Sunday, April 30, 2006

Only in Dubai...

I had another full-day meeting today. Same location as yesterday. But, because of the never-ending "Jumeirah Beautification Project", the entrance to the place where we had the meeting has changed. Overnight! I was so confused.

I had to keep on driving for a few hundred meters before finally finding a place where I could u-turn....but then the road forked into two roads, one of which led to the place I was trying to get to....

What a mess! Only in Dubai does the entrance to a place change just like that, overnight!

Jumeirah road has been in the process of being beautified since God knows how long, and the work was supposed to be done in January. Three months later and driving on that road is still a stomach-churning experience. Why does it need to be beautified anyway? As far as I'm concerned, it looked just fine before this whole mess started.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Weekend workday

Arghhh....just got back from a full-day meeting.

Today is a weekend day for me, but not for my clients, so we had to attend this important meeting with them. Trust me, waking up at 7AM on a Saturday morning, when I could be lazying in bed till 10AM (at least) is not pleasant. And to add insult to injury, our meeting was in a conference room overlooking a pool surrounded by lots and lots of trees, and a magnificent blue sea.

Oh's gonna be more of the same tomorrow, but at least tomorrow, everyone else will be working too!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Getting to know Dubai

I've realised that, after a year of living here, I do not really know Dubai all that well. I do have my excuses though:

For one, I spend most of my weekends in Abu Dhabi with la familia. And during weekdays, I don't get much of a chance to go out a lot, especially when I have hectic workdays. If I do go out, it's mostly for a movie, or dinner, or a drink. And it's always around the office somewhere to avoid traffic. Plus, I try to stay away from Sheikh Zayed road as much as I can. Driving on that road stresses me out way too much!

All of this limits how much I get to see of Dubai. So I've decided to "expand my horizons" so to speak, and to make it a point to visit new places in Dubai whenever I get the opportunity to.

Be it a restaurant, a bar, a mall, the Gold Souk, the Palm Islands, the Creek, Bab Al Shams...whatever! As long as I get to experience more of what Dubai has to offer, so I can begin to feel like I know this place...and maybe, just maybe, feel like I belong to this place.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Last night, I watched the Madonna special on MBC4. It was a documentary about her Re-Invention tour. It starts with auditions for her dancers, then goes into rehearsals, and finally, the tour itself in the US and in Europe. There were interviews with Madonna, her band, her dancers, her children, her father, her husband, etc.

I was amazed by the amount of work it takes to set up such a show. Clothes, lighting, sound, choreography... It's all a very well-oiled machine, and Madonna settles for nothing less than the best of course. It is also a very exhausting schedule and very taxing both physically and mentally.

But what was even more amazing was Madonna performing on-stage. She is really something! Keep in mind that this woman is pushing 50 and she looks incredible! She can dance her butt off and invests so much energy into her performances... If I look half as good as Madonna looks at her age, then I'll consider myself lucky. And I would love to be able to watch one of her live shows one day.

Anyway, I was so riveted by the whole thing, I could not stop watching...until 1AM! Needless to say, waking up for work this morning was not a pleasant task.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Paradise Now

A couple of weeks ago, I finally got the chance to watch Paradise Now, a much debated controversial movie about two childhood friends who are recruited for a suicide bombing mission in Tel Aviv.

It's a powerful movie, with great acting (both leading men, Kais Nashef in the role of Said and Ali Suliman as Khaled were extremely good. The "love interest" character however, played by Lubna Azabal, got on my nerves for some reason. And her weird accent, a mix of Palestinian and Moroccan was incomprehensible. Good thing we had subtitles).

The most fascinating part about the movie was seeing the whole preparation process before the two men go on their suicide mission. It really made me want to understand what must be going through these two men's minds as they are getting the explosive devices strapped around their chests. And it boggles my mind that people can be so convinced about a cause, that they would be willing to go through with such an act.

Of course, I do not condone suicide bombings, I think that putting our efforts towards a peaceful agreement is a better option, as opposed to killing innocent people. Easier said than done of course.

Nevertheless, if you do manage to get a hold of Paradise Now, watch it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Work, work, work

Well, it's one of those weeks again. A week where it's raining projects and you have 4 team members that are either a) on holiday b) on sick leave or c) in training

A week where you look at your watch and realise it's 6PM already and think "where has the day gone?"

But then you let out a sigh of relief because now, you can actually finally start getting some uninterrupted work done!

