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Dubai Summer Surprises

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Ashish Jagtiani is the name he was born with, though that is a bit of an urban legend. He goes by the name of Jaggu, a very popular name across the airwaves. Dry, dark and lucid would describe him aptly, where one can only hope that one is not on the receiving end of that unholy trio.

Last year, I was a DSN – Dubai Summer Newbie. As with all unspoiled / unflowered / (undeflowered?)
individuals over a certain age, we know the theory down pat, only the practical aspect remains.

So too for the summer. You hear so much about the temperature, the 50 degree holiday declaration, the melting asphalt and even worse, the melting makeup; that you feel mentally prepared to face
the rising thermometer.

I will bravely say that last year, the constant warnings about how the summer will be, had me somewhat mentally prepared to face the brunt of it, coming out of it relatively unscathed, only a little worse for wear and a few shades darker. So this year of course I felt experienced enough to give Dubai newbies my own advice on dealing with summer.

Summers are a great selling point for relatives and friends that you don’t want visiting you. Sell them the extended version, that it starts in March and ends in November. That gives them the rest of the four months to visit, of which you are travelling for a month and two months are already blocked out by other guests. That leaves you with one leftover month which is when you have scheduled renovations, pest control, AC repair, car servicing, tyre changing and document shredding. So basically you have two days in February when they can visit. This rollout of utter lies would not be possible without a fabulous eight month summer.

Given the proclivity for residents to stay indoors in the summer months, that gives you the opportunity to drive down Beach Road like you own it. What is the inconvenience of a little summer heat when you can roll down the windows of your Range Rover, or failing that, your Yaris, blare Habibi Love at top volume, slip on your bandana and glide down Beach Road pretending you live in the villa down the road.

Temporary sea facing road ownership would not be possible without the glorious days of summer.

The Dubai Shopping Festival in the peak of the city’s winter season is when the world thinks you get the best shopping deals. But the deflowered amongst us know that the big ticket savings are to be had when the temperature is approaching 50 degrees Celsius. The Ramadan deals on cars, transacting property when competing buyers and tenants are on vacation and the market is dull or even great deals at restaurants, where the fresh produce will spoil if they don’t sell two for the price of one.

The hotter the summer, the bigger the savings. Bring on the sun!

And then there are the malls, those sanctuaries of air-conditioning. Tourist or resident, if you’ve been there during winter time, you know the crowds will beat you to it. Whether it’s a table at Starbucks, a seat at Vox or a handbag at Louis Vuitton, it’s gone before you can utter the words “I’ll take that one”. Come summer and you are spoilt for choice. Not only can you buy what you want, when you want, you can also skate down the almost empty aisles on a weekday afternoon, when the sun is on high, going from cold coffee to cinema seat to luxury boutique. Salespeople will offer you actual service, instead of lobbing stuff at you from a distance because they’re too busy serving five other customers. Bring on the heat, I say, for with it comes peace of mind and space galore.

Perhaps this is subjective, but the lines are shorter in summer. Du, DEWA, Etisalat, Land Department and RTA, usually have shorter lines in the summer months. No visit to any of these places are done with great pleasure, as imperative as their services might be, they are not social occasions. If one can exit with minimum time spent and minimum fuss, all the better. If height of temperature is inversely proportional to length of line, the sun is welcome.

Used with finesse, the heat can be the best excuse to copout. Don’t want to meet a boring acquaintance, or visit an annoying client, or do a mind-numbing chore. Put a spin on it, it’s really not your fault, the weather is terrible. Tell a story about sweat and perspiration, about tyres melting in the sun, about people fainting from heatstroke. Do it smoothly enough and the opposite party will wonder why he’s making the appointment at such a terrible time in the first place.

The sun, used judiciously, can be used to change many a mind.

And of course, the summer means Jumeirah Beach and Marina Beach have a complete of bikini bods and six pack abs. And that doesn’t need explaining in any weather.