Monday, 11 November 2013

Abu Dhabi Bans Silly String

UAE Flags
(Photo credit: mikecogh)
One of my favourite jokes of all time is that people in Dubai don't understand the Flintstones, while Abu Dhabi do.

Sorry, silly string brought that to mind. And you won't be finding much of it around on December 2nd in Abu Dhabi, because it's been banned - along with 'unofficial' car parades, car painting and a range of other popular national day activities.

The warnings come nice and early, but then reports are already tumbling in about car decoration workshops doing Dhs20,000 makeovers in preparation for the UAE's 42nd National Day which takes place on the aforementioned 2nd December. If Dubai gets Expo 2020, the result due in on November 27th, they're going to completely lose the head all across that weekend.

I've said before that the UAE is the only place in the Middle East where the people take to the streets to celebrate their country, and that they most certainly do. It's a happy time and a time to go wombat crazy and generally make like it's mardi gras, but police around the Emirates have had enough and over the past couple of years have moved to regulate a celebration that at times looks as if it could border on hysteria.

So no changing the colour of your car, obscuring your number plate, having your windscreen tinted with pictures of the UAE's leaders or the flag, no tinting the driver side windows, no hanging out of cars or over-stuffing cars and no, and I'd like to make this quite clear, no silly string.

If you breaks the rules, it's a Dhs1,000 fine and 12 black points. And Abu Dhabi police have set aside a special area for impounded cars on the day. Presumably other emirates' police forces will enforce similar rules, although I haven't seen any announcements.

Sharjah Corniche will doubtless once again be packed and there, I am sure, you will find silly string.
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1 comment:

expataussiegal said...

It's clear you have never been to Kuwait around National / Liberation Days. The Kuwaitis would run rings around the Emiratis in terms of out and out vandalism and assault, pure and simple. Silly string? Tick. Giant Super Soakers filled with, well, whatever comes to mind. Tick. Obligitory rifles to fire into the air or wherever? Tick. Toyota Landcruisers stuffed to the gunwales with overweight and mandatory teenagers armed with all the above. Tick. Official 2 day holiday with all government departments and banks closed for at least 5 days. Tick.

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