Taking a break from reality?
Brits say they'll sacrifice just about anything before they cancel that holiday - is it time to save on the sun?
MARK SUMMERS SAYS...
No need to vacate that vacation
Let’s not forget, when we got crunched it was by credit. The global financial crisis is all about debt. Big banks, hedge funds and other major firms were swimming in the stuff. So was the man in the street - he got used to borrowing to buy that new TV, car or holiday, rather than saving for it. That’s why some might tut disapprovingly at our report yesterday that British visitors to the UAE are putting off paying debt repayments and home improvements so they don’t have to sacrifice their sunshine break.
‘Haven’t they learned anything?’ you might lament. However, given one Dubai developer has announced it is giving away yachts with homes, it’s a question you could ask here too. Maybe we should be a little less judgmental. After all, Brits and other Europeans are having something of a tough time of it. Higher taxes, lower pensions, job losses, not knowing what currency you’ll be using to buy your shopping in six months. Y’know, that kind of stuff. Who can blame them if they want a break? No-one’s suggesting they’re all heading for the Burj Al Arab.
Six hours in economy and a three-star room is more like it. And given Dubai’s recovery is based on its ‘3Ts’ strategy - trade, transport, and - yes - tourism, we shouldn’t criticise those who want a break from real life.
DUNCAN HARE SAYS...
They’re taking leave...of their senses
When I go on my jolly jaunts, it’s with three things in mind - sea, sand...and super sun-tanning.
That’s why I love living in Dubai - it’s like a permanent vacation. But the idea of spending my actual holiday in a mall surrounded by weak-willed tubsters shoving yet another burger down their gullets or high-heeled horrors clattering from one shop to the next with more bags in their paws than Gandalf the wizard has under his eyes...just leaves me feeling pale.
I understand though, that many in colder climes think that’s just the ticket. So much so that they are willing to take a holiday from common sense and rack up debts that will last longer than their holiday tan. Madness.
Think of the best holidays you’ve ever had. Are they simple ones of you huddled up with family or friends at a cheap beach BBQ? Or was it that time you threw everything bar the kitchen sink on multiple credit cards on that ‘dream destination’...only for it turn into the ‘Holiday from Hell’? Holidays are about relaxing, and you can’t do that if you know you’re going home to face debt collectors. That’s why I’m glad us UAE residents can do it for no extra charge.
Pass the Ambre Solaire, please. It’s tan time.