29 October 2008

Dueling Appeals

In a new twist in the beach sex scandal, the Dubai Public Prosecutor is appealing the 3-month sentence given to Michelle and Vince. He is saying that it is normal for a longer sentence to be imposed and is looking for at least 6 months. They are due back in court on November 18 to hear the results of the defendant’s appeal to their sentence. It’s not clear if the prosecutorial appeal will be decided at the same time.

The point that there will be no “public displays of personal affection” in the Emirates has been made. Every Ex-Pat in the Middle East has got the message. It is time to stop beating this camel, deport the offending infidels and let life go on.

22 October 2008

Appeal for Amorous Expats

Yes, an appeal has been filed. We now need to wait until November 18 to hear the final result. Stay tuned.

The news about their conviction was international news for a couple of days. Everywhere you looked on the net you saw the story of the couple arrested for having sex on the beach. Why does Dubai want this kind of publicity? If I were sheikh, I would send them home and blacklist them from ever returning. I would do it quietly and quickly. It would protect the sensibilities of Emiratis and, at the same time, send a message. And it would do it without negative international publicity. (And the same goes for those found with miniscule amounts of drugs or OTC drugs purchased abroad. Send them back and don't allow them to return.)

20 October 2008

A Good Way to Slow Down Growth

Dubai recently invited New Orleans Recovery Czar Ed Blakely to speak at a conference in Dubai. It seems that he was invited at the request of Sheikh Mohammed.

Ed Blakely is a classic example of the axiom, “Them that can’t do, teach.”

His performance in New Orleans has been dismal. Hurricane Katrina gave him a clean slate. He bragged about “cranes filing the skyline” as he led the rebuilding effort into a glorious future. In truth, he has nothing to show for his time in New Orleans despite being given an almost free hand to do as he wanted. Brad Pitt has done more to rebuild New Orleans than Ed Blakely - and he has done it for free.

If Dubai’s objective is to slow down their exponential growth rate, then Ed Blakely is the man for the job. In fact, the people of New Orleans would welcome Dubai hiring him away.

Take Ed Blakely, please! We’ll keep Brad.

16 October 2008

Sex on the Beach Finale

They were given 3 months, fined 1000 dirhams and will be deported at the end of their jail sentence. So ends the saga of the amorous affair on Jumeirah Beach.

The international publicity can't have done Dubai and the Emirates in general any good.

Hanoi Jane receives Lifetime Achievement Award???

Gulf News has the story that Jane Fonda has received a lifetime achievement award at the Middle East International Film Festival. There are some that think she just deserves life, with no parole.

And Barbarella would be banned in the UAE.

13 October 2008

Dubai Going Broke?

This story in Bloomberg hints that Dubai may be approaching a credit problem.

This is a quote from the article:

While Dubai's economic model ``has proved successful to date, cumulative liabilities are currently rising faster than investments are able to generate returns, which increases Dubai's medium term susceptibility to execution risks and necessitates a clear understanding of wider implicit federal support when rating key government-backed corporations,'' Lotter said.

Sounds like economics-speak than means the debt is rising faster than Dubai's ability to pay the monthly note.

10 October 2008

Infrastructure at Capacity

The National has a story about the recent sewage dumping and beach closing. Its another indicator that the infrastucture in Dubai is at capacity and must be expanded if growth is to continue.

08 October 2008

Put The Gris Gris on 'em

It seems a UAE footballer (that's soccer player to you) was arrested recently for witchcraft.

I'd hate to think what would happen to sports in the US if players were not allowed to have their superstitions and rituals. But I guess trying to put a hex on the other team is a serious crime.

02 October 2008

Head Count

September coincided with Ramadan so the Saudi swordsman had the month off. There were no executions in the Kingdom. The total to date for 2008 remains at 71.

In other legal news, the President of the UAE granted a pardon to the British DJ “Grooverider” who graced this blog last February. He was one of some 700 pardons given out during Ramadan by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Alas, there was no pardon for the British couple arrested for boffing on the beach. (shagging by the shore?) They still have to face the judge next week.