Monday, August 14, 2006

Promoting Dubai's tourism...

Here's a classic from the pages of 7Days, this published yesterday...

Hotel keeps guests’ passports after complaints over rats

A hotel is refusing to return the passports of a British family who complained their room was infested with rats. Roy Pegram and his family checked in to the Gulf Desert Hotel in Deira for two weeks. But one week into their stay they say their son found a rat in the bathroom.

Hotel cleaners killed the rat, but the next day two more were found in the room, they say.

Though the family is prepared to pay for the first week of their stay, they are refusing to pay for the time after the rats were found. The hotel, which admits there were rats in the room, has offered a discount of just dhs500, and is refusing to return the family’s passports until they pay the bill of dhs3,140.

But that's not the best bit. I love this:

A spokesman for the three-star hotel suggested to 7DAYS yesterday that the family, which has holidayed in the hotel for the past three years, may have planted the rats deliberately.

What did they do, bring the rats with them, keep them somewhere and release them one at a time? Or do they go into the back streets of Deira on rat-catching expeditions each evening?

And the hotel is withholding passports? Surely that can't be legal?

Anyway, Her Britannic Majesty's Government is on the case. Today the report is...

Hotel will release passports

A hotel has agreed to return the passports of a British family who refused to pay the bill after finding rats in their room. Yesterday 7DAYS reported how the Pegram family were prepared to pay for the first week of their two-week stay at the Gulf Desert Hotel in Deira, but would not pay for the time after the rats were found......But now the family is saying that not only will they not pay anything, they want compensation for clothes allegedly damaged by the rodents

It's all getting out of control and of course the longer the fight goes on the more press coverage it's going to get in the UK. "Rats in Dubai hotel" and "British passports seized" is the likely sort of coverage we'll be getting. Tabloids signing the family to exclusive deals..."Our Dubai holiday hell" sounds a likely headline.

I respectfully suggest that someone from Dubai Tourism gets down there pretty quickly to sort it out.

The stories are here and here.


Tainted Female said...

Ummm, yeah. Those were my first thoughts. UK press.

I didn't agree with the hotel taking the passports, but I also find it hard to believe that the family wants so much compensation now for 'destroyed clothing' and such. You'd think, after seeing the rats, they'd take care of their clothing. Rats aren't that fast to act, from what I know of.

The hotel agrees to their initial demands (yes, after being pressured by the Embassy), so why are they changing them now? It’s insane really!

Seabee said...

It sounds like the typical standoff, the way these things get to stupid levels. Instead of sitting down and sorting it out both sides take an uncompromising stand and the demands get more and more outrageous.

Sounds just like the world situation!!

tainted, feeling better after the flu yet?

Desert Lady said...

I can't believe they continuted their stay! If i'd have been staying in a hotel with rats i'd have been outta there quick sharp!!!

I bet they sign up with the uk tv series 'Holidays from Hell'!