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Friday, March 24, 2006

You heard it here first

Al Ain is going to have its own newspaper. The first issue is expected in May and it will be called the Al Ain Times.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What the tortoise taught us

Most pet shops in the UAE keep their animals in appalling conditions, like this poor tortoise. No food, no water, no sunlight, no heat. All the things that a reptile needs to survive.

On top of this, it is illegal to import tortoises into the UAE. The country is signed up to CITES (well done UAE!) If you see a pet shop selling tortoises it is likely that they are illegally imported and the shop owner is breaking the law. You can report them to you local CITES office here in the UAE.

Animal welfare is improving here as the authorities continue to clamp down on cruelty and people are becoming more educated. Sheikh Zayed was a champion for the environment and wildlife, so lets make the UAE a better place for animals. Posted by Picasa

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Brain Drain of Al Ain

In fact, it is the same ego that when offering a prospective employee a salary and benefits package, there is the air of "TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT". (That is another story entirely that is going to come crashing down on the UAE...it's called the brain drain.)

Says Dubai Bigus in a post about consumer rights in the UAE. It's interesting that they've mentioned the 'brain drain' that's going on, because living in Al Ain and knowing many academics (UAEU/HCT) and doctors (Tawam) that work here, I know exactly what they're talking about.

I remember once upon a time there was a brain drain in the UK. Academics with the ink still drying on their PhD certificates would say goodbye to their Alma Mater and head for pastures foreign to earn much more that they could in the motherland. One such country to benefit was the UAE. The UAE got wise to this and decided that it wouldn't take much of an incentive to get the brains to come to the country; maybe free housing would do it, no need to raise the salary because it was tax free anyway. As we all know, the stream of western academics wanting to come to the UAE is endless, right? You can raise their living standards a tinsy bit more than what they would have back home and they'd all come running, right?

Wrong. People are getting fed up. They were fed on the promise of a 15% pay rise. It never came. Rumours spread that the cost of living was going to rise, that came.

The result is that it seems half of Al Ain is packing up and going home this summer. Which leaves what? A few die-hards that are committed to health care and education in this country and the rest who couldn't get out this year but are trying for the next.

You pay people a good salary and they will stay and work their b***s off. You keep chipping away at people's benefits and they will leave. Then who will heal the sick and teach the young?

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Thursday, March 02, 2006


I've been tagged by Keefieboy, didn't follow instructions and now I'm driving around Al Ain as a frog. I have been getting more fares this way though, it must be the novelty value. However, I can't stand it anymore so I will answer Keefie's questions and pass the tag on.

Four Jobs I've Had

Coffee making gimp, Selfridges, London
Salesperson in shoe shop selling kinky boots in Carnaby Street, London
Telesales Agent
Minicab Driver, London

Four Movies I Watch Over And Over:

Sleeping With The Enemy
The Commitments
Fight Club

Four Places I've Lived

Al Ain

Four TV Shows I Like

Coronation Street
Match Of The Day

Four Places I've Vacationed


Four Favourite Dishes

Fish and Chips
Steak and Kidney Pie
Spaghetti Carbonara

Four Sites I Visit Daily

Secret Dubai
The Religious Policeman
CNN Online

Four Books I've Read In The Last Year

The Bible
The Rough Guide To Thailand
Blue Peter Annual 2006
Life of Pi

Four Bloggers I'm Going To Tag:

Jenny Foreigner
Bss N Brn
Thoughts From Dubai
Punk Dervish