We are here…
And here’s why…
1) It’s bright every day (you can tell it’s morning when you wake up).
2) It’s warm. Sometimes too warm, but never cold enough to need a coat.
3) The Police are nice. They know you are not armed, on drugs or stealing something. If you are they WILL find you. Then you WILL leave.
4) I watched the Gulf wars from both sides. I have lots of American, Iraqi, Iranian and Afghan friends. None are idiots. Nor did they see anything but the real truths.
5) I can now get everything I need here. No more excess baggage fees.
6) I don’t get upset over politics anymore. Nobody asks, nobody cares what I think. It’s sometimes better.
7) The streets are always clean. It makes a difference.
8) Petrol is very very cheap. I couldn’t afford to push my Land Cruiser in the UK.
9) I’ve got fatter on 5 star hotel food. It was awesome on the way in.
10) I have run a radio station.
11) Here, I’m British NOT black.
12) There is very little crime (or at least we don’t live in fear of hoodies).
13) They look after their own people. Benefits, great wages and free villas. Good for you.
14) They let you celebrate Christmas. Not the ‘festive season’.
15) And Eid.
16) And Diwali.
17) And Chinese New Year … etc
18) You can go camping 60 minutes drive from your house.
19) You can have friends from 200 countries.
20) You can have free holidays in 200 countries (see above).
21) I met and married my wife in the UAE (well we met in Bahrain).
22) Our daughter Maya was born here.
23) My best friend from Redcar, Paul Foreman now lives in Abu Dhabi and we get to play PS3 like kids again.
24) Every year something amazing and world beating happens.
25) We have the Burj Al Arab.
26) We also have the Burj Khalifa.
27) Tom Cruise filmed Mission Impossible 4 on it.
28) I worked with James Brown and loads of other megastars.
29) I performed sell out hypnosis shows.
30) I became a corporate motivational speaker.
31) My best friend always end up coming back (Jeff Price, David Swain, George and Tracy Hopkin etc).
2) You get to enjoy all concerts really close to the stage.
33) I’ve met some of the world’s biggest internet stars. They all want to come here.
34) Famous footballers, reality TV stars and soap celebrities aren’t famous over here because we don’t watch so much TV.
35) They love their Royal family and vice versa.
36) Everything looks fab (night and day).
37) I got to entertain for 11+ years at Dubai Rugby Sevens.
38) Plus one World Cup.
39) It feels like home to me. For now.
40) The UAE rocks. Happy birthday to everyone who lives here.
Thanks for everything to UAE’s first president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, his eldest son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Supreme Council of Rulers, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and all those who made the last 40 years possible and my last 17 years incredible.
I hope I have contributed as much as I have received…