Some odd things happen in the United Arab Emirates and The National newspaper, the English-language publication based in the capital, Abu Dhabi, does a good job of recording them.
Cat-killers sentenced to three months of sweeping up at the Dubai zoo … the $10,000 hamburger in (of course) Dubai … and the cardboard faux police cruiser in Umm Al Quwain.
–Up first, the cat-killers. Gruesome story. The first story suggested two men were involved, but three have been sentenced.
Presumably, the third man was the one who produced a video of the event. Two men speaking Arabic can be seen opening a cage and forcing a white cat to emerge, and then it is set upon by two Rottweilers, who kill the cat.
Someone posted it, and the video got a lot of traction, and the authorities eventually figured out the culpable parties, men who apparently work at a farm in the interior of the country.
The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, occasionally gets involved in these sorts of affairs and he recommended/ordered that the court sentence the three men to three months of cleaning the zoo “four hours a day, every day”. Perhaps to heighten their sensitivity to animal life of all sorts.
A photo of the trio, taken from behind them as they sweep, is attached to the story.
(Not long ago, Sheikh Mohammed had a group of young men sentenced to cleaning streets four hours a day for 30 days after their involvement in stunt driving in highly dangerous conditions. Something to be said for that sort of no-jail public shaming.)
–The world’s most expensive burger … a little bit bogus in the sense that all proceeds from the burger event were going to a breast cancer charity. In theory, a magazine owner spent $10,000 for the burger … so he mostly was giving $10k to the charity and got a burger.
The notion of charity mingling with conspicuous consumption is a very Dubai sort of thing.
The photo with the story seems to suggest the $10,000 burger (named the Burgerstack) had about six patties piled one atop the other, which has to be an artery-clogger on a bun.
Among other ingredients, according to The National, were “aged cheddar and veal bacon in a saffron brioche burger bun with seven spices and harrisa burger sauce, served with a milkshake.”
–Story No. 3 comes from Umm Al Quwain, which is news in itself. The northern emirate usually known in English as “UAQ” is the least populous — it doesn’t even have a soccer club — and probably most anonymous of the seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates.
Speeding and reckless driving are issues throughout the country, and this story outlines how commuters are touching the brakes when they see a cardboard cut-out of a UAQ police cruiser on the shoulder of one of the emirate’s busiest roads.
Not only was it life-size, it was painted just like real police cruisers of the emirate. And it also had flashing red lights placed on the top of the “car”.
The story notes how two drivers thought it was an actual police car, and slowed when they saw the cardboard car — which was the intent, no doubt, of some clever person at the UAQ police department.
Being a bit coy on the matter, the cops would neither confirm nor deny that they had a fake car patrolling the streets.