Mubarak heads to Dubai (maybe)

Dear Diary what a week it has been.

Mubarak finally makes a sharp exit to Sharm el-Sheikh – didn’t he read all of those stories about the sharks?  Brave man – to stay in Egypt that is.  Now speculation is building that he is negotiating to come to Dubai.

Shark

Lifted from my newspaper of choice:

Mubarak said in his first speech during the uprising on 1 February that he would not leave his homeland, pledging to “die on the soil of Egypt and be judged by history”.

But exploratory discussions involving the Saudis, the US and the UAE have reportedly taken place about him moving to Dubai. One important issue is immunity from any prosecution he might face on charges of crimes against humanity after 300 deaths and documented abuses by the security forces.

According to the London-based paper al-Quds al-Arabi, revelations about the Mubarak family fortune and possible legal action over that are also a factor in planning for a post-presidential future.

Experts have estimated that the Mubaraks could be worth £43.5bn, with much of the wealth from investment deals in British and Swiss banks or tied up in upmarket real estate in London, New York, Los Angeles and expensive tracts of the Red Sea coast.

For the likes of you and me, transferring our hard earned money can be the task from hell with all sorts of rules and regs.  So how has Mubarak managed to siphon away $43.5bn with complete impunity?  The gnomes and our lovely bankers have a lot to answer for.

Cameron has a new friend

Someone loved Cameron’s speech on multiculturalism, step forward Marine Le Pen, Leader of France’s National Front who has congratulated David Cameron on his controversial speech.  I have openly said I don’t like Cameron’s politics but I never had him down as a fascist.  Live and learn.  This came in the week that most of the top universities in England declared they would charge the maximum student tuition fees.  Now anyone who thinks that students from a middle and working class background will not be put off going to Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial College etc. is sadly deluded.  Parents who send their children to private school will still be looking forward to the day their kids head off to uni, £9,000 versus £30,000.  A country’s future (and its ability to pay for everything else) depends on its education system.

A cautionary tale about online advertising

A few weeks ago I expressed a concern that banks shouldn’t have sales and in the article I named and shamed HSBC and gave my critical opinion.  HSBC’s sale is being supported by a huge advertising campaign and I accept being stalked on The Guardian is the penalty I pay for reading a quality paper where  customers and potential customers of HSBC are lurking.

However imagine my surprise when their ad popped up on my blog?  I wrote to them politely explaining that I was telling people that, in my opinion, a bank holding a sale was a bad idea but they declined to reply.  We went public on Facebook and Twitter but  the world’s local bank has no local social media strategy, so again complete silence.  All of which reinforces my view that HSBC is falling way short in all respects.

HSBC sale HSBC ad above my blog on phone

It’s all about the line

I had a very interesting meeting last week with the marketing lady from Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai (a seriously good hospital specialising in anything and everything to do with your eyes which in my book are our most precious sense and yet we go to the dentist once a year but pretty much completely ignore the health of our eyes unless something goes seriously wrong) and the media guru from Optimedia. We slipped into jargon, above the line (advertising), below the line (stuff like packaging, sales promotion) online (anything to do with the www) . . . Nadim from Optimedia speculated that there is no line anymore, it’s all about one line, in other words you have to be on the ball in all forms of communicating with customers/clients.  Sounds about right to me.

Was Amy any good?

Before I reveal all, I went to Bike Week to meet up with our Harley client and had a play on a big bike, wow, I went vrrm, vrrrm, vrrrrm.  My wife has banned me from riding a bike but in my next life I’m going to get a big boy Harley and a super cool Vespa.  Harley’s start from around AED 34,000 here and Vespa’s are a snip at AED 14,000.

Harley DavidsonVespa

My wife Sally represented the Prosser’s at Amy.  She is tough to please, for example she rated Robbie as average when he visited Dubai a few years ago.  Amy started slow and was in a bit of a mess but in the opinion of our Sal she was incredible and very special.  I think this goes against what you are going to read and hear but give the gal a chance if you get the opportunity to see Amy before it’s sadly too late.

My music tip for this week is The Hold Steady – one for Alan Main and anyone who loves Bruce Springsteen. These guys rock like it’s1984 – watch out for the guitar break at 2:50 and get air guitaring: 

McDonalds profits soar, again

Apparently during a recession our spending power goes down and we eat more cheap, junk (comfort) food.  The US gave the world fast food because it suited their lifestyle and monster appetites, British food is a bit hit and miss so I can fully understand why McDonalds has done well in these two countries.  But Asia has the most scrummy food on earth (along with the Italians) and have fantastic, incredibly cheap street food so why are more people in Asia eating more McDonalds?  It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Keema

Top five

Leading on here are my top five foods I can’t live without:

  • Pasta
  • Pesto (bit of a cheat)
  • Tomatoes (fresh, sweet and juicy)
  • Eggs
  • Plums (fresh, sweet and juicy)
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6 Comments

Filed under Observations

6 responses to “Mubarak heads to Dubai (maybe)

  1. Alan

    Well done Keith! I have to say I was disappointed by last week’s post-punk recommendation, The Vaccines. A pale parody of the Undertones I thought but this week’s undiscovered gem is a real corker! The Hold Steady will get my digital dirhams/dollars if and when I can find a place to purchase. The song was quite clever too although I think that whole song-full-of-song -titles thing has been done a few times before.
    It still worked for me and I like ’em!
    Alan

    • Keith

      Thanks Alan, I will make sure to mix my oddball recommendations with a few you will definitely like, watch out for the Alan likely to approve symbol on future blogs and steer well clear if there is a treat with caution warning, Keith

  2. David Jay

    The Guardian Newspaper-a “quality”newspaper. That, for sure, is an oxymoron, Keith.

    • Keith

      I’m left wondering which paper you read David, quite a few of my friends are Telegraph readers and I find it quite useful for the sport, but The Times now hovers somewhere around The Sun nowadays, read its article on Tiger Wood’s sex life for verification, it was so sordid The News of the World would have hesitated before publishing. Keith

  3. Gerry

    KP – to give you some insight into why MackeyD’s are doing well in Asia. We were out and about in S’pore last weekend and feeling peckish proceeded to the nearby Hawker centre (street food, cheap, tasty, all those good things) – when I asked Ollie (my 4 yr old) what he wanted he said Pizza!… this place was the size of Wembly and we were surrounded by every conceivable type of Oriental fare but our Ollie insisted on Pizza…. when I suggested he might like some rice he look at me and said “Dad, I’m sick of the rice”….. we have been in S’pore for just over a month…… ps the pizza was excellent…

    • Keith

      Thanks Gez, did you place a bet on what Ollie would choose? I think the clue is in Ollie’s age, for the big people it’s a scrummy bowl of Thai red curry and a sneaky piece of pizza while Ollie isn’t looking, perfect!

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