Abu Dhabi, International Variety Show

December 1988

We appear in the United Arabic Emirates, in both capital cities of Shardja & Abu Dhabi, on the occasion of World Trade Fairs.

The numerous visitors to those fairs in both cities are invited to watch the show under a large tent. The audience sits in 3 different areas : on one side, the veiled ladies dressed in black, on the opposite side the men in white jellabas and white and red keffiehs and in the back the families.

The audience is captivated by the magic. Quite a few people are not far from the belief that Omar Pasha has a supernatural power.

We keep so many memories from this time in the Emirates : the waters of the Persian Gulf are nice and warm, but spoiled by crude oil. After a swim, you need petrol to clean your feet.

Black veiled ladies drive big luxurious 4 wheel drive cars, unlike in Saudi Arabia where women are not allowed to drive.

At the fish markets, the customers’ crowd and the incredible amount and variety of species give an unusual image.

Some harbors seem to be from another age with small boats overloaded by all sort of parcels. Houses are built on sand. Roads cross the desert, many of them with kilometers of automatic hosepipes to allow the survival of decorative plants and flowers.

The people working in the country are from many nationalities : we have met not less than 30 different nationalities, from European or North American administrators to Pakistani bank employees and Afghan gardeners.