Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Hot-air balloons at dawn

with 6 comments

How do you get a community of over 6,000 homes to talk to each other?

That was the question that must have faced the developers of my particular community some time ago. Given what happened this morning, I can only imagine that a huddle of men met around a conference table, coffees and sandwich platters in the middle, putting their minds to this very task.

“I know,” Mr Rajesh must have said, wiping the crumbs of a Russian salad sandwich from his bushy moustache and smacking his lips noisily. “We need to get them out of bed before dawn on a weekend. That’s great for community spirit. Hmm… let’s tell them it’s an emergency evacuation practice in case there’s a nuclear war with Iran. By the time they get to the airport, they’ll realise it was a hoax.”

“No, no. no,” I expect Mr Ibrahim then said, peering at Mr Rajesh over his coffee and feeling slightly nauseated at a speck of buttery bread that still flapped up and down on the other man’s moustache.

“No, no no. That’s just stupid. We must be more clever,” he continued. “We’ll tempt them out of bed with the promise of something so fantastic they won’t be able to resist. We’ll tell them there’s a classic car parade driving through the community at 7am… no, wait… I’ve got a better one. Listen to this. We’ll tell them there’s going to be a cluster of brightly coloured hot-air balloons landing inside the community just after dawn on a Friday morning. How fantastic is that? These expats, they can’t resist stuff like that. Trust me. They’ll be all over it like a rash. Then we’ll cancel the event, and that’ll foster a great community spirit as they all drive around looking for the balloons. Gentlemen – we have a plan.”

And the rest, as they say, is history. The property developer duly issued a letter to all householders promising that a cluster of brightly coloured balloons would land in the midst of their community at 6.30am and the community duly set its alarms for 6am and rocked up ready for the show.

After a long wild-goose-chase, a flying cake was finally spotted

Oh, how Mr Rajesh and Mr Ibrahim must have patted themselves on the back this morning when they saw all the four-wheel-drives backing out of driveways in the semi-darkness at 6.29am; the hopeful faces peering into the sky down by the community lake; the DSLR cameras trained on the horizon; strangers sharing tips with each other as they drove like headless chickens round the perimeter road and parked in lay-bys, hunting for hot-air balloons.

Community spirit, Mr Rajesh was delighted to note, was in full force.

But, just as Security admitted that the balloons wouldn’t be coming after all and despondent , pyjama-clad housewives turned their cars towards home, a string of hot-air balloons was sighted flying high above the desert.

They were indeed beautiful. Any landings inside the community were, however, fully unintentional.

Written by mrsdubai

December 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Sorry!
    I have a question and it may be stupid.. I love Dubai and I really want to go there!!
    I recently saw a tv show about Dubai lifestyle and they said that women wear bikinis at home. Is that true??
    What would happen if your neighbor saw you wearing bikinis??
    I always watch everything about Dubai here in Brazil but I know I can’t trust on everything!


    December 2, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    • Hello Giovanna, it’s perfectly okay to wear a bikini in Dubai in a suitable situation such as on the beach or by a pool. However, wearing one in a shopping mall may get you arrested 🙂


      December 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm

  2. Very probably! I hope the ungodly hour was worth it once you actually sighted the balloons!


    December 3, 2011 at 11:53 am

  3. absolutely brilliant story!

    Britney of Arabia

    December 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm

  4. I just came back to read this again Mrs Dubai, loved it so much!! 🙂

    Circles in the Sand

    December 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

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