Blocked in UAE?

There have been some conflicting reports yesterday over the blocking of Saudi Jeans in the UAE. The blog Emirates in Style reported the block and provided this screenshot:

When I asked people on Twitter to confirm this, some of them said the blog was indeed blocked, while others said they can still access it. I’m still not sure what exactly is going here here, but I would like to know more. So readers in the UAE, can you please check if Saudi Jeans is blocked where you are or not?

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Abraj Al Bait

Saudi media was full of reports on the progress of construction in the Makkah Clock Tower last week, but today I came across this interesting infographic courtesy of Menainfra.com. The clock sits at the top of the Makkah Clock Tower Royal Hotel, which is the centerpiece of the 7-tower Abraj Al Bait Complex project. Once completed, the tower will be the second tallest building in the world after Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The project will also offer the largest floor area of any structure in the world: 1.5m sq meters of floorspace.

(via f)

Dubai: Saudis and Britons

I was surprised when I read earlier this week that there are 5,000 Saudis living in Dubai. I’m not sure if this number is big or small, but I don’t think there is a larger Saudi community living abroad anywhere else. I can understand why, though. Beside the booming economy and the glitz, it is a place where they can lead a more normal life compared to the stifling, restrictive one back home. It is also just next door in case they needed to visit or return.

Many people in the Gulf feel that their countries are trying to catch up with Dubai, but not everyone is keen on remaking the Dubai story. A Saudi columnist recently wrote that we should not compare ourselves to Dubai because it is “too open” and we simply cannot — and should not — do the same.

However, many Saudis who live in the rapidly growing emirate quickly responded to him, passionately defending their new home and saying it could be true that Dubai is welcoming the world with wide open arms, but it is also offering choices their own country did not give them; better opportunities and much, much more freedom: no one would force you to live your life according to their whims and wishes.

The Daily Mail ran a long piece yesterday on the bad behavior of British expats in Dubai and how it could cause a backlash and a rise of religious extremism, suggesting that an act of violence would burst the D-bubble. So between the Saudis who want to enjoy a normal life and the Britons who move there to go wild, how can this city keeps its leadership in the region, economically and socially, and how its rulers will deal with the pains of growth?