AOB – January 2017

31 January 2017

Bit out of date here. Apologies.

Tai and I were in the UK for a week….flying into Birmingham. Two nights in Stratford and then down to Devon.

The family has plans to move Mum close to Tim near Abingdon in Oxfordshire. There is a lot to do to get ready for the move. Saw solicitors and auctioneers while we were there.

Some lovely cold blue sky English weather.

Then I went to Thailand for my third annual road trip with Dennis….out of Chiang Rai this year to PhaYao, Nan and Pua.

A few pictures will follow when I get back to Dubai.

17 January 2017

Just a reminder: the inauguration of Donald Trump – as the 45th President of the United States – will take place on Friday, January 20 on the West Front of the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

The event will begin at noon (5pm GMT 9pm in Dubai). It will start at the White House and end at a number of Inaugural Balls across the city.

16 January 2017

Other than taking an A380 to Sao Paulo there is nothing new from Emirates.

13 January 2017

Rumours of a big Emirates announcement on Sunday 15th.

Nice to catch up with Marco, Kaye and their son, Jake, today. They will soon be leaving Dubai. Marco has been here for almost ten years with Emirates. Ground down by exhausting rostering he is leaving – for a Chicago base with a Chinese airline. I hope it works out for the whole family.

From Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch today:

“Donald Trump’s successful campaign for the US presidency was a vivid illustration of this politics of intolerance. Sometimes overtly, sometimes through code and indirection, he spoke to many Americans’ discontent with economic stagnation and an increasingly multicultural society in a way that breached basic principles of dignity and equality. He stereotyped migrants, vilified refugees, attacked a judge for his Mexican ancestry, mocked a journalist with disabilities, dismissed multiple allegations of sexual assault, and pledged to roll back women’s ability to control their own fertility.”

More here: The Dangerous Rise of Populism

12 January 2017

Emirates announced today that it will further expand its European network with the introduction of a daily flight from Dubai to Zagreb (ZAG), the capital of Croatia from June 1, 2017.

Scheduled flight times for EK129 are departing Dubai at 08:15hours and arriving in Zagreb at 12:20hours local time with the return flight EK130 departing Zagreb at 15:35hours and arriving in Dubai at 23:05hours.

Just a rumour – that Herr Mueller may be leaving Emirates. That would be bad news if true – I think it unlikely. But just maybe he did what every expat knows not to do, and became too critical on the locals working for EK and/or the Sheikh.

Just a rumour!

11 January 2017

My ex-colleagues Andrew MacGregor Marshall was described on facebook today as “not a normal journalist.”

This was by an ex features editor of the Straits Times now living and working in Thailand.

Which makes you wonder: what is Mr. Wee’s definition of a “normal journalist”.

Are, for instance, normal journalists expected to support military dictatorships; the detention and attitude adjustment of journalists; the use of military courts to try private citizens?
Does a normal journalist accept that an unelected government should use censorship, intimidation, and legal action to suppress freedom of speech?
10 January 2017
Back from four nights in Hong Kong; unusually warm for January. Caught up with Alex over lunch in Stanley.

Spent a fun day visiting Tai O over on Lantau Island – and spent a good day exploring the island and kowloon side on my own.And saw one of Cathay Pacific’s new A350s.

A good trip.

2 January 2017

And another new mega-project for DXB – and years more traffic chaos at JBR –

Dubai Harbour:

The site is spread over 20 million sq. feet, between JBR and the Palm Jumairah. It will include a 1400-berth marina as well as a cruise ship port and terminal, a shopping mall covering 3.5 million sq. feet, an events arena, luxurious residential buildings, hotels, offices, retail stores, public services, restaurants and cafes and the ‘Dubai Lighthouse’.

The masterplan of the new destination integrates Skydive Dubai, Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) and Logo Island into a single community. The ‘Dubai Harbour’ project will be completed in four years once ground has been broken.

Call me old-fashioned but it would be nice to see something finished!
Strange news from Dubai’s leading football club today:

The chairman and board members of the Al Ahli Sports Club in Dubai have been dismissed from their roles with immediate effect, it was announced on Sunday, January 1.

They were relieved of their duties under a resolution issued by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, official news agency WAM reported.

The newspapers gave no other information or background. But something must be serious for Dubai’s ruler to intervene.

1 January 2017

A nice evening last night – with a few friends – food, wine and fireworks. So nice just to be able to sit out on the balcony and watch rather than battling through the crowds.

So another year! I do wonder where we will be in twelve months time.