Got any gossip? Tip off the Taxiwallah: alaintaxi@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Living the sweet screw

What's this? Al Ain's popular Italian restaurant and nightclub may have a rather funky sign these days but they should've checked their Italian dictionary first.

'Vite' means screw, the thing you find in your toolbox. What they meant to say was 'vita'.

Oh well, I don't suppose many people will notice.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Maafi Parklife

Al Ain is famous, at least within the UAE, for its wonderful parks and gardens. Now that its cooling off, we can finally get out and enjoy them. Well, after 4pm we can...

Why 4pm? What's going on with the rest of the day? I asked once and was told it was because everyone is working and nobody wants to go to the park in the morning and early afternoon.

What about mothers with pre school children who would appreciate a stroll through a natural environment rather than a fake one (mall)? What about the elderly, the infirm and all those who are not at 'duty'? ( hate that term for work, I've only heard it here and it makes me fume when I hear it).

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Monday, November 20, 2006

The priciest boozer in town...

One of my favourite drinking spots in Dubai is the wonderful 'Up on the Tenth' bar in the Intercon. It's expensive, oh yes, but it's like being on the set of Miami Vice or Moonlighting. It's so 80s, all that black and chrome plus the smoky lounge environment and all that sweet jazz music wafting around- I love it! Next time I will dig out that black velvet puffball number with the shoulder pads.

However, when in Al Ain I don't expect to take out a mortgage to buy a beer. This was one of the comments falling from expat lips over the weekend. Were they talking about Trader Vics (which we all know is not cheap)? No! They were talking about the HnJ*!

OMG, the wonderful HnJ. Dark interior, bum crushing seats, fag-stained wallpaper- no more. Bring on the subtle lighting, the dance floor, the 'Hoxton' seats, the extended terrace. The place looks wonderful; well done Intercon for dragging the place into 2006. BUT what have you done with the prices!!!

There are two ways to look at this. Going to the HnJ will become a treat, something worth dressing up a bit for. If you want to pour booze down your throat there are now cheaper places to go to. This gives the HnJ a new exclusivity and keeps the riff raff out (you know who you are and I'm saying it as a compliment not a diss). However, this means that the HnJ will be dead for most nights of the week while everyone else is p****** it up in Pacos. The HnJ will have to raise their prices even more!

OR.... The HnJ lowers their prices to pre-refurbishment levels, everyone comes back including new clientele who have heard how reasonable the prices are and how much nicer it is in there than Pacos. Voila! The HnJ are quids in plus good ole Jaysun B is happy too. And Jaysun B is the nearest thing we have to a Catboy in Al Ain (is that a good thing????)

* For non-Al Ainites, HnJ stands for 'Horse and Jockey', the famous British-style pub in the Intercontinental Hotel.


Just had an e mail in from a matey on this subject. She has Jaysun B's word on this matter, he posted this on the HnJ forum a couple of weeks ago:

"I will tell you though, that, as a policy of the H&J, we will not
stoop to our Hotel competitors desperate attempts to keep on slashing
prices to attract more people. We do have a more superior venue,
with a brand new extension and lay out, superior entertainment
including all the live sporting events and an exceptional service
that is provided by our very experienced colleagues plus much more on
offer here at the H&J"

So there you go folks, they're staying upmarket and keeping the prices.

Taxi's opinion: put the prices back to pre-refurbishment levels and everyone will be happy. The HnJ was always dearer than Pacos back then but nobody minded so much.

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World money laundering experts meet in Al Ain

"About 14 Arab countries
and three Western nations
gathered in Al Ain for the
Middle East and North Africa
Financial Action Task Force
(MENAFATF) 4th Plenary
Meeting and Typologies
Workshop to talk about on
how they would combat
issues of money laundering,
drugs and terrorism while still
maintaining cooperation and
solidarity among them"

From Al Ain Times, 18th-20th November, page 3.

That's cleared that up then. Reading that headline, I had a wonderful image in my mind of various international 'Most Wanteds' gathering over coffee and dates to discuss the best way to turn filthy funds into clean cash. Now that would be a scoop for Al Ain Times....

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Al Ain Taxi in Al Ain Times

Miranda from Al Ain Times has been hounding me for the past few weeks. Her colleague, Lucky Mae has also sent me a few e mails as well. Miranda has promised to protect my anonymity and not let the paper's photographer come within miles of the interview. So who shall I go with?

I'm still not sure if I'm going to do this...advice anyone?

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