UAE Web of Life – Issue 4
Posted by advaitin on April 22, 2006
UAE WEB OF LIFE
The Internet Magazine on what’s happening in the local UAE Internet community.
An ORB-UAE Creative Group Publication (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orb-uae)
1. UAE WEBSITES IN THE NEWS –
2. REGULARS – Cub & Bug
3. INTERVIEW – SecretDubai – UAE’s first blogger celebrity and the creator of UAE’s first blogger’s forum.
WEBSITES IN THE NEWS
a) Source: Email
1) Dalili does all the thinking for you.
Dalili is an easy to use navigation system for your car that runs on continuous real-time traffic updates from millions of sensors placed under Dubai’s roads. The simplest Dalili version is selling at Dh5,000. But if the car already has a built-in navigation system, all one needs to do is to download the software. More info:
2) Free Online Restaurant Service in Dubai
The easy and free way to book some of the best dining deals in Dubai:
3) Used Cars in the UAE
b) Source: Print Media
1) Teens 4 Positive Action – Dubai’s community service group
Started by expat mum Parisa Rayes.
(Source: 7days.ae, 3/4/06)
2) DriveArabia.com – Car Reviews
(Source: Review in 7Days)
(Source: Ads in 7days, Emirates Today)
b) Source: Web (eGroups, Websites, E-Newsletters)
1) Emaar community portal on line
The portal will seek to involve residents in decision making and the administration of their communities. http://www.emaar.com/communityportal
(Source: Eqarat.com E-Newsletter, 3/4/06)
2) Cyber Gear Launches eCampaignsNetwork.com, A Global DIY e-Marketing Portal
1. Cool UAE Blog (CUB)
COnstant, Creative Cyber Communicator
Kaya’s curiouser and curiouser : http://abudhabicalling.blogspot.com/
2. Best UAE Group (BUG)
KHALLI VALLI – http://kv-network.ryze.com/
Started by Dubaite Kandarp Baxi and as their home page state…”khalli valli will create an environment to ease the pressures of our day to day existence. khalli valli will be fun and NOT serious.” A unique feature of this group is their regular offliners or “Kootams” as they call it. These are fun-filled events where quality people spend quality time networking at public venues. A must-join.
> 1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your educational and work background?
I am a UK expat, I work in media in Dubai and I have a university degree.
> 2) What inspired you to start blogging which ultimately culminated in
the UAE Community of bloggers – the UAE’s first?
Before coming here I did some travelling, this was a few years ago pre
blogs, but post email. I used to keep in touch with friends and
family via a group newsletter that I sent out about my travels. When
I eventually settled for a while, I posted all these letters on a
website, like a homepage – they formed a kind of diary.
Then a couple more years I was on the move agan – to the UAE. After a
few months I wanted to record my experiences again. By this time
blogging was around, so I chose that way to do it. It really was
mainly for me by this stage, to record my own experiences of the UAE.
Only later on after migrating from LiveJournal to Blogspot did it
really get noticed.
> 3) Can you share your experience of what it was like when your blog
was blocked ( another UAE first :-)and all the media focus that
It was very terrifying, because I was overseas, and it was hard to
keep tabs on what was going on. It was also bewildering, because the
“offending” poem was never intended to mock local people, it was
specifically targeted at expats and the odd language of the Khaleej
The media focus was startling, as was the huge amount of support, even
from people that didn’t always like my blog, but respected my right to
write it. I made a couple of lasting friendships during those times.
The support was overwhelming, and moving.
Getting unblocked was a kind of miracle: the biggest relief ever.
Not because it meant that people could access my site again, but
because it meant a higher power found nothing offensive or illegal
about the blog. Which was a kind of vindication, almost a seal of
I had always been aware that the UAE authorities could trace my
activities or those of any other internet user, so I had always
exercised self-censorship, and continue to do so.
> 4) What are your future plans for the UAE Community forum?
Nothing. It keeps going by itself now, which is brilliant. It means
when I eventually leave this place, as like most expats I won’t be
around forever, it will hopefully continue and go from strength to
strength. There’s already an Arabic version, which sadly I can’t
understand a word of!
> 5) Any interesting tid-bits and happenings that you can share from the forum?
I think its coolest feature is the fact that people who would almost
certainly never belong to the same groups or clubs in the UAE
regularly interact there as members. It could so easily have got
hijacked by one particular group, and been just euro expats ranting
for example, but it hasn’t. It really doesn’t matter if one is local,
European, Asian or even bidoon. It’s for UAE bloggers: it transcends
age, gender, nationality, religion, class.
Very little moderation has ever gone on – it just hasn’t really been
needed there. So far, it’s all fairly civilised!
> 6) What are your other interests and hobbies?
Reading, the internet, RPG computer games, food. I don’t watch
terrestrial or satellite TV at all – my TV is used solely for DVDs and
console gaming – but I occasionally download stuff I want to watch,
like South Park. Amazingly given this list of absolute vegetativity I
am not (yet) the size of Jabba the Hutt.
> 7) What are your favourite books, music, movies, celebrities and inspiring personalities?
Favourite Books (can I have two?):
– The Man In The Brown Suit, by Agatha Christie
– Scoop, by Evelyn Waugh
Favourite Music: Pet Shop Boys
Movies: Saved! starring Mandy Moore
Celebrities: Sean Bean
Inspiring Personalities: Sheikh Zayed
> 8) What is your motto or philosophy of life that you would like to share with our readers?
You only have one life. Don’t waste it in bitterness, cruelty,
intolerance or hatred.
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