A day in the life of Dubai Offshore Sailing Club

Yesterday was a day of emotional swings and roundabouts as events played out ~ at 1600 we slipped from the dock with 6 grieving family members and the ashes of their loved one Ben, who at 34 years of age lost his life in Afghanistan. We made our way to the iconic Burj and at sunset delivered Ben to the deep with a few words and many tears. We arrived back alongside by 1815 and joined the Wake to celebrate Ben life ~ great friends and family and a good evening ~ while at the wake one of my staff came up to me and informed me that Sheik Saeed Al Maktoom was sitting on the terrace and throwing plates of food into the harbour. I went up to the table and politely asked that no more plates were sent to the fish and was moved away from the table by Obaid Saif to discuss the issue. While we were doing this the Sheik told me to go away and leave them alone in his normal drunken slur ~ I responded that I would have to call the police if the plates did not remain on the table or at least on Terra Firma.

On my way to call the police I was stopped by Obaid as asked to reconsider as they did not want the police coming to the club, I said that would be fine and then received a call from the Clubs Commodore telling me not to call the police ~ I then walked outside and back to the Wake and while doing that two uniformed policemen arrive at the club and asked for me ~ I talked to them and they reported that I had allegedly threatened the Sheik with a weapon, was drunk and now would be arrested ~ none of which was true at all ~ after a 20 minute discussion I was man handled into the back of a police car and whisked away to the local police station and goal. I arrived and was immediately treated as a mass killer and a threat to the Royal family in the UAE !!!

After a while standing in a hallway and guarded by three policemen I was called into an office where a Brigadier presided behind a massive desk ~ he barked at me in Arabic and as I did not understand him I just looked at him, he then asked if I had been in the military and if so for how long ~ I replied yes and 21 years ~ he barked at me again and dismissed me to the hallway again where I waited for a hour then was directed into another office where I was asked about the weapon I had threatened the Sheik with ~ I replied that I did not have a weapon, that I did not threaten the Shek and that it was he who was drunk and throwing plates into the sea and that I had asked him to stop at which point I was arrested ~ again I sat alone for a while expecting to spend the next three months in goal and then be deported as have so many expatriates in the UAE ~ I was then taken back to the brigadiers office and told to go and get my car and go home and to stay away from the Sheik.

Now as the GM of the sailing club I am not sure how I am going to stay away from him as he is down in the club drinking most nights ~ I was taken back to the club and went home where I reflected on the raw power a Sheik can wield on a whim ~ with a telephone call and a lie they can change the course of a persons life in the UAE.

What does it say for basic human rights???

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