Every now and then on my travels I stop in my tracks and ask: What on earth am I doing here? It’s a question I asked in Dubai today.
It’s on the way to Lahore of course and I’ll be there in less than 12 hours. But since I would never think of visiting Dubai otherwise, I thought an existential question or two would be ok.
It’s redundant to say this is a place of excess, some of which I’ve tried to capture in the images below. Two wives for one man; a fanfare (?) of peacocks on the road leading to the palace of the ruler, Sheikh Mohammed; a 202-room, seven-star hotel built on its own island with 202 rooms priced $2,000-9,000 per night; architecture so indulgent its architects must have had a grand old time creating them. I have no idea whether Gaudi would approve.
Dubai is the most orderly, clean place you can imagine. Everything is owned by Dubai and with the help of police hidden and unhidden (I am told), and it seems to be a perfectly functioning machine. There has been a recent upsurge in business because no other site can offer the international business community the regional stability and predictability that Dubai can. Only 20% of the people are local, of the rest 50% are Indian, 20% Pakistani and the rest from other Asian countries–only 10% come from the West. They are mostly here to make money to remit to their families back home. Revolution is the farthest thing from their mind–and it’s not their country anyway so they can’t take it back!
That’s my 48-hours worth.
Burj Al Arab, the 7-star hotel on its own island for 202 privileged guests paying $2-9K nightly.
The right side of the peacock with visiting rabbit on the left