Alan, you'll have St. Patrick on your side. How can you go wrong?
People forget about sandstorms and humidity in the Middle East. It was either one or the other most of the time when I was "on vacation there" in the 80's, they both looked the same from out on the Gulf - a brown to orange sky with limited visiblity. The "sand" wasn't really sand, but more like very fine tan dirt or dust. The courtesy and dome lights, instrument panel, and even some of the "sealed" gauges of the old Mazda I had in Bahrain had fine "sand" in them!
As far as the GEM- unfortunately there is nothing new to report. It is really sad when I do a Google search and keep seeing the same old results- "You've visited this page X times. Last visit: 1/12/21" The results without that footnote are ones I intentionally skipped and are usually dated 2020 or earlier with headings like, "GEM to open in late 2019!" The GEM website lists two or three different opening dates. The main page says, "Expected Opening TBD 2020. We know how that went! The main page/index banner, has the latest (guess) in small print below the title: "Opening mid-2021" I think the font size represents the confidence level in that date
Just recorded "Legends of the Pharoahs" on 2/22 from the Smithsonian channel. A very good show for those interested in Egypt (by any chance could that be Alan?) and the Pyramids. This is a "New" show for the season and is episode 1. I'm sure folks can find it even though it has already been on. Highly recommend.