Saturday, 6 December 2008

Winter sunshine

It's been a while since my last post. Dubai comes to life when the weather gets a bit cooler (that's if you consider 22- 30 degrees cooler). There has been so much on since my last post.

Firstly we had Queen with Paul Rogers playing at Festival City. No I've been a Queen fan all my life and I've never sen them live. I'd tried and failed on two other occasions, so i wasn't going to miss out this time. We splashed out and got VIP tickets. It was well worth it. I had an absolute blast. We were right in the front, literally 5 meters from the band. It was like having an intimate evening with Queen in my own living room.

There were quite a few grey hairs in the audience to match Roger Taylor but (Doctor) Brian May hasn't changed his hair in 30 years, we were wondering if he's actually bald. The years have certainly not affected their ability to entertain. I just wish I'd seen them live during their heyday.

Following Queen we had Kylie at the same venue. I didn't go, but by all accounts she was brilliant as well. She was over to perform the opening ceremony at the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm Jumeriah, which culminated in the worlds largest fireworks display. I missed that as well, as I was knackered, however I think you probably needed a helicopter, plane or low orbit space craft to appreciate the scale of it.

The Dubai 7's are the biggest 7's tournament in the world. The tickets are usually sold out winthin days. This year was no exception. The 7's were held in a brand new stadium constructed in the middle of the desert, about 30 km inland from Dubai. If you wonder why, look around Dubai in general and most places were in the middle of the desert at some point. The attitude is, 'build it and the rest will come'.

The Sevens was a brilliant weekend. Every Western Expat was probably there. The beer flowed and the corporates were hospitable. I had a day in the cheap seats and a day of corporate hospitality. Both were great. The fact that South Africa won the tournaments against England (I was sitting amongst several Englishmen) was a bonus.

There were big rainclouds hanging over Dubai when we left home on the Saturday but we assumed that they wouldn't follow us 30 km inland to the ground. We got a bit nervous when the sky went black and the wind picked up, but it was simply a dust storm. Fortunately not too bad as I believe that visibility can get down to about 10m. The rain held off and it ended up a fantastic day in the sunshine.

Rain... yes it does rain in Dubai. We've had quite a bit lately. Nice big thunderstorms. The problem is, there's very little road drainage, and where there is road drainage it's probably clogged with sand. So consequently when it rains, it floods. Where I live there is a lot of greenery whih is watered daily so the rain won't have that much impact, hoewver I'm looking forward to seeing the changes in the desert.

1 comment:

tomtom said...

I feel sorry to tell you, that what you saw was not Queen, but only the guitarist and drummer from Queen with Paul Rodgers on vocals. Queen used to be Freddie Mercury on vocals, John Deacon on bass, and those two. After FM died in '91 JD quit the music business leaving it to the 2 remaining members to find out, if the Queen show could go on. Apparently they decided that it could, maybe because neither of them had any luck pursuing a solo career - not with those voices - and so they kept touring in the name of Queen. Having seen live on their last tour as the original Queen in '86, I think it's a shame that you didn't get a chance to see this. That was the concert of the century. There is no one above or next to Freddie, when it comes to showmanship - and singer.