A week where you don't even think of a thing called timesheets, because spending 5 minutes filling them out means 5 minutes taken away from an already maxed out day.

But it's all good. I know that in a couple of weeks, it'll go back to being semi-normal. Plus, I've gotten good at not letting hectic weeks affect me anymore...No more stressing out about deadlines (as much as this is humanely possible. A little bit of stress is good to get everyone out of procrastination mode).

When I started work a few years ago, whenever I'd get worked up and stressed out, one of my very wise ex-bosses used to tell me something I'll always remember: no one is bleeding, no one is dying, you are not saving lives, so keep things in perspective.

Obviously, if you are a doctor and you are reading this, please note that this does not apply to you!

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Anyone know of a good yoga place in or around Media City that gives lessons after 6:30PM? Ashtanga or power yoga preferably. Every place I have found so far does not have convenient timings: either at 6:30AM (who on earth wakes up that early!), or 6:15PM (I never get to leave work at 6PM sharp, it's practically impossible!)

Ideally, 7:30 would be the best time for a yoga would give me time to leave work without being stressed, and it would give me time to get to the yoga place and get changed.

When I was in Montreal, I used to go to a yoga class at least once a week, if not twice. The best class was on Friday evenings, at 6:30 (I finished work at 5 there, so I had time to get to the class). The instructor was simply amazing, and I always finished the class feeling refreshed and relaxed. It was the perfect way to end the week. I miss that feeling!

So, if anyone knows of any classes, please let me know!

Friday, April 21, 2006

You read it here first

In a span of 2 days, two articles appeared in local newspapers covering topics I have covered in my blog. Well actually, they are topics my friend S. covered in the monthly newsletter she sends out.

First, the water conservation issue in yesterday's 7Days, which I discussed here. DEWA, in association with the Body Shop, has launched an awareness campaign to decrease the consumption of water. Apparently water consumption is highest in labourer camps (with 700 litres a day per person). This is all good, but, as an astute reader mentions in today's 7Days, when was the last time you saw a labourer at the Body Shop?

Then, the plastic waste issue in today's Emirates Today, which I had discussed in this post. This is killing hundreds of animals every year: they ingest plastic bags and other plastic items discarded by careless individuals, which ends up causing suffocation or starvation.

It's good to see these issues are finally getting some exposure. The UAE is a long way from being an environmentally-friendly country, and we really must start doing something about this.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

One degree of separation

How funny (and random) is this?

Recently, Mar got in touch with me because she was visiting Dubai and wanted us to meet up. She is thinking of moving to Dubai in the near future.

She called me this afternoon and we chit-chatted on the phone a bit. She asked me where I worked and I told her. It turns out that Mar works for the same company I work for, in Detroit, Michigan. Not only that, she had just been in my office an hour or so before she called me, to meet up with a colleague of mine!! But of course, neither of us knew at the time.

Oh well...We didn't get a chance to meet up this time, but hopefully we will, next time, when and if Mar decides to move here.

That being said, I am big believer in the six degrees of separation theory, which states that anyone on earth can be connected to any other person on the planet through four other people in between. So, for example, I know person A, who knows person B, who knows person C, who knows person D, who knows David Beckham . So, only 4 people are between myself and Becks...or the Queen of England...or Wentworth Miller...yes, I've started watching Prison Break and he is really really hot!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What word to censor?

I wonder what goes through the censor guy's head sometimes. What is going through his mind as he watches movies that are about to air on TV, so he can decide what parts need to be chopped off, and what parts need to be bleeped out? I often wonder if his head is in the right place? Or whether he has a boss that actually double checks if the censor guy is doing his job right? Or even whether he has a manual he can refer to once in a while, to check if he's doing the right job?

I was just watching Someone like you on One TV (for the 5th time at I am not obsessed by the movie, I don't even think it's all that good, but I did rent it once and always end up catching it again either on TV or on a plane or something) and there is one part where Ashley Judd's character (Jane) realizes that men are actually like animals and can't be monogamous or something like that...And suddenly, she screams out: "holy sh*t!".

But of course, given that this is One TV we're talking about, it's censored. No surprise there.

You'd think that it's the word "sh*t" that's edited out.

Think again. It's the word "Holy" that's chopped off. Go figure!

I understand that because of religious sensitivities, the word "Holy" should not be used in a derogatory manner. But censor man could at least have made the effort to edit out the word "sh*t" as well don't you think?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Le difference

I get Campaign magazine on a weekly basis. It's a good publication in general and it allows me to keep up to date with the latest happenings in the advertising industry.

