The lAT­esT projecTs And plAns in The UAe – iT’s All Too mUch for oUr rA­dio sTAr

What's On (Abu Dhabi) - - BACKCHAT -

AAs you may re­mem­ber from last month’s is­sue, I was out of the coun­try for a month. Not only was I out of the coun­try, I was also avoid­ing as much news and so­cial me­dia as pos­si­ble. In fact, other than post­ing a pre­pos­ter­ous num­ber of hol­i­day snaps on In­sta­gram, I saw and read very lit­tle. Now that I’m back – and af­ter ‘go­ing dark’ for so long – I’ve re­alised just how stu­pen­dous a place the UAE is. If we weren’t ac­tu­ally here liv­ing it, I reckon we wouldn’t be­lieve some of the things we see in this coun­try. It re­minds me of this lad called John I went to school with. He was a nice guy but he told the most out­ra­geous sto­ries. Once, when play­ing snooker with my friends, he told us that his Dad had a snooker ta­ble that was 24 feet long. That’s twice as long as the ta­bles used in com­pe­ti­tion. He also said he had a speed­boat on hol­i­day and got a re­mote-con­trolled fly for Christ­mas.

Of course, we all as­sumed he was ly­ing. None of us ever saw his fly, speed­boat or mas­sive snooker ta­ble. They were just the fab­ri­ca­tions of an eight-year-old boy try­ing to im­press his school friends.

Ar­riv­ing back in the UAE af­ter my holi­bobs was like bump­ing into John in the school­yard. We were greeted with fan­ci­ful news sto­ries that were very hard to swal­low.

First of all there’s Dubai’s new Crocodile Park. Far too ran­dom a sen­tence to be true, right? Well, ap­par­ently not. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, a cou­ple of hun­dred croc­o­diles will be hang­ing out be­hind Mushrif Park. That means any­one liv­ing in Mirdif or up that way will have crowds and croc­o­diles as neighbours. Let’s hope both or­gan­i­sa­tions have de­cent locks or Al War­qaa could end up re­sem­bling a scene from Ju­manji.

Then there’s Hyper­loop. Now, I’ve not re­ally looked into this but from what I can gather, we’ll soon be able to jump into a pod in­side a tube and be sucked or shot to Fu­jairah in ten min­utes. The con­cept seems to be sim­i­lar to the pneu­matic pods used in some de­part­ment stores for mov­ing cash around. It all sounds very ‘space age’ and, for some­one like me who is ter­ri­fied of roller­coast­ers, ab­so­lutely ter­ri­fy­ing. All the same, it’s pro­gres­sive and shows how for­ward think­ing the UAE is. How­ever, in all the Hyper­loop hy­per­bole (sorry, I re­ally couldn’t help my­self), one ques­tion is surely be­ing left unan­swered…

Who re­ally needs to get to Fu­jairah that fast?!

Don’t get me wrong. I love the place. My fam­ily and I of­ten load-up the 4x4, jump in and drive through the moun­tains. For me that’s all part of the ex­pe­ri­ence. The drive; the views of the desert; singing along to the ra­dio in the car; and ar­gu­ing over the boiled sweets and Haribo. I’m not sure I want that jour­ney con­densed into a mat­ter of min­utes.

Sadly I don’t have enough space left here to go through ev­ery­thing that’s made me shake my head in dis­be­lief and mut­ter “only in the UAE” since ar­riv­ing back from my hol­i­days, but let me fin­ish by men­tion­ing that new ho­tel pro­posed for Bar­sha Heights. Ap­par­ently The Rose­mont Ho­tel And Res­i­dences is go­ing to have an in­door rain­for­est and an ar­ti­fi­cial beach, and ro­bots will greet guests.

And to think we used to say that hav­ing pen­guins in­side Mall Of The Emi­rates was crazy.

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