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Friday, August 24, 2007

Irish schlep in Deira

Went to my first genuinely social event in nearly 6 months spent in Dubai the other night. Organized by Dubai Lime, the ground-breaking music and arts facilitators, this was an evening for all Limers at the newly opened “Irish Corner” at the “Al-Khaleej Holiday” (!,) near Deira. Yes! A return to Deira, a must for me, a free beer, and a chance to give some credence to the name of this blog. Things initially didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped, however, as my usual standard of logistical prep, and seeming inability to retain vital intel, meant that the journey cross the Creek to the Hotel took about an hour. Yes, past spring time evening and even daytime schleps on the East Side had encouraged me to stroll over, initiating the journey via an abra to Sabkha Station. So far, so sweatily good. However Maktoum Road is not exactly a short or comfortable stretch in jeans at the height of Dubai summer, as I should very well know. What’s more, I was convinced (natch) that I knew this Irish bar from previous experience of what a former DJ has termed the “dark side” of Dubai. I strolled on and on, my trendy tight shirt rapidly becoming proportionately more wet than dry, and my feet blistering badly in so sensible fuggin sandals…..Al Khaleej Palace….nope, ignored that, and headed for an Irish place I remembered seeing near the Clock Tower roundabout….Oh yes, the Dublin Castle (not), the Dublin Bar, or whatever, IS still there, but is of course not quite a five star scene. About turn, and twenty minutes later I am inside the Al Khaleej Holiday, dripping wet, dodging the blonde Russian girl who wants me to go straight into the Limers’ party, and heading for the bogs for a desperate attempt to brush up. At this point I am actually nervous quite about this, but soft (ish) lighting and usual bonhomie made sure that the evening was a lot of fun. I did feel like a bit of an old fart at times struggling to hear what people one foot away from me were saying, but hey, I’m 43, and the DJ was way too loud (shud’up grand-dad). Key thing for me was making new contacts, enjoying some very interesting chat. One long-time resident suggested that this bar and the ongoing hotel development around Deira could indicate a trend that may happen in the city as the struggle for affordable space continues, and places like Jumeira and new housing developments way out west are largely (and in my view boringly) ethnically segmented. It also, we agreed, has a very interesting and unexplored, for many westerners, night time scene (see “Southern Rock” blog entry). Whether the delight of south asian bars and night clubs in two star hotel would survive a major western invasion however is debatable. All in all, this turned out to be a good evening, and for me, a major incentive to check out the “open mic” and now Lime Theatre evenings that are being organized by Dubai Lime.

1 comment:

Nature Strikes Back said...

Am sticking a link to Dubai Lime: