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Damp Presidents in Dubai

Day three in Dubai and the weather continues dreadful. It's been raining almost non-stop since we arrived (I am here with a trade mission from the UK) and the streets, unused to coping with such a deluge, are flooding steadily.

Travelling around Dubai is never easy at the best of times (the infrastructure is simply not up to the volume of traffic), now things are becoming impossible. The day before yesterday I spent a combined total of 2 hours waiting for taxis. My suit isn't getting a chance to dry out.

To make matters worse, George Bush came through town yesterday. A day's holiday was announced, but only the previous afternoon. Then they started closing roads. The result? Virtual gridlock.

Yesterday morning, George's cavalcade passed directly in front of the hotel on its way to Air Force One which was parked at the airport. As a nice change, the streets were almost deserted for the rest of the day, but many businesses were shut.

The entire trade mission decamped to a Lebanese restaurant for dinner where we overate mightily and sucked apple flavoured tobacco from hookahs.

Today it hasn't stopped raining at all. Perhaps the weather doesn't like presidents; Sarkhozy's due tomorrow.

Things are set to change the day-after-tomorrow, just as we all climb in a 'plane to leave Dubai. Thank God I am going on to Singapore where, touch wood, I should be guaranteed a) heat and b) something other than tedious precipitation. Fingers crossed.
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