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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

It's All Happening

After what has been a very quiet couple of months - Ramadan and the mourning for Sheikh Zayed - the social scene is picking up dramatically. There's a whole bunch of events going on now and scheduled for the next few weeks...

SOCCEREX
International footie exhibition, promoted by Duncan Revie, son of the late great Don Revie (I was a fan of Leeds Utd when The Don was in charge - and I only found out recently that he had spent the last few years of his life in Dubai). Loads of famous soccer players around the place.

RUGBY SEVENS
Three days of rugby mayhem at Dubai Exiles' ground. Our Offspring is probably playing in some capacity, although his birthday falls midway through the festival, so his eligibility for various age groups gets a bit complex.

BUNCH OF SMART GEEZERS TALKING
This is happening right now - there are folks like Alvin Toffler, Jack Welch, Tom Peters and others imparting their wisdom to government dudes and anyone else who wants to pay the fees.

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
The first-ever DIFF kicks off in a few days, presenting a ton of fillums at various venues. I don't quite know what the point of this is, but knowing Dubai I expect it's going to develop into something like Cannes. One of the most interesting venues (for me at least) is the 'screen on the green'. This will be an open-air venue at Dubai Media City. DMC is where my office is. Here's the scenario - DMC Phase 1 comprises three chunky buildings bordering an artificial lake. Across the lake from the buildings is a grassed amphitheatre where concerts are regularly held throughout the winter months. This area will become an open-air cinema for a week. A very interesting thing about this entire thing is that the films will not be censored (so what, you're thinking, but normally movies in the Middle East are chopped - no snogging, no bonking, no blaspheming - this can shorten some movies dramatically).
Apparently there'll be a few celebs attending - Morgan Freeman, Sarah Michelle Geller, Desmond Tutu(!). All good stuff.

And this morning I turned on the radio in the car to hear the lugubrious and almost unintelligible vocal tones of Prof David Bellamy, the well-known British botanist who is over here for a few days admiring our eco-tourism and raving about the way that all these things we keep building in the sea (Palm Islands, Worlds) are actually benefitting the ecology by creating new habitats for wildlife. Yayy.

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