Sides of Dubai

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Great piece in the Guardian today about life in Dubai. It is not often that such honest, objective, and well-written stories come out of the city. Such stories will never be published in the local newspapers.

So if you are interested in reading about “real” life in Dubai, as opposed to crazy architecture, artificial islands, and 7-star hotels, this feature is a must read.

Here are two excerpts from the piece:-


“…we’ve all made a pact with the devil to be here. You get the tax-free salary, but in return you have to give up all your rights. There’s no accountability, no transparency, no rule of law. There’s no legislative body. Very few employment rights. It looks like a modern country, but it takes more than a few skyscrapers to create one of those. Scratch the surface and it’s a different story. And if you’re a silly young girlie who gets into trouble, then forget it.”

But also so true:

“…somehow Dubai manages to be all things to all people. It’s capitalism’s ultimate expression: the land of opportunity, the most developed city in the Middle East, a free port. It’s ruled absolutely by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and is a constituent part of the UAE, a federation of seven emirates, including, down the road, immensely oil-rich Abu Dhabi, whose ruling family has just bought Manchester City. Dubai, on the other hand, never had much oil; it’s been forced to develop in other ways, to provide whatever is needed, and it’s done so more quickly and successfully than anyone could anticipate. It knows what the rest of the world wants and has built it before anyone else has even realised.”

Things couldn’t be better said about living in Dubai.

A little bit of me is going to die when I leave Madrid and move back to this maddening city. Or, perhaps better (and more positively said — thanks N), a little bit of me is going to be left behind. Yup. I’m kinda feeling it now.

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