04 March 2007

Dubai: What's Between Skyscrapers and the Reputation

This is what’s happening 57 minutes away by an Airbus, that’s if you’re not flying GF..

Dubai, or Dub-bee as I like to call it, is a constant energy buzz, with cloud-penetrating skyscrapers, huge money, foreigners and continuous surprises beyond standard imagination. Do we ever see beyond the corporate face of Dubai? Well, we should.

Beneath the energy buzz, there lay unique sensations. Night becomes day, for the night’s sky is never black. In skyscrapers you’ll find dreams being built and delivered. Huge money is only a medium to reach excellence and success. Beyond the intense incense smell in your cab, beyond the wandering Indians, the scattered Palestinians/Jordanians, the loud Italians, the overly amiable Bahrainis, the friendly Africans, the sexy Iraqis and the very few Emirates, beyond hundreds of thousands of faces, you experience diversity you learn an important lesson; tolerance.

You can walk unnoticed, unbothered by a million “hala, shakhbar”s. You can jump on a main road with an afro the size of the Burj, not a single jaw dropped.

Variety is everywhere and in everything. Billboards, food, drinks, dance, culture, colours, languages, leisure, sports, entertainment, you have endless options and more. Bored? You’ll never be.

You will find art at endless places, and at where you’d expect to encounter it the least. Music fills each and every venue. Beauty, though at many times artificial, takes you by wonder. Can you ever seize to be surprised in that city?

As a partially-Hippie 24 year old who seeks peace and fights for freedom of speech, I didn’t expect to like the buzzed city the least, but as I looked outside my taxi window on my way to the airport, I thought to myself, “I can do Dubai”. At this age, and this level of energy, it’s a great investment of skills with countless opportunities for knowledge expansion and amusement.

Maybe the traffic can be unbearable, the prices are not exactly low, and you’re lucky if you find someone who can chat politics with you, but Dubai’s fresh energetic atmosphere builds professionalism inside you, and it delivers what it promises.

Dub-bee to Bahrainona, I think we have a long way to go. Yes, of course we don’t want to be another Dubai, and we can’t. Bahrain is characterized with an ancient history and a richly flavoured culture. We have the resources, the diversity and variety. It’s about time we realize that our uniqueness is not a hindrance, rather a strength and a source of creativity.


Costa-guy said...

good.. at least you seem you have enjoyed it.. good for you.. well, Bahrainona won't be as Dub-bee for two reasons..

1- Bahrainona lacks financial reasourses (hmmm.. i wonder why?!) and as long it keeps whining about being this way and that no one knows where the money of the state goes, they (the government) ought to forget about making it another Dubai and so do the citizens.

2- Bahrainona citizens and (their government) are not focused on developing.. they are so busy messing up each other's lives by raising up the issues they differ at and keep argueing until it becomes a national problem ,where in the end, everyone is involved and suffering.

The (problem-making government) and it's (arrogant citizens) need to settle the feud between each other and then talk about development..

They have a vision to develop. We have a tendency to destruct and spread hatred.

Who's fault is that? and why is it we are so focused and always try to make a politic issue out of everything? how did politics become our daily concern? Why are we actually commenting on such a beautiful topic (as the one written here) by raising up a (poltic) point. Who's fault is that? Who changed everyone's focus on politics and destruction instead of love and development?

Who should we seriously blaim responsible for our (under-development)??

Until then we'll keep bragging about how Dubai is our wonderful, westerenized, developed and entertaining "lost city in the dessert" that has no civilization or history. As if it is somewhere near to be compared to Vegas or any other developed city, where skyscrapers really run parallel to the history and reputation.

moodz said...


Let's call things by their names here, "Bahrainonoa" my good friends cannot be compared to Dubai or UAE with regards to financial resources, UAE is an oil rich country in both production and reserve. While it's true that the government is desperately trying to diversify its sources of income to overcome the extreme movements in oil prices and it was successful to a certain extent nevertheless at times of low oil prices, the UAE government is vulnerable to deficits due to the country's existing dependency on oil income. This was illustrated in the country's deficit for the 2003 financial year. In this case it is recommended by the IMF that non oil deficits are cut to " 19% of GDP by 2007 from its 26% level last year". Such a move will reduce the vulnerability of the country to oil prices as non oil expenditures will be reduced.

On another note, UAE isn't really heaven. At least not when it comes to its democratic standing, the participation of the locals in the private sector and the stunning reluctance of employers to hire locals. I can blab for a good half an hour about the scary economical standing of the UAE.. But i like the point you raised that its not only the goverment's fault but ours as citizens as well..

Taking the initiative must come from within, our youths are still out there burning tires and setting dumpsters on flames, the educated are in an eternal fight with the scholars and islamists for a middle ground they both agree on. Corruption and mistrust in the government are spreading like a deadly cancer.

If we can't get our basic need of shelter and jobs satisfied, it'll be a long time till we go out there to challenge anyone, let alone Dubai

aMaL said...


Bahrainona doesn't lack financial resources; it lacks proper management of available & future sources. If you can't put food on the table, how on earth will you be calm enough to think about the nation's economy.

Whatever attempts to fix the situation are not enough. Education and awareness campaigns are needed as crucial support. Tolerance, professionalism and peace should be promoted amongst the people.

Bahrainis are not arrogant. We are mistreated and we find ourselves in a huge mess as bureaucracy and corruption shut the door on reform.

SoulSearch said...

Your description of Dubai is right on the dot. I agree with your comment about Bahrainis struggling to put food on the table, that is the core of our hindrance in the kingdom.