This guy is out of control

Michael Jackson just seems to attract trouble these days, regardless of where he is:

Khaleej Times – November 13th, 2005

Michael Jackson’s toilet faux pas in Dubai
By Amira Agarib

13 November 2005

DUBAI — When she went to the ladies washroom in the Egyptian Court of Ibn Battuta Mall at 9.30 last night, 37-year old Latifa M. never imagined that she would come face to face with pop icon Michael Jackson, who walked in dressed in a T-shirt and trousers, with his head covered with the Emirati women’s traditional head scarf Sheila.

The Tunisian, who is a teacher in a private school in Dubai, screamed in shock and ran out of the ladies room when she realised that the woman-like person was a man. She went back in to photograph the pop singer with her mobile phone, while he was busy fixing his make up.

This time it was the turn of Michael Jackson who ran after the Ajman-based teacher, to retrieve the pictures. The scene attracted the security of the mall, who tried to take the phone from Latifa, but she refused and asked for compensation, while the two women accompanying Jackson tried to convince her to sit in private and settle the issue.

Wary of this suggestion, the teacher called the police. Colonel Abdul Jalil Al Mehdi, Deputy Director of the Preventive Security Department of Dubai Police, took the matter in his hands and tried to solve the issue, while Jackson left it to his companions to explain who he is and solve the matter.

While Latifa insisted on compensation, Jackson flatly refused to pay up. The police informed Latifa that the UAE laws do not entitle her to any financial gain from the situation and they convinced her to hand over the mobile, which she did after erasing the photos for the fear of being penalised.

I can’t believe it’s real snow

I live in a crazy place. The sceptic in me just wasn’t sure they could pull it off, but they did. At this moment, and from now on, every day of the year, rain or shine, hot or cold, residents and visitors in Dubai will be able to go visit the desert in the morning, have a barbecue on the beach in the afternoon, and go skiing at night…all on the same day and in the same city.

The Snow Park at Ski Dubai is now open for business, with the ski & snowboard slopes themselves opening in three weeks on December 2nd. I went to the Mall of the Emirates on my way home from work this afternoon and got these pictures on my camera phone [click pictures to see larger version, and check out the video clip at the end of this post]:

Ski Dubai snow park picture from inside Mall

Ski Dubai snow park picture from inside Mall

Ski Dubai snow park picture from inside Mall

Ski Dubai snow park picture from inside Mall

Ski Dubai snow park picture from inside Mall

Ski Dubai snow park picture from inside Mall

Ski Dubai snow park picture from inside Mall

Palms in space

Palm Island Jumeirah

I stumbled across this picture on one of NASA’s websites featuring pictures taken by the crew of the International Space Station. This picture of the The Palm, Jumeirah was taken in April 2005 and shows the smallest of three Palm Islands being built in Dubai. The first homeowners will get to move into their houses and apartments in late 2006. Click the image above for a higher resolution version.

Here is another picture that gives another perspective on the construction of Palm Jumeirah as seen from Le Rêve Dubai, an incredible 50-floor luxury apartment building under construction in Dubai Marina. This picture was taken by my friend Andy Lemon in June of this year.

The Palm Jumeirah as seen from Le Rêve Dubai. Copyright 2005 Andrew Lemon.

It’s snowing in Dubai!

Only a few weeks left until I’ll be skiing in Dubai! Here are some pics from two weeks ago taken at Ski Dubai, a new indoor ski slope being built at The Mall of the Emirates. The mall itself opened in late September (largest outside of North America), but the ski slope has been delayed till late November or early December. I’m already looking for a ski rack for my car!!!

Ski Dubai early pics Ski Dubai early pics