ADVENTURES IN DUBAI:
YOUR FAVOURITE NUMBER ONE BLOG
BRITISH DESIGNER LIVING IN DUBAI TELLS (NEARLY) ALL

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Christmas is Coming

Over the ten or so years that we have lived in Dubai, the existence of Christmas has become more and more apparent. When we first came here it was treated as more or less a secret - you could buy Christmassy things in the shops, but they would not be overtly promoted (my wife was in a record shop one year, and the sales guy whispered to her 'you want to buy some Christmas CDs?' - they were stashed under the counter). Radio stations could only talk about 'the Festive Season', and were not allowed to play specifically Christmas music.

But times move on, and since yesterday most of the supermarkets I've been in (except Union Co-op which is about as Islamic as a mosque) have been decorated with banners reminding folks that Christmas is going to be on December 25th this year, and they are stacked with goodies. Radio stations have been playing Christmas toons, and I fully expect it to snow any day now.

I think this is one of the greatest features of the Emirates, and Dubai in particular. At a time when many countries in the region are strangling their economies to death by strict adherence to fundamentalist ideals, these guys here just say 'we'll do our thing, you do yours and let's all concentrate on being happy and making some money'. I spent one year on my own in Riyadh before coming to Dubai. The Saudis do not tolerate the open practice of any religion other than Wahhabi Islam, there are no churches, temples or other places of worship apart from mosques. Here in Dubai, probably the only thing you won't find is a synagogue.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home