I, like many others, always make it a point to first check out a section called "The Spin" as soon as we receive Campaign, which is a column on the last page of the publication that doesn't spare a single ad or press release or event or article that belongs to the hall of shame.

Messed up on a press release? Well, you can make sure your company's name will be mentioned in the next Spin. Mistake in an article? Your publication will suffer the same fate. Heck, The Spin is where I got the name 6Days from (for those who do not live in the Emirates, the publication is actually called 7Days, but because it's only published 6 days a week, the Spin calls it 6Days).

So, obviously Campaign prides itself in the quality of its journalism. So why is it that they made a mistake in today's edition?

OK, so it was a mistake using a foreign word. Some might think this is forgiveable, because it's a foreign word. Au contraire! Publications need to be more vigilant when using foreign words or expressions. And it's not the first time I have spotted a mistake with the use of a foreign language.

Today's mistake was in the headline of an article about Maurice Levy, group chairman of Publicis Groupe: Can Publicis make le difference?

It's LA! LA! LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA différence...not LE! LA différence.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Housing fee

Last week, newspapers announced the everyone in Dubai will have to pay a 5% housing fee on tenancy contracts. This fee has been collected since January of last year, however not everyone pays it yet, because not everyone gets charged for it.

This fee is usually charged on the DEWA bill, and some tenants do get charged, but a lot of others don't. In my office, we usually all get our DEWA bills at the same time, and we usually all compare our bills. A lot of my colleagues (some are even my neighbours) are not charged this municipality fee for some reason, whereas I get charged every single month.

It's really unfair because it really makes a huge difference on my bill total! My electricity and water charges usually come up to around 70 dhs only every month, but then my municipality fee adds another 265 dhs to the bill! And this is about to go up next month with my increase in rent.

If I am paying this stupid fee then everyone else should pay it as well. That's why I think it is high time Dubai Municipality ensures everyone gets treated equally. Either make sure everyone pays this fee, or simply abolish it. I vote for abolishing it. Isn't the UAE supposed to be a tax-free haven? Well, this is a tax disguised as a "municipality fee". How come it's only Dubai residents that have to pay this? Why are other Emirates exempted?

Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

You can make a difference - Tip 3

It's been a while since the last You can make a difference tip. My friend S. who usually sends us the tips has been busy...or lazy...or both :)

OK, OK, I can't really blame her, she recently started a new job, and it has been an overwhelming period for her, to say the least. But she still managed to find the time to send a new tip, so here it is:

This month’s tip is about batteries.

Problem is, they are dumped like harmless candy.

When batteries corrode, their toxic content (lead, lithium and mercury to name a few) leak into the ground, and eventually get into the water. These heavy metals build up in animals that drink the water and in humans who eat them.

Facts: Lead, used as a sweetener for wine by the Romans is believed to be the cause of the recorded dementia of Roman Emperors, and thus ... the fall of the Roman Empire!

“Mad as a hatter”: working every day with mercury-soaked felt turned hat makers crazy.

Today, the most common way people get poisoned by mercury is by eating mercury-contaminated fish.

Fish belong in the sea anyways - not in tummies! :)

Sounds good. I am not a big consumer of batteries anyway, I only buy them for my remote control. But if you are a big battery consumer, be careful where you discard them.

And S., I don't agree with your last statement...I love eating fish too much. And, FYI, your sister ate lots of fish on today's boat that your mother bought...Hehe...I think you need to have a nice long chat with them :)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Dubai Sunset


I just got back from the Jamiroquai concert in Media City. It was fun. And I was impressed by how well organized it was.

The concert was supposed to start at 9PM, but it started half an hour late. The music was good, the weather was perfect, and everyone seemed to be having fun.

Jay Kay and his band entertained us for close to 2 hours, with hits like Deeper Underground, Dynamite, Don't Give Hate a Chance, and Cosmic Girl.

Lead singer Jay Kay is simply full of energy. He danced and jumped around the stage throughout the whole concert, wearing sweat pants, a sweater and one of his trademark funny-looking hats. No wonder he's so skinny!

All in all, it was good fun. Not the most amazing concert ever (I am sure Robbie Williams' concert will be much better, unfortunately I do not have tickets....I refuse to wait in line for 3 hours to get a ticket, no matter who is performing), but it was entertaining. My only disappointment (and it's a major disappointment) is that he did not sing Virtual Insanity, or Corner of the Earth. But it's OK Jay Kay, I forgive you. Your cuteness makes up for that misstep.

