Meetup in UAE or Lahore? June 7, 2010 2:00 AM   Subscribe

Anyone interested in a meetup in the UAE or Lahore?

Are there mefites in either of those vicinities who would be interested in a meetup? Not even making any other suggestions about venue or date yet. Just putting out a feeler...
posted by bardophile to MetaFilter Gatherings at 2:00 AM (43 comments total)

The wife and I are located in KSA. We have only been to Dubai in UAE and Pakistan not at all, it's definitely a possibility, but would require some advance planning.
posted by onalark at 2:03 AM on June 7, 2010

onalark: awesome! I agree, advance planning would be necessary, but am psyched that this is a possibility. :)
posted by bardophile at 2:29 AM on June 7, 2010

Sure, I'm in Dubai and I'd be up for a meetup.
posted by atrazine at 3:04 AM on June 7, 2010

There's been a Dubai meetup before, it was about this time last year when filmgeek was in town for business. I'd be open to doing an Abu Dhabi meetup as well if that's more convenient for other people.
posted by atrazine at 4:27 AM on June 7, 2010

Well, so far it's onalark, you and me. Onalark would be coming in from KSA, Dubai and Abu Dhabi being pretty much equally easy to get to from there. I'm in Abu Dhabi, but could probably make my way up to Dubai. So let's see how other people (maybe people who were there last year?) feel, too.
posted by bardophile at 5:10 AM on June 7, 2010

Mrs. Lark has expressed a preference for not-Dubai, since we've done that town. It would be great to meet some Metafilterians in the area, though! Can we cast a vote for Abu Dhabi?
posted by onalark at 6:54 AM on June 7, 2010

Abu Dhabi is fine with me, onalark. I guess we'll follow your lead as far as suitable dates go, as bardophile lives there and I can drive down on short notice.
posted by atrazine at 8:25 AM on June 7, 2010

Okay, so, admittedly, there's little chance that I could make it to a meetup in Pakistan, but I am curious -- can an American just GO to Pakistan? Don't you need to be with the military or something? Or can you just fly in, and like, walk around the city and hang out for a while?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:07 AM on June 7, 2010

I expect to be in Abu Dhabi in late August and early September. They exact dates are still extremely vague but I'd be happy to meet-up when I am there. I'll update this when things get clearer.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:10 AM on June 7, 2010

Afroblanco, it depends. Lahore, yes - though it's always worth being careful. Karachi, possible if you're a seasoned traveller. Peshawar or the rural NWFP on the Afghan border would be unwise.

American friends of mine have even been to Afghanistan on holiday (they also ride super-bikes without helmets, take that as you will).
posted by atrazine at 9:27 AM on June 7, 2010

Afroblanco: There was a time when I extended an open invitation to all my "visibly American" friends to come visit me in Pakistan, and pshawed at any notion of it being any more dangerous than your average road trip. The climate has changed, though. I have American friends who do visit, and fairly regularly, but the numbers have fallen considerably. And safety issues have become such that I'm no longer willing to pooh pooh their fears.

In recent times, Lahore has actually been more dangerous than Karachi, although that certainly was not the case until say the past 2 or 3 years.

No, you don't have to be part of the military to visit. In fact, you'll get a friendlier reception if you're not part of the military or connected to the American government. Should the fancy take you, I would be happy to put you in touch with people who could show you around, unless I'm in town myself, in which case I would be happy to do the honours. :)

August, September come with the caveat that second half of August and first half of September will be Ramadhan, month of fasting, and no public consumption of food or drink from sunup to sunset. That said, Confess, Fletch, should the other mefites decide that a meetup during Ramadhan wouldn't be much fun, we can still have a mini-meetup when you come. :)

Abu Dhabi is obviously fine for me, given that I live here for now. Lahore was a suggestion since I'm hoping to be home for a bit over the summer.

Onalark, when suits you?
posted by bardophile at 12:20 PM on June 7, 2010

Ramadan..., I thought that the office manger had planned around that when he mentioned late August for my trip. We're supposed to discuss this all more on this thursday so I'll know more then.

I'd expect I'll drag my Chinese colleague along to further convince him that I'm a nut. :)

Also, I'd like to go here, if I have time, anybody up for meeting there?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:59 PM on June 7, 2010

Confess, Fletch; Unfortunately my car isn't too suitable for driving on sabkha, you'd need to get your hands on a 4wd. I'd be up for a confluence point meetup in principle though.
posted by atrazine at 11:08 PM on June 7, 2010

Damn, my first year or so on the site I was the only mefite in Lahore. Now that I've moved away, there's another. Have a chaunsa in my name when you visit home, bardophile.
posted by tavegyl at 10:04 AM on June 8, 2010

We are good in general for Saudi Weekends (Thursday+Friday) for the next couple of months. 4th of July is booked, and so are the weekends bracketing the first week of August. We would probably spend a night or two and be looking for a couch/floor to crash on if one was available. Mid-July probably works best for mrs. lark and me, but we could wait until Confess, Fletch gets in if that is preferred.
posted by onalark at 11:37 AM on June 8, 2010

I talked with the office manager today and current plans are me getting there approximately August 30th and staying for three weeks. This may, of course, change depending on shipping schedules. I've never been to the Middle East before so it should be quite the culture shock. I don't have any specific plans other than lots of work but I can surely take time off, especially in the evenings for a meetup.

