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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Fake news: The best UAE April Fool's gags of 2018

Sure, living in a place like the UAE, just about every day you're at risk of falling for an April Fool's gag.

What with the number of technological breakthroughs and the country's pioneering spirit - sometimes very real announcements leave us second guessing if we're being pranked.

Perhaps it's one of the reasons why April Fool's Day doesn't seem to be as popular in the UAE, or people often believe said gags without question.

Regardless, today a few UAE companies were keen to get in on the action - so we've rounded up the best pranks of the day.

1. Emirates unveils the 'SkyLounge'

Emirates are no strangers to the April Fool's game - last year, they announced a triple-decker plane complete with swimming pool and park inside - so pundits were quick to identify this as in keeping with tradition. Their 'SkyLounge' concept was to be introduced on their Boeing 777X fleet from 2020 - featuring completely transparent walls for "views like no other".

2. Chevrolet's 'selfie steering wheel'

Chevrolet unveils its new 'selfie steering wheel'. Courtesy Chevrolet
Chevrolet unveils its new 'selfie steering wheel'. Courtesy Chevrolet

Because who can wait until they've pulled over to snap the perfect selfie? In line with "its commitment to safety and continuous innovation" Chevrolet announced its new hands-free solution to "keep drivers’ focus on the road while capturing the perfect driving selfie": the Selfie Steering Wheel.

The American car manufacturer said the steering wheel would feature a hands-free, high-resolution, 4G-equipped camera attached to the steering wheel.

The adjustable camera, placed in the driver’s line of sight, uses eye recognition technology and a simple button to allow drivers to strike a pose without having to take their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road.

Images would then automatically upload to popular photo sharing apps with support from a voice recognition system that can "even add a caption!".

But before anyone got their heckles up about the obvious safety issues - Chevrolet's disclaimer made it clear that selfies and driving were absolutely not compatible. In fact, the company used it as a marketing ploy or their 'AlertTags' road safety campaign.

3. Careem's space travel app

Following on from their bid to turn the UAE's rain green as part of a cloud seeding sponsorship deal, Careem continues to shoot for the stars in their April Fool's pranks - quite literally. For 2018, the ride sharing app will soon be taking customers to space, via their new SPACE beta app. They've even coined a hashtag: #spacehailing.

It would be "the most gigantic leap for the #spacehailing industry since 1969," they said, and pre-booking was available now.

4. Reel Cinema's vanilla and pickle popcorn

Actually, we don't know if this is a good gag - or just downright nasty. Reel Cinemas marked April 1 by announcing their new popcorn flavour: pickles and vanilla.

The salty but sweet treat is seemingly a result of customer feedback, according to a post on their Facebook page.

5. Washmen introduces Wash Kids

Washkids screenshot
Washkids screenshot

If you're a parent, you probably know the frustration of making sure your child is clean and food mess-free - only to turn around five minutes later and see a new stain on their shirt. So what if someone else could now sort that out for you?

That's the basic premise of Dubai laundry service Washmen's new service, as parents around the UAE were rejoicing in vain. For just Dh99, Washmen were offering a "professional female caregiver" to come directly to your home and wash your child with kid-safe products. Not only that, but they even offered organic, edible soaps, a NACP competency test, and them to be left smelling of a fresh, light fragrance.

"Kids will be washed, dried & dressed in their favourite outfits (items should be previously washed by the parent)," the Washmen website says.

However, just as you're screaming "take my money!", clicking on the 'try it for free' button offers a pop up April Fool's notification and a very smug looking man with a sign saying "U got punk'd - Wash Kids... really?" will dance across your screen.

However, it's not all bad - if you've made it this far, you will be given a 50 per cent discount code for April Fool's for your troubles.

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