Oh and the food prices were a ripoff! 20 dhs for a hotdog? And it wasn't even worth it!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Crazy TomKat

I cannot believe anyone who has a sane mind can think that this is even close to normal.

We all heard a few months ago that Katie Holmes, who is expecting Tom Cruise's child any minute now, is supposed to give birth in complete silence. According to Scientology beliefs, the noises the mother and those around her make during childbirth can be a source of trauma for the newborn child, which is why a silent birth is necessary.

Well, now, it seems that Katie cannot even talk to her baby for seven days after the childbirth. Apparently newborns must not hear their mother speak so that they do not associate her voice with the trauma of birth.

My question is, how come hearing the father's voice has no impact on the baby's trauma level?

Oh, and apparently, after the birth, the baby is supposed to be wrapped somewhat tightly in a warm blanket, and then left alone for a day or so.

And, (oh yes...there's more!) no medical examinations must take place within the first week of the baby's life.

They can't be serious, can they?

Katie, darling, a word of advice. For your sake, and for the sake of that unborn child, RUN while you still can. Don't you see that you're getting sucked into a cult? Hasn't any of this raised any red flags in that brain of yours? Has Tom hypnotized you or something, because I really don't see how someone can go from being a seemingly normal person to accepting such crap.

Click here to find out more about scientology.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Born into brothels

I recently watched an incredible documentary called "Born into brothels" and I highly recommend it.

In 1997, Zana Briski, a photographer, decided to spend some time in the red light district of Calcutta, to work on a project on prostitutes living in the brothels. She ended up becoming fascinated by the children of these prostitutes, who also lived in the brothels. She decided to give a few of these children photography lessons, and even managed to give them each a camera of their own, encouraging them to take their own pictures. The results are stunning. Some of these kids really do have an undiscovered talent.

But beyond the pictures, what really touched me was the's their tears and their smiles, their wisdom and their innocence, their dreams and their fears, the sadness in their eyes, the cruel and harsh world they live in, and the incredible optimism that puts everything into perspective.

It was really an eye-opening documentary. And after watching it, I realized that our world is not all that bad. And that we can make a difference, as cliché as that sounds. And that it's the little things that really matter. All these kids needed was someone that would give them a chance. And Zana Briski did just that. By simply giving them a camera, she was able to make a difference in their lives. She was able to bring hope into their lives. She was able to make them realize that just because they were born into brothels doesn't mean they should remain there for the rest of their lives.

Zana Briski has since created a foundation called "Kids with Cameras", a non-profit organization that teaches the art of photography to marginalized children in communities around the world.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Cool site

I came across this site called NNDB (Tracking the Entire World). It's basically a database of around 17,500 people (famous and less famous), with information about their work, date of birth, husbands, siblings, parents, religion, sexual orientation, boyfriends, girlfriends, divorces, education, etc.

Pretty cool. Check it out.

Tyra TV

Have you ever seen Tyra Bank's talk show on One TV on weekday mornings? I have happened to catch it on a couple of occasions (just because there's nothing else on TV at that time), and it's really bad!

First of all, what qualifies a supermodel to become a talk show host? Just because she was a judge on "America's next top model" does not qualify her to become a talk show host!

Secondly, every single episode I have seen so far (and I have seen about 4 or 5) talks about modelling. On one episode, she went on a hunt for the next big thing in modelling. On another episode, she interviews supermodel Twiggy. On yet another one, she had Heidi Klum and another bunch of supermodels sharing their beauty secrets. It's all about modelling! Does she not know about anything unrelated to modelling?

And finally, I just hate the way she walks when the show starts....she walks onto the stage as if she is on a catwalk strutting her stuff...Tyra, it's a talk show not a fashion show! Plus she always has to, at one point in every episode, show her audience how models pose for a photo shoot....So annooooooooooying....

I'm gonna stop watching...really :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tomorrow is off....



Saturday, April 08, 2006

Dirty car

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was stopped by a cop and he told me that I had to wash my car. Well here's the full story:

Dubai Police are finally doing something about the traffic and driving woes, and there are a bunch of unmarked police cars roaming the city in search of offenders.

