Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What is Dubai after all? :: NYO: New York Observer

The Observer's Chris Wright has powers of, well, observation that are pretty keen and he possesses a turn of phrase that would make Secret Dubai green:

Of the 1.2 million people living in Dubai, about 80 percent are foreigners. The emirate is, in many respects, not just a multicultural model for the Middle East, but for the world. Mosques and Irish pubs stand minaret to beer garden. At the malls, European girls expose their sacral tattoos alongside local women in full body armor.

Cultural conflicts play themselves out on the letters pages of the newspapers, but never on the street. Certainly, anti-Western demonstrations wouldn’t be tolerated here, but even if they were, it’s doubtful too many people would drag themselves away from their satellite TV’s to attend.
. . .
America wishes it had security like D.P. World.

When the D.P. World affair kicked off, a friend back home e-mailed to ask me what people’s reactions were here. Were they outraged? Were they talking of U.S. imperialism and racism? Erm, no. People weren’t saying much of anything about it. They were too busy complaining about the traffic in Sharjah, the construction in Jumeirah, the rising rents in Karama. (Bingo!)

What Dubai lacks in political discourse, it makes up for in clamorous self-promotion.
All very much on target. Read the whole thing.

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