Dubai Airport Flash Mob

By Sumayyah Meehan, TMO


What looked to be an ordinary day in a bustling airport soon took an interesting turn as a crew of airline hostesses began to perform an elaborate dance routine as weary passengers looked on in delight. As they wiggled their and shimmied across an expanse of floor in the center of Dubai Airport, it soon became clear that some of the onlookers were in on it too. A bald man in an airport uniform, janitors and clerks from nearby stores also began performing the exact same dance routine. Of course, it was not by chance. Neither was it a happy accident when a couple of young children began to bust their moves in perfect sync. It was all an elaborate and diligently planned ‘flash mob’ attack. And it was one in a growing number to take place in the Middle East.

By definition a flash mob is, “A group of people who appear from out of nowhere, to perform predetermined actions, designed to amuse and confuse surrounding people. The group performs these actions for a short amount of time before quickly dispersing.” The duo behind the recent flash mob sensation are choreographers Scott and Lisa Marshall from Diverse Choreography, based in Dubai. This was not the first time that the married couple, and flash mob entrepreneurs, have startled and surprised unsuspecting members of the public with seemingly spur of the moment musical numbers. However, the most recent flash mob was one of the best if you believe what viewers are saying on You Tube. The video has gone viral and is racking up tens of thousands of views. One commentator wrote, “Good work Dubai. I never ever thought I’d see that in Dubai. Well done.” While another had this to say, “Dubai is sensationally diverse. People in this video really illustrate the city’s racial plurality.”

The Dubai Airport flash mob event was organized as part of a media blitz by Dubai Airport to announce its new DXB Connect Card, which is a prepaid card made expressly for airport travelers. Diverse Choreography has worked with some of the top companies in the UAE to provide unique marketing solutions. Part of Diverse Choreography’s website mission statement reads, “By utilizing our knowledge and passion for creating tailor made shows, our clients will achieve unique performances for each event.”

Both Scott and Lisa have had illustrious careers working in the entertainment industry, having worked with Hollywood heavyweights and other notable entertainers. However, running their very own performing arts school in the heart of the UAE is their current passion. Students learn a variety of dance genres and have the unique opportunity to work with trained choreographers who have already made a name for themselves in the industry. It won’t be long before their students are capable of delighting the masses with spontaneous entertainment in the most unexpected of places.


The Crimson Tide

By Sumayyah Meehan MMNS Middle East Correspondent


It sounds like something out of a sci-fi blockbuster. A mysterious red blob suffocates and kills anything that gets in its way as it slithers along, leaving mayhem in its wake.

However, in the case of the current crimson tide washing up in the GCC, truth is stranger than fiction. Known as ‘red tide’, the phenomenon is caused by a thick growth of phytoplankton called dinoflagellates, and it occurs naturally.

However, scientists have discovered that some variants of the occurrence may also be a by-product of human activities, such as development programs to extend land borders by adding fillers to the sea, or the dumping of waste into the ocean. The red tide suffocates fish and other marine life to death. Areas of the coastline affected by the phenomenon are often littered with the carcasses of fish, crabs and other sea creatures.

Typically, the red tide rears its’ ugly head in the spring. However, this year the red tide arrived as early as this past October off the coast of the UAE where it still lingers and is spreading to other GCC States including Oman. This past January the Ministry of Environment and Water in Abu Dhabi appointed a specialized team to develop a national course of action to cope with the problem that has left many beaches in the kingdom empty as well as several dinner plates. The ministry has also launched an intense media blitz to inform the public how to stay safe during the peak of the red tides. While studies have shown that it is safe to swim in the tainted water, being in close contact with the algae can cause severe respiratory problems. As for eating the marine life that is veritably soaking up the contaminated water, it is safe to consume seafood as long as the catches are caught fresh and alive. Officials have warned the public from scavenging through the several tons of dead fish that have already washed up along the coast. A mass clean up effort is continuously underway in the affected regions to collect the decomposing corpses and incinerate them at a public facility.    The government of the UAE also plans to develop a system of satellites to serve as an early warning system for when the red tides begin to roll in.

This past week the State of Kuwait was put on alert as the red tide began looking for its next victim. The Environment Public Authority (EPA) in Kuwait has warned the government to give the phenomenon special attention for the sake of public health. The Kuwaiti government sent scientific expert, Dr. Mona Hussein, to the UAE this week to study the red tides first hand before they make landfall in Kuwait. Dr. Hussein will collect water and dead fish samples to bring back to Kuwait for further studies.

As a result of the red tides, the tourism industry in the GCC has taken a massive hit especially in Dubai where divers from all over the world come to enjoy the crystal blue waters and immaculate coral reefs. The murky waters are keeping tourists away and isolating the public from their own coastline.