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KAI RYSSDAL: Well T-G-I-T, everybody. Tonight’s the start of the weekend in much of the Middle East. We haven’t mentioned them so far but the beaches here are pretty nice.
This one, Jumeirah Beach Park, costs five dirhams to get in. About $1.35 U.S. Pretty good considering the rising cost of beach club memberships here. At the Ritz Carlton it’s $13,000 a year. So last Friday the cheap beach was mobbed. There was volleyball going on, ice cream vendors.
IT worker Helen Mathius kept an eye on her two young kids as they played in the sand.
Helen Mathius: I just wanted the children to have a nice time. Like all the time they’re in the house or in school so they really don’t get the open air.
Alvin Manulid came to Dubai from the Philippines. He makes around $380 a month as a housekeeper here. He gets free food and housing too. He says back home he’d have to have a college degree to do this well.
Alvin Manulid: But here even your ordinary people, you didn’t finish even college you can make that money. In Philippines it’s very difficult to make that money.
Not everyone is here to relax, though. Ranjit Hamachandra rents out plastic beach chairs to the wealthier clientele.
Ranjit Hamachandra: Too much hard work.
He gets Wednesday’s off. And you can bet he doesn’t spend it at the beach. That’s Dubai…