I receive the Arabian Business round-up to my inbox twice a day and I’ve had a worrying tendency to always believe what I read. Here are three recent examples of my urgent need to wake up and smell the M&S tea.
Nakheel to double marina berths on Palm Jumeirah
Dubai-based master developer currently has 522 berths, 50% of which are still unsold
And this one:
The speed limit on the main Abu Dhabi to Dubai highway will be cut to 140km per hour from Sunday.
A decision by Abu Dhabi traffic police to reduce the speed limit from 160km per hour was announced last week and will be enforced on Sunday, UAE daily Emirates Business reported on Saturday.
What were all of those signs saying 120km all about?
And my favourite:
Expat arrivals push UAE population to 8.26m in 2010
Did Rory choke or was he pushed?
I’m a huge fan of Rory McIlroy and even after he unravelled on the back nine at The Masters I still think he is a golfing genius with a swing to die for.
This bit from The Telegraph (take note David Faulkner) made me chuckle. For all the suddenness of his elevation to golf’s aristocracy, there is still an endearing touch of the tear away about McIlroy. His resemblance to Dennis the Menace is so striking you half-expect him to have packed a pea-shooter alongside his seven-iron. It is more than skin-deep, too: on the eve of the Masters, the young scamp had to be told off by an Augusta neighbour for playing football too loudly outside his rented house.
While on the subject of top sportsman I enjoyed Andy Murray trying to be grumpy for Red Nose Day. Tough going when you’re being assailed on all sides by the cast of Outnumbered.
How to lose friends and alienate people
Being a partner of the Olympics must bring many benefits but in my opinion Visa has got it horribly wrong. By all means feature added benefits from paying for Olympic Tickets with Visa but it’s a shocker that they only accept Visa. They then compound it by telling us that they are proud of giving you one option only.
We are proud to accept only Visa.
South Africa becomes a BRIC
BRIC is now BRICS as South Africa becomes the latest country to join the grouping that are gearing up to put an end to America’s dominance of the world economy. And no, the B doesn’t stand for Britain, we had our turn in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The countries about to take centre stage are Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa.
The age of digital hasn’t quite arrived yet
For the many of us who have become obsessed with the digital age citing Facebook and Twitter as being at the forefront of the regional unrest across the region I learnt a thing or two from Faisal J Abbas during his interview on World Service. Faisal is a Saudi living in London who writes a very informative blog. One of his points was that Al Jazeera (one TV station) is watched by around 40 million people across this region, about the same number who are connected to the http://www. Also Yemen and Syria are a very long way down the list of connected countries. He also reminded me of one of my favourite, but long forgotten, sayings: Reputation arrives on foot and leaves on horseback.
When to give up
I loved MG and longed to own an MG GB GT (or whatever the sporty one was called) but unfortunately the brand became so tarnished that they should have kept it out of its misery. Instead some misguided people from China are having a go and instead of recreating a heritage brand they have decided to go mainstream and compete against the Ford Fiesta. No cigar. VW show how to refresh the parts of a brand that other manufacturers cannot reach with their latest incarnation of the Beetle.
T Mobile strikes again
For those of you that watched the brilliant Heathrow ad, T Mobile have come up with another wonderful creative that is also right on the topical money. They did a bit of borrowing from an actual wedding that went viral and then splashed the cash and added a big dollop of brilliance to create the ultimate Royal Wedding video. As Coke once said, enjoy!
Still on the subject of the Royal Wedding bad news for Queenie, apparently they are treating Will and Kate’s coming together as a dry run for her funeral.
You tube laughs
According to my teenage girls I’m miles off the pace when it comes to You Tube classics. This one made me laugh and laugh to the point of lots of tears. 45 million views, wow (and then I remembered that’s how many people watch Al Jazeera everyday).
Tips of the week
I wish I could do a film review but I haven’t been inspired to go for a while. Any recommendations very welcome. Fortunately there is some good music to get into although I don’t think I will please any of the people any of the time with this week’s choice – Yuck (I liked the name). It all comes at you with through a wall of fuzz, sort of Strokes with a bit of punky attitude.
My wife has just pitched in with a recommendation to visit the Farmer’s Market at Souk Al Bahar, Friday’s 10 to 4 p.m. Sally returned with a big bag of fresh produce for a bargain basement price including a punnet of caterpillars that turned out to be mulberries.
Next; top 5 covers
- Mott the Hoople; All the young dudes
- Muse; Feeling good
- Clash; Police and thieves
- White Stripes; I just don’t know what to do with myself
- Jeff Buckley; Hallelujah
All comments and random thoughts welcome.