My Dubai Trip 05/07

Post by Mark

I got back from Dubai last night and since I averaged around 5 hours sleep a night I was really exhausted when I got back. Here are s

The Flight
We took the Sri Lanken airlines to Dubai for two reasons, the first was because it was an early flight (before the 2 hour delay) and the second because I was told the Sri Lanken airlines is owned by Emirates they are the same. Well they aren’t. I think all the old Emirates planes get handed down to the Sri Laken airlines. The two planes were old and setup very similarly to the Kuwait Airways ones meaning no entertainment jukebox of the Emirates with over 300 things to watch. If you want to drink water on the plane its not bottled but out of a jug, even Jazeera Airways gives passengers bottled water and for free.

sapphire hotel dubai

The Hotel
We stayed at the Sapphire Hotel which was located very close to Dubai Media City where the Young Lions Competition was being held and it was also close to the Mall of the Emirates. The hotel felt more like a furnished apartment because I had a small kitchen, large fridge and even a washing machine. The staff weren’t good communicators and they all felt untrained. They have Internet access in all the rooms via Wifi and it costs 15 Dhms per hour. Problem was that even with my very sensitive MacBook I was only able to get a decent signal from inside the closet located near the rooms main entrance. Finally, no cab driver had heard of the hotel so every time we took a cab we had to give the driver directions.

Lina’s Cafe
Had the Turkey Fillet with cheese sandwich on Wednesday for lunch. It was so good we actually went back Thursday to have the exact same thing for lunch again.

The Butcher
Wednesday night we had dinner at The Butcher in the Mall of the Emirates. I had the steak fillet which was above average but nothing special. The restaurants name is cooler then the food.

Virgin Megastore in Dubai don’t sell the Arabic book Chicago, which was the book that supposedly shutdown Virgin in Kuwait. Borders on the other hand which was located a few stores away did sell the book. I should have gotten a bunch and sold them here in Kuwait on the black market.

We took a lot of cabs in Dubai since it was our only mean of getting around. Cab drivers were mostly friendly and easy to converse with except for one driver who turned out had been in Dubai for just a month and reminded us a lot of Borat. One tip, if you are leaving Mall of the Emirates at 10pm and notice there is a long long long line of people waiting for a cab in a very orderly fashion… don’t wait with them. Just walk 20 meters to the main road and grab a passing cab from there, it will save you at least 30 minutes of waiting. Seriously the line was as long as those at six flags or Disney. I should really have taken a picture! Vallet parking at the mall is 50 Dhms (KD4).

prada sneakers

Aï Zone
Found a really cool pair of Prada sneakers at Aï Zone, there was no price tag on them so I figured if I have to ask then I probably can’t afford them.

passport cover

Passport Covers
One quick question. At the Dubai airport they had a large stand selling passport covers. Now my question is this, can I use a passport cover of a different country on my passport? For example can I buy the Russian passport cover and then use it to cover my Canadian passport?

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The Real Mark

Post by Mark

It seems there is someone going around pretending to be me and leaving some strange and nasty comments on various blogs. Well that person is not me and the easy way to tell is from the email address they use. The fake mark uses the email address while I use a completely different one. I only post comments on a few blogs and those bloggers know the email address I use.

Just a heads up…

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Double Decker

Post by Mark

double decker

Just got back from the Double Decker pub here in Dubai. Me and my friend went there after Mall of the Emirartes to watch the AC Milan vs Manchester United match. The place was super packed, like so packed people were backed up all the way to the hallway entrance. I didn’t get to ski tonight because the slope was pretty packed but hopefully tomorrow while everyone is at work it won’t be so crowded. Other then that I have to say I love the Mall of the Emirates, every-time I go there I discover something new. Today for example I discovered two wings I didn’t know about and thats after spending hours previously making sure I saw every part of it!

My flight tomorrow is 5 in the evening so I am hoping to get a good nights sleep now and then go do a bit of shopping before I head out to the airport.

note: the hotel I am in has wifi but the signal is so weak that I am actually standing inside the cupboard near the rooms door typing this post!

