It’s good to rant. The Grumpy Old Raver takes on the ‘Dubai pose’.

Strike a pose, sure. Just not that one. 

OK ladies, I’ll never be a girly girl; we’ll never get into a discussion about the best nail bars in town but in the grand scheme of things I’ll always still stick up for the sisterhood.

I’m no raging feminist either – I can build flatpack furniture from Ikea on my own; I’d just rather not – but I do love to see women being independent, successful, inspiring and empowering. Particularly here in Dubai, my adopted home, where it’s a privilege to grow personally and professionally as the city grows. Exciting times… progress… let’s go!

But there’s one thing amongst the good ladies of Dubai that I simply can’t defend. I noticed it when I first arrived on this turf two years ago and considered it nothing more than a strange little quirk. Now though, like a super strain of a bug that laughs in the face of all antibiotics and vaccines, it seems to have turned into an epidemic.

What am I talking about? The ‘Dubai pose’, that’s what. With the lightning speed reaction of a New York cop pulling his gun, and with the grace of a samurai warrior reaching for his sword, certain ladies in this town instantly adopt this pose at the mere sight of a photographer.

What does it look like? Let me break it down for you…

Step 1: Turn sideways

Step 2: Weld the hand closest to the photographer to your hip

Step 3: Jut the nearside elbow out at an angle that could take an eye out

Step 4: Point your chin in the polar opposite direction of your elbow

Step 5: Tilt head and lean back at a gravity-defying angle

Look in any local mag or online site that covers nightlife or social events and you’ll see the ‘Dubai pose’ in full effect – lone warriors or tribes brandishing elbows like lethal weapons, each tribe only distinguishable by the angle of the chin in the opposite direction to the elbow.

Call me old school – I am – but I’m still trying to work out what the whole trout pout/duck mouth/selfie phenomenon is all about. First up, I still don’t know the difference between a trout pout and a duck mouth. Both still look like you’ve smacked into a glass door face first at high speed. And I certainly can’t get to grips with the “let’s ignore the beautiful surroundings and post pictures of oneself in an elevator” trend. So you can understand why my brain is in meltdown over this latest photo thing.

My natural reaction when I see a camera is to:

A: Run. If there’s no evidence, it didn’t happen

B: Freeze like a rabbit in headlights

C: Roughly pull all nearby mates into a cheesy-grinned group bear hug

Seriously, the last thing on my mind is to pout, suck, look up, lean back, tilt, bend and jut. My workouts in the gym aren’t even that strenuous.

If I’d lived my life in reverse, perhaps I’d be praising the ‘Dubai pose’ for vital life skills. That “elbows out” move sure would have been handy during rush hour on the packed London Underground.

Regressing further back to growing up on the mean streets of Glasgow – Europe’s knife crime capital ten years ago – should a scarfaced Glaswegian scoundrel have whipped out a huge blade and attempted to mug me, I could have counterattacked by whipping out a sharp Dubai elbow that would have made his weapon look like a butterknife in comparison.

So, the ‘Dubai pose’… like quantum physics, it’s something I can’t get my head around. I wonder if Pythagoras is looking down questioning his theorem about angles, or if Sir Isaac Newton is scratching his head over how these girls don’t fall over. Even my Significant Other tilts his head like a puzzled Cocker Spaniel when he sees pics of girls in full ‘Dubai pose’ mode. He works in construction and reckons that behind every one of these chicks is an invisible acro prop. At least that’s rational thinking and somewhat logical – unlike the act of pulling the pose itself.

If this page is blank next week I’ll likely be in hospital with a punctured lung after a sharp elbow dig from one of the Dubai pose posse who has taken serious umbrage to this column.

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