I'll post updates as I find out but I think we can make some tentative plans.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:47 PM on June 10, 2010

I think we may be able to do August 2nd or 3rd. Still waiting for some of our schedule to solidify.
posted by onalark at 10:55 AM on June 11, 2010

My schedule has unexpectedly gone up in the air. Should know more in the coming week.
posted by bardophile at 1:51 AM on June 12, 2010

I'll be in The Netherlands until mid-July or so, so I can't do before then.
posted by atrazine at 11:10 AM on June 23, 2010

Atrazine, darn, I was just in the Netherlands last week. We could have had the UAE meetup in Amsterdam.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:03 AM on June 28, 2010

Ocean shipping is taking a little longer that we thought. Current plans are for me to be there starting approximately Sept 12th. I'll let you know if plans change again.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:09 PM on July 22, 2010

Opps. You might have to do without the Saudi Metafilter contingent. We are in the States for most of September.
posted by onalark at 12:20 AM on July 26, 2010

Well, the equipment is finally in the UAE but is going to spend another week in customs. This has pushed back my trip to late September.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:49 AM on August 12, 2010

I'm good for late September.
posted by atrazine at 9:40 AM on August 12, 2010

Late September works for me, also. Sorry about the radio silence; didn't know for a while if we were still going to be in the UAE for the rest of the year.
posted by bardophile at 2:17 AM on August 18, 2010

Seeing as it is now the 6th of September, shall we try to firm up plans for the Abu Dhabi meetup?
posted by bardophile at 1:22 AM on September 6, 2010

OK, how about the weekend of 24/25 Sept?
In terms of venue I don't know if you prefer restaurants, shisha places, or what have you. Virtually anything is fine with me.
posted by atrazine at 3:46 AM on September 7, 2010

Tomorrow evening i have a call in meeting with the plante manager in Abu Dhabi. Hopefully he'll know my exact travel dates at the time. I'm guessing, that me being there on 24/25 Sept is about a 50/50 chance. I'll post more late tomorrw (Denver time).
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:05 AM on September 7, 2010

24/25 works for me as far as I can tell.

Confess, Fletch: if it turns out that you will not be here on the 24/25, please let us know whether you might be here later. I believe onalark will be back in KSA towards the end of the month, so maybe a later date would suit him as well?

Since my contingent consists of myself, husband, and three-yr-old, I'd prefer an open air shisha lounge/cafe type place, myself. And if that is ok with others, I can suggest some, too. :)
posted by bardophile at 3:23 PM on September 7, 2010

I started an IRL thread for this. I didn't realize while creating it that you could comment there... so shall we just move this discussion to that thread?
posted by bardophile at 5:08 AM on September 8, 2010

(I just came here from the IRL thread which said to come here, so I'm just going to comment here.)

I'll just miss you folks. I'll be in Abu Dhabi for a day (from Los Angeles) on my way out to the middle of the Rub' Al Khali desert to do field recording for two weeks with SOUNDWALK. I don't arrive until early October. I'll wave on my way by, though...
posted by mykescipark at 1:54 PM on September 8, 2010

I just finished up a call in meeting with my project manager in Abu Dhabi. My trip has been shortened to two weeks. He would like me to be there for the first two weeks of October, so the only weekend I have there is the 8-10th. I'm going to start getting tickets tomorrow so I doubt much will change at this point. So if you want to proceed without me feel free to, or if you want a secondary meetup that would be awesome too.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:11 PM on September 8, 2010

Confess, Fletch. I think we'll go ahead with this one, otherwise we'll never get enough people in one place. I'm up for another meetup though, so let us know.
posted by atrazine at 11:40 PM on September 8, 2010

atrazine, shall we go ahead and confirm for the 24th?
posted by bardophile at 3:00 PM on September 9, 2010

Ok, let's lock in the 24th.
posted by atrazine at 12:31 AM on September 10, 2010

Eid Mubarak by the way, bardophile, to you and your family.
posted by atrazine at 12:34 AM on September 10, 2010

Thank you atrazine. Eid Mubarak to you too. :)
posted by bardophile at 5:26 AM on September 10, 2010

As far as venues go, have you been to Cafe Layali Zaman aka Baguette? Any other venues that you would like/prefer?
posted by bardophile at 5:43 AM on September 12, 2010

That sounds fine to me, I've been there, but I don't really remember where it is.
posted by atrazine at 6:43 AM on September 17, 2010

Ok, tickets are finally bought.
I arrive around 9pm (2100) on the 1st and leave around 2am (0200) on the 16th. I'll be staying at the Park Rotana.

I'm game for a secondary meetup if anybody else is. I'm a little unsure of my schedule on the one weekend I'll be in town, but that is probably when I'll have a little spare time. Also, since I've never been to Abu Dhabi before I have no idea where might be good to meet, I'll defer to whatever you suggest.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:27 AM on September 17, 2010

So we'll leave the question of the second meetup open for now. If you will be able to attend the one this Friday, the 24th, please indicate that on the IRL thread here.
posted by bardophile at 7:42 PM on September 20, 2010

The new server hasn't been delivered by Dell and it won't be installed until the 10th, I won't be there until the 18th. Grrr....
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:08 PM on September 23, 2010

Confess, Fletch: C'est la vie. I keep saying that to myself over and over again. Along with "Breathe." A year later the rate at which things do not get done here can still get under my skin. :)

Let us know when your plans are final. We'll try to find a way to meet up.
posted by bardophile at 11:18 PM on September 27, 2010

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