I have heard many people describe the UAE as a “logic free zone”. Although this is an over exaggeration, there are times when it holds true. Here are a few examples:
Return policies are almost non-existent here. A friend of mine recently bought a baby monitor at a well known store; similar to a Wal-Mart. They took their new purchase home only to find out it did not work. When they took the item back to the store to ask for a refund they were forced to wait for an hour before they received help. The store officials finally agreed to grant the refund under two stipulations: the item could be exchanged for store credit only and the store credit had to be used that day. Why, you ask……I don’t know and neither do the store officials.
Secondly, there are times when we can frantically be searching for a parking spot only to drive past multiple cars that are parked sideways, taking up 3 parking spots. This is actually a common occurrence because no one matters but you!
Next, I just heard a report that someone was assassinated with a gold plated gun. That’s when you know you have more money than you know what to do with!
Another surprise about the UAE is that commonly your car will be washed while it sits in the car park and it’s totally free for you. This great service is a result of the fact that you can actually be ticketed if you have a dirty car. At one point there was actually talk of a law banning all cars more than 5 years old from the roadways. Luckily, they decided to scrap that idea due to the fact that it is simply ridiculous!
One final example took place just the other day when I visited a local hair salon. For a few weeks I had been asking around for a hairstylist. Finally I got a lead on a local hairstylist that did not charge outrageous prices (at least not for here). An acquaintance told me she got her hair cut and colored for only 550 dirham. This is roughly $150.00. Now keep in mind that not only was this quite cheaper than the 700 to 800 dirham I had been quoted at other salons, but the acquaintance had 2 to 3 times more hair than I do. Therefore, I thought my visit would be a bit cheaper. Additionally the hairstylist came highly recommended.
When I arrived at the salon I was not greeted with a warm welcome. I was stared at as if I was out of place. When I finally asked someone to help me they said someone would be right with me so I had a seat. When the stylist finally summoned me over to the chair she began to add color to my hair. Of course she could not do this without the help of her grossly underpaid Filipina assistant. Throughout the process the stylist continually degraded the quality of my previous cut and color.
Once the color was added and my hair was washed, she began to blow dry my hair. Then she asked me, “Blow dry and that is it?” At this point I was quite confused. Not only had I made an appointment for a cut and color but I had specifically made the appointment with Refi whom I assumed was a male. I did not think the stylist doing my hair was Refi, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. After all, maybe I had just made an assumption that Refi was a man.
I then asked her politely to please cut my hair as well. When it was all over she presented me with the bill. She said, “My name is Luna. Here's my number if you want to call me. It will be 500 for the color and 150 ($177.00) for the cut. The blow dry is free.” As I attempted to suppress my shock, I responded, “Thank you, how very generous of you,” and walked out.