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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sex and the City

A movie with the same title of this post was made a couple of years ago in which our favorite "Carousing  Cougars", Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha decided to wing their way to Abu Dhabi and relieve a few wealthy Sheiks of their dish-dash-ah's and dignity.

The fact is the UAE government forbade the movie to be shot in the country due to the sexual nature of the film. Production was in Morocco and some sets were made in that country that mimicked Abu Dhabi landmarks. This is obvious in the above clips. In the first one, mountains are seen in the background. There are no mountains in the Abu Dhabi area except that big rock near Al Ain. The second clip shows an outburst by one of the gals in a public place that surely would have resulted in jail time and possibly deportation in Abu Dhabi. The middle finger is best not used there!

 You might ask why the producers just didn't have our lascivious ladies travel to Morocco in the screenplay. That would make more sense, right? Most Americans don't know the difference between the two countries anyway. I suspect the UAE government was a major investor in the film in exchange for Abu Dhabi's worldwide exposure by the film. Ironically, the movie was never screened there.

  What got me thinking of this attitude about sexuality was a Post by my Blog- Buddy Neil. In UAE supermarkets and pharmacies, all kinds of sexual lotions, oils and condoms are prominently displayed.  Viagra, Cialis and other ED drugs are sold over the counter right next to the headache pills. A lot of Westerners who consider Arab countries as extremely prudish would be surprised at what goes on.

One Dirty Little Secret is that prostitution is rampant in Abu Dhabi, much less than in Dubai but common nonetheless. In just about any tourist hotel you can find ladies that "play for pay".  Some venues are more active than others. In the bar of one internationally branded hotel, I would get latched onto and my crotch grabbed by a girl(s) 5 minutes after walking in the door. It was Ladies' Night  all night, every night at this place. A co-worker had a phone number he could call and "special order" a girl and she would show up within the hour. I've heard rumors of brothels on the outskirts of town near the labor camps to service those guys.

 These women are not the "crack whores"  one would find at street level in many Western countries. They are regular women that are supplementing their meager day jobs as housekeepers and cooks.. Most are Fillipinas and Chinese but a large number of Eastern Europeans are showing up. This type of activity is about as open as can be without being obvious to the average citizen. The police and officials certainly know about it and seem to turn a blind eye. I have several theories for this:

1. Money. Someone in the high strata of the local society and/or business community is making a fortune and the word coming down to police is to ignore all but the most attention-attracting behaviors.

 2. Seeing how the vast majority of expats are men, the government is quietly allowing the sex industry to exist as an "outlet". In a country where it is illegal for an unmarried couple to co-habitate, dating is next to impossible due to the M/F ratio and local women are Verboten!, such "outlets" are normally few and far between.

3. A  combination of the above. The UAE is a very self-conscious country with a tinge of an inferiority complex.

If my theories are right, I think it is an example of forward thinking to unofficially allow the sex industry to quietly operate. It solves what could be potential problems although I think the money angle trumps any altruism from the government. Hey, I don't works and everybody seems happy with the arrangement.  Just like everything else in the UAE, things are very different when you scratch below the surface. Beware not to take so much rope that they can hang you with, however. Keep your head low.

Echoer Videos

Here are a couple of videos of how the Echoer app works:

This has me excited. It combines all the best features of Twitter, Facebook, and Google Maps into one original and unique app. Echoer is brand new and is just now debuting worldwide.

Try it! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Echoer, A New Social Network

This blog is now being featured on Echoer .
This is the "next big thing" and is very popular in the Middle East and will soon take over a large part of the social networking world!

Do a "Like" on their Facebook page and learn more.

Be an Echoer

I am doing well back in the US but as a 4 year resident of the UAE, I am still interested and feel qualified to comment on the expat life in the UAE. Sometimes I miss mytime there and there were some good things about it.

Ramadan starts in the UAE in a few weeks and I wish all my Muslim friends Ramadan Mubarak.

I will have to admit I will not miss sneaking cigarettes, lunch, water, and other delights behind curtains during daylight during this Holy Time. Ramadan was always inconvenient for us Westerners but we were always thankful we were afforded a "Plan B".

Muslims fasted during the day but at night there was feasting and festivities. One of the most dangerous times to drive during Ramadan was near sunset when thousands of dehydrated and hungry Muslims were hauling ass home at sunset where food and drink awaited. One did not want to get in their way!