Airport strip searches home loans

Why we are worried about visits to the airport, taking out a loan and Russel Peters impending visit to Dubai.

Friday brunches, The insider, The Knowledge

Home a-loan
We were shocked to hear last week that HSBC bank is no longer lending to customers who earn less than Dhs20,000 a month. Ideally, we hoped this might be followed by a statement from the Rent Committee, preventing landlords from demanding a whole year’s rent at once. In reality, we realised we needed to phone around other banks to gauge our options. The results of our tele-research? While Lloyds TSB has gone one step further and won’t lend to anyone earning less than Dhs25,000 a month, Emirates Bank extends loans to those earning Dhs10,000 (and below, although to 10 multiples of your salary, rather than 15), Dubai Bank to people on Dhs8,000, while the National Bank of Dubai will still help those taking home Dhs5,000. We know which one we’ll be calling when our next rent cheque’s due.

The full monty
Be warned: it seems Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3 is being particularly thorough in its drug screening process at the moment. In the past week, not one but two male friends (each with what the less style-conscious might label ‘scruffy’ hair) were strip searched. One had to fully undress, not once, but twice, for having a suspicious blob of mud on his shoe. Both were questioned in a manner that suggested something had been found, and both were told that if they ‘had something to hide they should confess to lessen their potential sentence.’ A third friend was then interrogated and threatened with a blood test. Yet more reasons to warn friends and relatives of Dubai’s regulations before they step foot, whether muddy or not, on a plane.

Crash test dummy
We’re excited that Russell Peters, the hugely popular Indian comedian, will be back in town on December 1 and 2. And we’re guessing you are too, considering the listing of his show last year was the only thing that completely crashed our website, due to sheer volume of traffic. Ready, set, log on.

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