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Young Creatives Competition

Post by Mark

young creatives

Today was the Young Creatives competition in Dubai. Our flight arrived last night at around 1AM to Dubai and by the time we got to the hotel it was 2. Still, we managed to wake up at 7 and headed to Dubai Media City where the Cannes Lions competition was being held.

At 9AM we were briefed by the client which turned out to be WFP (World Food Program) and we had to come up with a campaign that would help promote their Food for Education program. We had until 6PM to come up and execute our ideas which was a surprise because we were told originally to expect 12 hours to work on it.

Anyway we managed to come up with around 19 different ideas which we finally narrowed down to three and then to just two which was the maximum amount of creative work we could present. We are pretty confident one of our ideas should get us in the top 3 but we will have to wait and see.

At the start of the event they introduced me and my partner as the only team that isn’t from Dubai. Turns out this was the first time a team from outside of Dubai participated which put Kuwait in the spotlight. My partner is Kuwaiti and I grew up in Kuwait so we were truly representing Kuwait.

Hopefully one of our directions hits the top 3, we should find out the results by May 8th I believe. I will try to post our favorite direction here but at the moment I am not sure if I am allowed to. I am going to go skiing now so will I post again later on tonight once I come back.

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AUK Carnival

Post by Mark

American University of Kuwait which is located in Salmiya is having a carnival/open-day this Thursday from 10am till 5pm.

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At the airport

Post by Mark

I am at the airport now waiting for a flight to Dubai. Originally we were supposed to leave on the Sri Lanken airlines flight at 7:10 but that got delayed till around 9:30. Problem is there is a soccer match tonight and me and my partner are supposed to watch it at the Double Decker pub in Dubai. We tried getting on the Emirates airline flight which takes off at 6 but it was fully booked and in the end there was only 1 seat left and they gave it to this guy who had like a gold skywards card or something.

I am now sitting in Starbucks just waiting for our late flight. We are going to miss the soccer match which I was looking forward to watching…

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Backstage at BMW

Post by Mark

bmw garage

I finally picked up my car today from the BMW dealer but before I picked it up I got taken backstage to the garage and given a short tour plus introduced to a few people.

Overall I found the employees backstage to be a lot friendlier and more interesting then the people they have in the front dealing with customers which is kind of ironic. They told me they had received calls from various people around the world regarding my email and post (thanks to everyone who told me to email BMW in Germany and Dubai). The workshop manager told me no case ever grew to this proportion and that next week a delegation is even coming to Kuwait to check on the problems.

I told the workshop manager I was positive they weren’t coming because of my complaint alone but because they had been receiving a lot of complaints from many people. I also told him I wouldn’t have even sent out the emails or posted what I posted had there been friendly and good customer service.

Anyway they fixed the car and didn’t charge me for it and now its running perfectly so I am happy.

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Egyptian Movie Posters

Post by Mark

A large collection of old and new Egyptian movie posters. I don’t know whats funnier the posters or the names of the movies translated to English. [Link]

Thanks Holla

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Harlequin Babies

Post by Mark

Someone emailed me a video today showing a really freaky looking baby. You can check the video [Here] but its not for the faint of heart.

It turns out the baby had a severe skin disease and that these babies are usually called Harlequin Babies. I found a lot of information about these babies online and its really sad. If you are interested in finding out more here are some links. Again they are pretty graphic so you might not want to check them.

Video from HalaQ8
Video from Google
Pictures and information
More pictures
Wikipedia entry

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The Last Flight to Kuwait

Post by Mark

Flight 149

I started watching this documentary/movie called The Last Flight to Kuwait which talks about the British Airways flight 149 that landed in Kuwait just as Iraq was invading back in 1990. I don’t know how accurate it is but it looks like its based on facts.

There always was a conspiracy surrounding the reason the BA flight landed in Kuwait. According to Wikipedia the flight landed after the invasion had begun but according to the documentary it landed just before. In any case, the documentary talks about the reason the plane landed in Kuwait which was because there were eight MI6 (the British secret intelligence service) agents that the British government wanted to position in Kuwait. It sounds very plausible especially since there is no other reason why BA didn’t cancel the flight like every other airline that night.

If you can manage to get a hold of the movie its definitely worth watching. The movie is a combination of real footage from the war, reenacted scenes and interviews with some of the passengers and crew of that flight.

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