If you’re one with this age of instant gratification, what with a no-wait for anything and where fast, faster and fastest delivery of food are key words in your daily vocabulary, then Dubai is the place for you.   And if you are even vaguely that way inclined, let me give you a taster ….. those golden arches stretch across this city under the surreptitious name of McDelivery! You don’t even have to give Ronald a personal phone call.   Just get the app, set your address, choose your food, check out and you could be munching on a big Mac and having a French fry frenzy within a matter of minutes.

Each to his own, of course.

But just saying…..(I quote from a survey done and published in the National newspaper)

“More than 66 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women in the UAE are overweight or obese, according to a new analysis, prompting researchers to issue a call for action for the region.

The UAE and other Arabian Gulf countries must tackle obesity because the high prevalence rates – which do not seem to be levelling – will amount to a heavy burden on their societies, said Dr Ali Mokdad, director of Middle Eastern Initiatives at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in the US, which analysed the data used in the study.

“That means more diabetes in a place where diabetes is a major problem,” he said. “That means more cardiovascular disease. That means more cancer.”

Even though these countries are affluent, the burden will be costly and place more pressure on government resources and families.

“They cannot afford to have the manpower to treat so many people with chronic diseases,” said Dr Mokdad.”

Enough said!

I’m certainly not laying the blame on the Macs alone. I think I’m safe to say that just about every restaurant in the city delivers and with the gruelling pace people live at, it makes feeding your face that little bit easier when food is only at the end of an order.

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Each and every day our garden gates are assaulted with pick-me-please-pamphlets urging us to push the buttons and call for anything from a burger

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to six course gourmet meals and with Christmas coming soon – please place your order for turkey and figgie pudding. Now. It will come delivered with hats and crackers, being pulled along by reindeer. (ok that one, only maybe, but then again nothing is impossible in this part of the world).

Admittedly this family are not fast food fans at all, but there is one delicacy we indulge in on a fairly regular basis and that’s a rotisserie chicken.   You cannot buy a raw chicken in Carrefour for cheaper than the cost of these little lovelies, complete with a side of flat bread, hummus, a small salad and garlic cream.

For the love of all things leisurely who would ever want to roast their own?

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Indian, Ismail Pallipesha Abdul Khadar comes from Kerala and has been bringing chickens round for the last eight years. He and Lincoln have established a fine rapport and there are hand shakes and smiles all round when he arrives. Tonight was the first time we’ve ever asked him about him. The smile soon faded and the story saddened. He rolled his eyes heaven ward with each sentence, at the same time placing his hand on his heart while punctuating his words with “In shaa Allah” over and over again. He has a severely mentally challenged child with heart problems back in India. He’s looked after by his wife and a second child, mostly from hospitals. Ismail works a 12 hour shift from 1.30pm to 1.30am, seven days a week, week in and week out. He sleeps, alongside 9 other men, in a flat connected to the shop. In the earlier days he delivered by pedal bike, but these days he has a car.  Much better, he says, because of the air conditioning in summer. He works for as long as it takes him to earn enough money to go home and stay for at least four to six months – thus relieving the burden on his wife. When he has more than enough money to build a small house in his village he will return home for good. “But, In shaa Allah, who knows when that will be, In shaa Allah”

There, with his wife and two boys,  he will survive by subsistence farming. In shaa Allah.

Drat…I’ve just remembered that I never asked him if he’d one day consider raising chickens. His answer would probably have been “Yes, In shaa Allah.”  Bless him.

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