Crazy Dubai

Alex Ritman wonders whether his villa-mates can get any stranger

The Knowledge

Without wanting to go all clichéd Carrie Bradshaw on you (although I am typing this on a Macbook, furrowing my brow in thought and wearing knickers), I can’t help but wonder: does Dubai maketh the man or the man maketh Dubai?

Basically, without such slap-worthy use of archaic language, were the weirdos weird before they arrived, or did Dubai make them this way? I’m really asking this because of my spare bedroom, which has housed a fairly colourful spread of characters over the past year. First out of the banana bag was a ‘performance artist’ who would conduct tap-dancing lessons in the lounge, dress as a clown and try his stand-up routine on anyone within earshot. Sadly, the laughter died when he took an active interest in protecting the parking spaces outside. Having eyed up a dusty motor that had been abusing our pavement hospitality for months, my costume-loving cohabitant decided to take action, letting one of the tyres down. The car in question was mine. Shortly after I span off Sheikh Zayed Road, Coco was asked to pack his oversized shoes and leave.

The next guest wasn’t into such high-octane methods of attempted murder – he preferred to slowly freeze his victims to death via extreme air conditioning. Dubai summers are pretty toasty, but hypothermia wasn’t a good solution.

After the Ice Man came the most interesting case. Had I been into conspiracy theories or stray cats, it could have been a match made in heaven. Sadly his tales of reptilian world rulers struck a bum note, as did his attempts to house the entire city’s feline population under his bed. Less amusing was cat man’s fondness of fizzy pop. Other people’s fizzy pop, to be precise. He didn’t last long.

Which brings us to the current situation. So far, so normal, except that having moved his belongings in two weeks ago, the latest lodger has failed to appear. I’m sure it’s innocent. He’s probably on a business trip. But, given experience, I can’t help thinking he’s using the room as the nerve centre for something untoward.

So, the question remains. Does Dubai maketh the man? Were the weirdos weird before they descended on my spare room? Or was it something about its four walls – or this city in general – that induced their psychological imbalance?

But enough on this pondering. I’m off to change – these knickers are really beginning to chafe. Dubai doesn’t half attract some freaks, eh?

The beachside dining spot is celebrating international coffee day at its brand-new branch

Feeling the pinch? Fear not. We've got 16 weekend feasts for under Dhs300 for you

Black Coffee and Themba will hit the decks on Friday September 28

You’ll get a complimentary vegetarian dim sum basket on October 1

It's free to take part and no experience is needed

There will be fireworks at La Mer, plus discounts across the city


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