Archive for February, 2008

Metro trains arrive

The first batch of Metro trains has arrived, reasonably similar to the original artist’s impressions although a little less streamlined than the drawings.

Train%20unloading.jpg

There will be test runs conducted on a 4 kilometre section of the elevated track near Jebel Ali, checking all the management systems as well as the trains themselves.

There’s a main power station for the Metro, in Jebel Ali, and that’s reported to be completed. The Depot in Jebel Ali which will be large enough to accommodate 44 trains is said to be more than half completed. A train will consist of five carriages with a maximum load of 645 passengers.
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Metro trains arrive

The first batch of Metro trains has arrived, reasonably similar to the original artist’s impressions although a little less streamlined than the drawings.

Metro%20train.jpg

There will be test runs conducted on a 4 kilometre section of the elevated track near Jebel Ali, checking all the management systems as well as the trains themselves.

There’s a main power station for the Metro, in Jebel Ali, and that’s reported to be completed. The Depot in Jebel Ali which will be large enough to accommodate 44 trains is said to be more than half completed. A train will consist of five carriages with a maximum load of 645 passengers.
(more…)

Four years jail for British DJ

There’s yet another example of the zero-tolerance policy in the UAE to drugs.

The British Radio 1 disc jockey Grooverider (real name Raymond Bingham) had 2.16 grams of cannabis in his pocket when he arrived to do a show in Dubai.

The excuses of ” It was a small amount. Back home I would not even get prosecuted.” and “he was unaware of the laws” were quite rightly ignored by the court.

The minimum sentence of four years jail was handed down.

I’ve talked about it before on Metblog – there has been extensive media coverage, the internet and blogosphere has plenty of information, the British Foreign Office (and many other countries’) Travel Information warn of the laws.

Yet people still come here carrying drugs.

The onus is on visitors to any country to check the laws before they arrive. Particularly those stupid enough to be drug users.

The story is reported in the Times of London.

Mild tremors hitting parts of UAE

It was only the other when crossing Sheikh Zayed road and looking at all the hi-rise buildings I was wondering what if Earthquake (God forbid) hits Dubai?? And today I read this in the Khaleej times.

At four different places in UAE the tremors were felt and although the magnitude was not much but what if…

I have seen the devastation caused by the Oct 8th earthquake, 2005 in Pakistan and it just scares me thinking about the consequences if it happens here…I wonder if this part of the world where development projects are on a boom, is prepared for natural disasters.

Dubai’s drug laws & Cat Le-Huy

Something I drew attention to back in November was Dubai’s tough anti-drug laws.

It’s surfaced again because there’s a web campaign under way for the release of German citizen and UK resident Cat Le-Huy, who was detained under the laws. The campaign says that he is not guilty and was falsely imprisoned, the medication he was carrying was not banned and the ‘marijuana’ he was accused of carrying was in fact specks of dirt. Several bloggers have joined in, while the main site pushing the issue seems to be thetruthaboutdubai.com.

According to these sites, Le-Huy was detained on suspicion that the (legal) Melatonin bottle found in his bag contained other pills. They say that tests conducted by the authorities indicated that the bottle did not contain any other substances and the Melatonin was cleared, that Le-Huy’s urine sample also tested negative for any drug use that the German Embassy expected that Le-Huy would be released at this time, but authorities have called on an option to extend his detainment in order to investigate the specks of dirt that they found.

Because I have no way of telling the truth of Le-Huy’s case I won’t comment on it. Except to say that if he is indeed innocent then he should be released immediately with at the very least a fulsome apology and some sort of compensation.

I must point out though that there are some tabloid-style hysterics on the site though that are misleading for travellers in general, and that’s dangerous.

They also make ridiculous demands of the tourism authority.

I’ll go into both later.
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Is there any end to it?

You’d think that owning a car as expensive and exclusive as the Bugatti Veyron would ensure that seeing another one in your neighborhood would be an unlikely event. And it probably is for most of the 125 customers who’ve taken delivery of the hyper-exotic to date around the world.
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