Fenty Family Home After Unannounced Dubai Trip

By Elissa Silverman and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, February 23, 2009

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty returned yesterday from a previously unannounced week-long family trip to the Middle East. A mayoral spokeswoman said Fenty (D), his wife and their two young sons left Washington on Feb. 15 for the United Arab Emirates.

The mayor met with officials there, including the mayor of Dubai, Mafara Hobson, a spokeswoman for Fenty, said in a statement. She said the family also visited a number of attractions.

She said no city tax dollars were used for the trip. Many other details of the visit could not be immediately learned.

The UAE provoked controversy recently when it barred a female Israeli tennis player from a tournament there. Last week, the UAE announced that a male Israeli doubles player would be permitted to compete in a tournament.

Neither the destination nor the trip had been disclosed on the mayor's public schedule.

As a council member, Fenty, citing a need "to be engaged," had criticized foreign travel by predecessor Anthony A. Williams

Mayoral travel in winter can be risky. As mayor, Marion Barry drew barbs for his absences during two big snowstorms. Williams truncated a vacation in Puerto Rico to oversee the cleanup of a 2003 blizzard.

Dubai, on the Persian Gulf, is known for blending modernity with traditional Islamic culture.

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