Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 26 April 2019

UAE April Fool's Day pranks – the good, the bad and the downright awful

We rate the country's effort when it comes to 2019 April Fool's Day hoaxes

As I write, it is 11.15am on April 1, 2019, April Fool's Day. I am yet to encounter any clingfilmed toilets, airhorns behind doors or a whoopee cushion, in any shape or size. You have 45 minutes, pranksters, come and get me.

What I have, however, encountered are April Fool's Day stunts from brands of the UAE – some good, some bad, some down-right awful.

Click through the gallery above to see all of the April Fool's Day pictures.

Here we break down the April Fool's Day hoaxes from the UAE:

1. Namshi

On March 26, Namshi sent out an email bemoaning delivery time (that is a common theme here, settle in).

"Hate the wait for your online delivery? Namshi has got you covered," they wrote. "Namshi will be launching an even faster delivery service called The Falcon Express that will offer customers express delivery within three hours of placing their orders, at a minimal additional fee."

The email came with an image of a falcon sat atop a box from the online shopping site.

However, by 9.30am on April 1, they had sent out a retraction, of sorts, claiming, "Looks like we all got pranked for April Fool's Day".

Namshi have already announced that the falcon delivery service is an April Fool's prank. Courtesy Namshi 
Namshi have already announced that the falcon delivery service is an April Fool's prank. Courtesy Namshi 

"You may have guessed that this new service was an April Fool’s prank – we won’t be handing parcel to the birds any time soon – but we do love our falcons and are pleased to announce a partnership with Emirates Nature-WWF to support the country’s wildlife (falcons included) and natural resources," they said. "As an April Fool’s treat and with 24-hour deliveries in the UAE, Namshi is offering 20 per cent off site-wide by using the code ‘FALCON’ until April 3."

April Fool's rating: As UAE-centric pranks go, this isn't too bad. Covers everything we want: fast delivery, animal welfare, discounted shopping. However, they fall short of the midday deadline for April Fool's pranks to end. Why the cop out two hours too soon?

2. Deliveroo

Food delivery service, Deliveroo, announced at 4pm on March 31 that crusts were now banned on pizza. What a ridiculous suggestion. How would you pick up a slice?

Apparently no pizza parlour on the app was safe, and it is a blanket crust ban, rolled out globally, "based on massive negative feedback from consumers who dislike crusts". They went on to dub them "crustomer complaints".

April Fool's rating: Top marks for the punny "crustomer complaints", but the emailed line, "This would be a fun addition to the round-up for your April Fool’s Day", made any April Fool's fun null and void, the moment it was announced.

3. Barasti

On first read, this was almost believable: someone has washed up at Barasti and just kept the party going. Of course.

"A partygoer this morning sailed into the famous Barasti Beach Bar on an inflatable rubber ring – after falling asleep on the ocean, over 30km away," the beach club explained, with a set of images of a rather confused looking party-goer, arriving in the beach club by orange rubber ring.

They go on to get a quote from Brian Slade, the "washed-up" man in question: "I was clueless when I woke up as to what had happened... I just sat tight throughout the night and would occasionally see the odd light on the shore. The sight of Barasti as the sun came up is something I will never forget, and I can’t thank the staff enough for looking after me like they did."

Barasti claims a man has washed up and kept the party going, this morning. Courtesy Barasti Beach Club
Barasti claims a man has washed up and kept the party going, this morning. Courtesy Barasti Beach Club

Barasti claims to have given him a warm welcome, with a cup of tea and full English breakfast.

Now, I don't know what is more unbelievable here: that a man travelled 30km on a rubber ring, or that someone has found a way to get around the famously thorough Barasti door staff.

April Fool's rating: Brian's story got a few audible chuckles around the office this morning, so perhaps his tall tale rang a little too true for residents of the UAE.

4. Uber Eats

Super-speed delivery (I told you we'd come back to this) was taken to the UAE extreme by Uber Eats.

The delivery service told us it was taking to the sky to deliver breakfast, lunch and dinner UAE-wide, even at 30,000 feet – so far, so believable, if I'm being honest. We live in the UAE, Uber Chopper and Uber Yacht are old-hat here, and we have Deliveroo and Carrefour delivering to boat parties on the regular.

I had, however, misread. No, no, Uber is delivering mid-air.

"In a world first, Uber Eats has announced that they are now delivering to passengers mid-flight while in UAE airspace. Having developed the first anti-gravity delivery tunnel that connects directly with the airplane door, a winged courier will now be able to bring passengers their favourite dishes at 30,000 ft in the air," Uber Eats announced. "On arrival, the suit synchronises with the aircraft’s cruising speed and deploys the meal via a patented, hermetically-sealed delivery tube that connects to the interior cabin for seamless dispatch."

I can safely say no aeroplane meal has ever been so bad, that I needed to order a ramen for the ride.

April Fool's rating: I am not sure this won't eventually happen for real, so Uber Eats may just be ahead of the curve here.

5. Wavebreaker Beach Club

Apparently April Fool's pranks are the fodder of delivery services and beach clubs this year, because Wavebreaker Beach Club announced its brand-new invisible burger.

"Wavebreaker Beach Bar and restaurant to launch the healthiest invisible burger meal in town this April. Instead of consuming harmful calories, our skillful chefs will serve you an invisible burger for only Dh150 each," the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah eatery revealed.

Invisible burgers from Wavebreaker. Courtesy Hilton Dubai Jumeirah
Invisible burgers from Wavebreaker. Courtesy Hilton Dubai Jumeirah

They added that the invisible burger is best washed down with the "cocktail of the month – Iced H2O".

April Fool's rating: Are we being calorie shamed here? I want my burgers to be fully visible and laden with calories, thanks.

6. Emirates

In a Tweet on March 31, Emirates announced chauffeur-less drones in Dubai.

"Fly on our chauffeur-less drones between any location in Dubai and DXB, from April 2020," the airline Tweeted. "Each drone features two fully-enclosed First Class private suites. Our new drone airport transfer service will be offered to all Emirates Skywards Platinum members."

"Fly on our chauffeur-less drones between any location in Dubai and @DXB, from April 2020," the Dubai airline wrote on Twitter. Twitter / Emirates 
"Fly on our chauffeur-less drones between any location in Dubai and @DXB, from April 2020," the Dubai airline wrote on Twitter. Twitter / Emirates

The airline is not new to April Fool's Day pranks, last year it announced its SkyLounge, a plane offering the ultimate view with transparent walls and ceilings.

April Fool's rating: The closer we get to driver-less taxis, the more real a possibility this feels. It probably is only a matter of time until Emirates is scooting the ultra-rich around the UAE in drones.

7. Pulse 95 Radio

Phoning it in a little, Sharjah-based radio station, Pulse 95 Radio, Tweeted around 11am that, due to a server crash, they'd only be playing jazz and classical music for the next couple of weeks.

"We’re sad to announce that our servers crashed so we’ll be playing only classical and jazz music for the next couple of weeks," the radio station Tweeted.

At the time of writing, one eagle-eyed Twitter user had cottoned onto the radio station's prank, replying, "April Fool's Day joke?"

April Fool's rating: Some UAE radio listeners will be delighted by this news, so this might just up the Pulse 95 listenership for the next day or so.

Updated: April 1, 2019 01:05 PM

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