Thursday, October 24, 2013

Arabian Nights Village - Abu Dhabi

A new hotel resort has opened in Abu Dhabi, UAE, called "Arabian Nights Village".  Promising an authentic heritage experience in the desert, while maintaining plush Gulf standards, the hotel does not allow phones or Internet except for emergency use.

Here's their website -

and from - (

The Arabian Nights Village desert retreat has opened, designed to attract more cultural tourists to Abu Dhabi.

Spanning 85,000sqm, the Al Khatem plot is the size of 12 football pitches and aims to “raise the bar” on traditional overnight desert accommodation.

Conceived to give guests an insight into desert and traditional Emirati life, the Arabian Nights Village contains 30 double rooms, five one-bedroom suites and a three-bedroom suite, set across four themes: Bayt Al Shaaer (The Woven House), Bayt Al Bahar (House of the Sea), Bayt Al Bar (Desert Home) and Al Manhal Fort Tower.


Prices for two sharing a heritage room are Dhs1,250 ($340) for a night inclusive of service charges and tourism fees and include breakfast and dinner and most activities. The tower suites cost Dhs3,750 (US$1,000) and holds six guests.

Activities include dune bashing, quad biking, sand surfing and sledding, camel riding, falconry, henna painting and Emirati camel farm visits.  The village is also offering corporate packages and events.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Banksy's Jafar

Banksy ( has been doing a month long series of actions in New York City. He may have been responsible for these Arabic Wanted posters featuring Jafar from Disney's Aladdin, but the jury is out until he posts that it was him on his website/Instagram/wherever one needs to post to legitimize oneself.

Until then, the posters are pretty cool, they are signed in Arabic "Banksy" and say "Jafar" underneath the notorious Wizier's face. They were taken down by someone. The posters were put up with scotch tape on the side of an old CitiBank building in NY.

More here -

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tim Burton's Aladdin

Take a foreshadowing of Disney, a dash of Ray Harryhausen's Sinbad movies, shadows of The Thief of Bagdad (1940) and emanations of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, fairly faithful renderings of Grub Street & Galland's Aladdin and mix them with Shelley Duvall's irreverent series Faerie Tale Theatre (1982-87) and you have this entertaining variant of Aladdin (Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp) told by Tim Burton.

It is jam packed with famous 70s-80s faces including Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), Robert Carradine (Revenge of the Nerds & etc), Leonard Nimoy (Spock!) and James Earl Jones (Darth Vader), and is an interesting glimpse into Burton as a director to be.  Duvall was the lead actress in Burton's first version of Frankenweenie (1984) - which you should also go and see asap.

Here is Burton's Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp (1986) on YouTube:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

John Payne

I was lucky to find this great 15 volume set of John Payne's Nights at this awesome bookstore online (and in Kentucky) -  It cost $148, less than $10 per volume. 

I'm working on a project at the moment involving Payne, Burton and Lane and have discovered something pretty interesting that I hope to have in print somewhere soon.