At the Internet City entrance off of Sheikh Zayed Road, there have been 2 police motorcycles all week, stopping random cars and giving fines to those who cut the line. They asked me to pull over one morning (I had not done anything wrong....I am a law-abiding citizen), and asked for my license and registration. I gave the 2 documents to the cop who checked them and then said ok fine you can go.

But then he runs his finger on my car and says "oh and wash your car because it's very dirty". I smile and say "yes but it rained two days ago and it dirtied my car". He looks at me and says very seriously "I am not joking, you can get a fine".

I got pissed off! (after I drove off of course)

For one, my car is usually clean. I get it washed every weekend (my wonderful father takes his car and mine to the carwash every Friday morning....I love my dad....). But I had not washed it last weekend because I stayed in Dubai (and my father is in Abu Dhabi), and I was too lazy to take it myself. Also, it did, in fact, rain a couple of days before the cop stopped me, and rain in the UAE does nothing but sprinkle a layer of dust on everything.

Also, I work from 9AM to 8PM on a slow day. And usually, by the time I leave work, I just want to go home, or hang out with my friends. So, tell me, when am I supposed to wash my car?

Oh, and this weekend, I did wash my car on Friday morning. And last night, it rained again, just a teeny weeny little bit.

Just enough to dirty my car all over again.

Friday, April 07, 2006

365 days

A year ago today, I was heading towards a new adventure. I was on my way from Montreal to Dubai, this time for good. Yes, it's been a year, and it feels like it was only yesterday.

Where have the days gone? The year has gone by in a blur.

I vaguely remember my last week in Montreal:

Boxes, boxes and more boxes. The invaluable help of my dear friend Chazoo, without whom I could never have gotten my appartment cleared out in time.

Farewell drinks at GoGo lounge (I miss that place) with people I had known for several years, and others I had known for just a few months.

A lunch with my dear colleagues whom I had grown extremely attached to. I miss chit-chatting and laughing with them.

A week spent at my best friend Ned's place (because I had sold everything, including my bed). Her family is my second family. I remember how she and my other good friend Jones dropped me off at the airport, and how it still hadn't hit me that I was leaving for good. I could not cry. I didn't realise that I was leaving after 10 years in Monty. But then, when I was all alone, waiting for my flight to board, I decided to open up the card Ned had given me. And then I couldn't stop. The tears kept flowing. I just wanted to go back in time. Go back to my old life. Go back to my lovely apartment on De la Montagne. Go back to hug my poor cat Shrimpie, who was now in the unfamiliar yet loving home of my dear friend H.

But I couldn't. It was too late. A chapter had ended. A whole book had ended. A new story was about to begin. New place. New friends. New job. New car. New furniture. New roads. New apartment.

New life.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

What's this ad for?

Have any of you come across this ad lately? Actually it's a series of ads that form a teaser campaign. A few days ago, I saw one that said "We are gathered here today" and shows a wider shot of the same veiled woman.

This one says "Until death do us part". The woman is holding what looks like red flowers, and the whole setting is dark and gloomy, with a cloudy sky and a moon behind the woman.

A colleague thinks it might be an awareness campaign for something like dangerous driving or some other cause. I'm not sure. Do any of you have any idea?

Update: I got my answer this morning. It's a play called "Blood Wedding", written by famed Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. I think having teaser ads for a play is pretty stupid. I thought it was something much more interesting (and much more important), and finding out it's a play is such a let-down.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Me, myself and I

My sister tagged me (sort of), with a post entitled "Me, myself and I", so here goes (and let me tell you, it ain't easy!):

I am not: sure where home is
I love: shoes
I hate: stupidity
I fear: getting hurt (and driving in Dubai...but that's another story)
I hope: to be able to have my dad walk me down the aisle one day
I hear: the constant humming noise coming from my fridge
I crave: affection
I regret: being too serious
I cry: in public sometimes, alone most of the time
I care: way too much
I always: read before going to bed
I feel alone: when I see a happy couple
I listen: to music in my car
I hide: my true feelings
I drive: a dirty car (well, today it's really dirty, and I got stopped by a cop who checked my license and registration and scolded me for having a dirty car)
I dance: salsa sometimes
I write: lots and lots of e-mails in a day (and practically every day on my blog)
I act: very badly when I try to pretend I enjoy talking to someone I really can't stand
I miss: sitting around the kitchen table to have dinner with my family when I am away from them
I learn: something new every day
I feel: shy when I am around people I don't know
I know: I am going to turn this post into an official tag
I sleep: too late (and wake up tired)
I wonder: why my family's so messed up sometimes
I want: to be happy
I worry: about losing the ones I love
I have: to make an effort to meet new people
I fight: for ideas I believe in
I need: to buy bar stools
I am: beginning to get annoyed by this post (it's so hard!)
I think: I need to start going to yoga classes again

So, this has officially become a new tag, and I am tagging the following 3 people:
- Mar
- Keefieboy

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Emirates Palace

I finally visited Emirates Palace a couple of weeks ago. I am in Abu Dhabi almost every weekend, but I still had not had the chance to visit the hotel, so I was happy to finally get the chance to see what everyone was talking about.

