is a chapter by itself. Save the fact that the drivers do not speak English (being mostly Indians or Pakistanis), they do not even KNOW Dubai! And yet they have GPS in their cars, but of course, they have no idea as to how to use it. So needless to say, they know where Dubai Marina is, but they have no single clue about what's in it, and where.

I went to Dubai for the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) which was running in its fifth edition. If you can replace the above text with the words stars, red carpet, glamor, you'll get a close idea at how counterfeit the festival is. While everything is perfectly organized, it can be ruined by a computer dysfunction that can turn the whole accreditation office upside down on the opening night. Better, the volunteers. Do they know in Dubai what the term "Volunteer" means? I believe I know more things on the festival than these guys who. Ask them any lame question and they would disappear for five good minutes before they answer you 'I don't know, sorry'.

The films that I got to see will be blogged in a separate entry.

And now to the photos, which speak by themselves.

01. The Festival

With Zeina, a pillar of both Dubai Film Festival and the Cinema Days of Beirut. She looks like she's not tired at all ;)

The red carpet of the Madinat Theater. I bet this is DIFF's most important feature.

Why would Najwa Karam attend the gala screening of Pomegranates and Myrrh? No the real question should be, why would the festival invite Najwa Karam in the first place! What does she have to do with cinema?

A fun performance from PA RA DA after the screening of the eponym film. It was apparently a premiere to have a circus inside Madinat Jumeira!

02. The People

We kept looking at this man who had both of his feet ON the couch of a restaurant. And he's clearly a foreigner. I wonder if he'd like to have my feet on his bedroom sheets.

At the same restaurant, Nathan and I order a revolting sandwich. For the first time ever I think, I have a sandwich that doesn't taste anything at all.

It was Nathan's marvellous idea to bring us to mOre restaurant so that I could have a succulent Paella! (The smile was before I ate the enormous plate, as it was impossible to smile afterwards)

03. The Buildings

Burj Al Arab... during the day...

... and at night, sporting one of its numerous evening gowns, as it changes colors much more than I change shoes in a year!

What I saw from my friends' apartment. I have no idea what to think about this mess. So I'll let you make your mind.

So Dubai will be soon having its metro. And apparently you need a cab to go there as the stations are not near everyone's house, and another to leave it since one cannot walk during the day for the most part of the year. So what's the point of having a metro in Dubai exactly, especially since posh cars are cheap?

Dubai Marina bay. I am just an ornament to the picture. The skyscrapers are the real thing. Or maybe is it the opposite?

04. Some random sightings

Mall of the Emirates 1: Yeah -3 degrees at the Mall of the Emirates, so that some locals could enjoy and equally local snow. And the Christmas spirit, because they need it!

Mall of the Emirates 2: A Mosque in a mall? A MOSQUE? So you have the Mosque, the restrooms and the taxi pickups. Fair enough!

Mall of the Emirates 3: Why would you have countless Christmas trees if you don't even celebrate Christmas!!

So Rami explains that the Indians are the ones who write the names of the buildings in Arabic. The Views in Arabic becomes The View. Go figure.

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Anonymous Rami said...

So just to defend myself about saying that Indians writing the names in Arabic: I wasn't being racist or anything, it's just that Indians don't believe in the letter V (they drink wodka and drive wans). There's this building close to ours called The Riviera Tower which in Arabic became the Riwiera...and the sign was there for months before someone noticed it and fixed it!!

6:29 PM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger roubish said...

It's not about defending yourself! Why would Indians WRITE in Arabic in the first place! Aren't there enough Arabs to do it?

11:29 AM, December 17, 2008  
Anonymous Rami said...

Yes, but Indians are cheaper.
Ba3dein chou hay about having your feet on the guy's sheets???

12:28 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger roubish said...

Well, I meant that this guy was so disgusting! My point is: what happens if a stranger puts his feet on this guy's couch or bed sheets?? What would he do?

12:53 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger manuch said...

LOl, I SO enjoyed this post,and your curiosity! :)

7:35 AM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger roubish said...

Manuel, you should go there and see it by yourself to understand what I really mean!
I bet you'd be amazed at first, but soon enough you'd understand my post ;)

9:41 AM, January 14, 2009  

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