Saturday, June 13, 2009

Everything you wanted to know about the UAE but didn't care enough to ask

This guy purports to have all the answers.

I came across "Ask Ali" while reading an open letter from him to Paris Hilton, who somewhat unbelievably is here to shoot part of her new TV show. His first bit of advice? Don't bring any, er, homemade adult entertainment into the country.

Probably good advice wherever you go.

The guidelines for expats on his site are interesting, mostly because they describe a scenario more conservative than what I have witnessed here. For example, he says, "Shorts are generally not acceptable for men or women." But the reality, at least through my eyes, is more like, "Shorts are quite informal." No one is going to be offended unless you have wandered into a mosque or a five-star restaurant.

Anyway. He does have quite a bit of practical information in there, such as phone numbers, government offices and procedures for various things. And it is interesting that he has commoditized himself as a cultural instructor. But hey, that's capitalism--one philosophy that both Westerners and Emiratis have embraced wholeheartedly.

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