The outside of the hotel is absolutely breathtaking. Like something out of a fairy tale. Once you pass the gates, you enter an absolutely humongous garden with palm trees all over, which makes you feel like you are somewhere foreign and exotic.

The inside of the hotel is the definition of opulence and wealth. Everything is golden. Gold, gold, and more gold, everywhere you go. Obviously it's impressive (and pricey), but it's definitely not my kind of style. I much prefer the boutique hotels designed by Ian Schrager/Philippe Starck for example. Check them out, they are absolutely breathtaking!

Anyway I took a couple of pictures. Unfortunately it was nightime, and the outside pictures did not turn out so great.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Blog Stats - March 2006

The month of March saw yet another increase in the number of unique visitors that came to my blog: 4,259 visitors, compared to 2,681 in March. The number of hits has reached a cumulative total of more than 6,800 compared to 4,300 a month ago.

I am hoping to be able to keep this up...So keep visiting :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

No payphones?

Are there any payphones in this country? I never thought of this until this weekend. A friend was visiting from out of town, and she was supposed to call me at one point during the day. Her Canadian cell phone did not work here, so logically, she searched for a payphone. She was at Mall of the Emirates and could not find a single one! So she had to go into a shop and ask the shopkeeper if she could use the phone, which, luckily, he was nice enough to let her do.

Come to think of it, I have never seen a single payphone here. Do they exist? Or is it simply assumed that everyone has a cell phone, so no need for payphones?

Every Tom, Dick and Harry owns a cell phone. Even 8 year old kids own cell phones. But what happens if you are a tourist here and need to call your friend at the hotel? Or what if your mobile phone runs out of battery and you really need to call someone to let them know where you are? Then what?

In fact I remember one time, when I was on my way back from Montreal to Abu Dhabi, and the plane could not land in A-D because it was too foggy. So we ended up landing in Dubai and taking buses to A-D. As soon as we landed I went on a desperate search for a payphone so I could call my dad to let him know about the delay. And although I did find a phone, I could not use it because it required a calling card. There was no way I could simply insert a Dirham in a payphone and call. I did not have the time to look for a place that sold calling cards as I was about to miss the bus, so I ended up asking an airport employee if I could make a call from his mobile, which he let me do.

Although payphones may not be as needed as in some Western countries, I still think it's important to have some available everywhere. And, if anything, I'd just like to see what a UAE payphone looks like!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

No longer 6Days?

Could it be that 7Days is actually going to be published 7 days a week from now on? In the past, despite being called 7Days, the newspaper was only published 6 days a week, with Saturday being the "day off".

This morning, as I walked through the lobby of my building, I find some copies lying around, so I grab one thinking they were leftovers from yesterday. And, surprise! It is actually today's paper!

I don't know if this is an exception.

Anyway, if you happen to come across a 7Days today, check it out, if only for all the Virgin ads that are in there. They've basically painted the whole newspaper red! (I did not see any other advertiser in there, so it's a Virgin-dedicated 7Days). Every single page has at least one (if not more than one) ad for Virgin. And they are quite tongue in cheek, very much in line with what Virgin has done in the past.

There's a bit of arrogance: "We heard Dubai does everything bigger and better, so do we", a dash of creativity: "The world's smallest crossword.....Something to keep you occupied while you check in", new vocabulary: "Jetiquette", there's the Virgin horoscope, then there's a cheeky retort to Harvey Nichol's "Forget London" ads, with a full page simply stating "Don't forget London", there's a "Virgin Sudoku", and even a "Movies this month on Virgin Atlantic" section next to the Cinema listing.

And of course, there is a spelling mistake (it wouldn't be 7Days without a spelling mistake now would it?). One of the Virgin ads claims "The Freedom Menu let's you eat whenever you please".

All in all, very catchy and very impressive. Oh, and I love Richard Branson :)