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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Dubai - fact or fiction? by ArabiaJane on 3 January 2009 6:54pm
We have lived 'next door' to Dubai for over five years now, and even when we first moved here it was hard to see even the shadow of Michael Palin's Dubai. In our city, Abu Dhabi, an hour's drive away, there is still a small dhow harbour but the dhows are all fishing vessels. The sort of dhows that, twenty years ago, moved goods across the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf, are just not used any longer for moving goods... not like they were.

There are still a few dhows that move things from Iran to Abu Dhabi, but they bring mainly aluminum and plastic and ugly ceramics, and the sort of things you find in bulk budget shops in the rest of the world.

There is a hilarious dichotomy between what the general public sees as 'Dubai' and what Dubai is, these days. The ruling clans push the press so hard that we see pictures and shows about this area on the tv and wonder where the hell they put the camera, LOL!

My parents came this year to visit, both seriously into their late seventies, and they wanted to 'see Dubai'. I said 'you can't really, but we'll drive up there any way so you know what I mean...'

It's all dust, cranes, traffic jams, dust, cranes, diversions, blocks, dust... living there would be like living in hell. The Palm Jumerah? Try to find it, and once there, try to overcome the stink of water that isn't circulating properly. The indoor ski slope? Cool, for sure, but it's in a shopping mall. A shopping mall. Who comes to the desert to go skiing anyway, and the shopping mall is in the middle of the world's worst traffic jam!

And the creek where Michael's wonderful marina was? Dust. Cranes. Construction. The entire city is a dustbowl of construction. They don't know when to stop, their only credo is 'we can, so we will.'

I, for one, don't admire that, although perhaps some do. I think that development is best when it keeps pace with the people who have to live with it.

My two cents.
Re: Dubai - fact or fiction? by bIG bLOGGER on 4 January 2009 2:50pm
The photos I have seen in our Press of the 'New' DUBAI reveal,as you tell it,one horrid bIG construction site,as if they are making a new Benidorm in the Persian Gulf with masses of ugly high-rise skyscraper Tower blocks,and no character to the community at all.But of course a few photos can never give the whole picture.Too much money,and not enough taste!!

It's interesting to me that before oil concessions were granted to the Sheik in 1939,and oil deposits were first discovered in 1958,Abu Dhabi had a very basic economy,living from camel-herding,pearl-diving,date and vegetable production in the inland oases,and fishing.

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