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Dubai: Pumping Sewage, Jailing Lovebirds, and Growing

Dubai is everywhere. Well, not everywhere, it's specifically on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf and one of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates and the most populous city of the UAE. On the plane to the RNC I read Ben Mezrich's new book, Rigged: The True Story of an Ivy League Kid Who Changed the World of Oil From Wall Street to Dubai. It's excellent and piqued my interest for this rapidly expanding city blending western ideas deep in the heart of the Middle East. Then my dad forwarded a photo taken from the top of the construction of the world's tallest skyscraper being built there. Seems like Dubai is a glittering paradise?

Sort of. To see what I mean,


The mix of a Vegas-y feel of Western excess within a Middle Eastern climate of expectation has led one British couple to be imprisoned for three months for allegedly having sex on the beach. Literally. They're appealing their sentence. In the meantime, discussion has been sparked as to what is, or is not, acceptable behavior in the Muslim state of Dubai. Oh, and that huge skyscraper? It turns out giant buildings like that require giant infrastructure. That hasn't quite kept pace with Dubai's growth — they're having a little bit of a raw sewage problem on the beaches. As soon as they get that straightened out, I could be down for a visit.


sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
I think those islands are terribly tacky.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i was watching a program about how the towers are all being built and how they have to withstand a lot of wind and all that - so it's no easy task. i think that the most impressive thing aside from the burg are all the islands that they are just CREATING out in the water. they have the palms and i saw the plans for the world islands..that takes a lot of creativity and perseverance i think.
sw33tlovin sw33tlovin 9 years
i'm down for a visit, too! i'd love to see a camel at the beach :) i know, though that mixing western culture in the middle east will be a huge, lingering issue.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
3 months of jail for sex on the beach? :o
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well in all fairness L.A. has a little problem with raw sewage every time they have a heavy rain. Beaches from Malibu dwn through Santa Monica and Venice are closed to swimmers. But something tells me that unlike California Dubai will pour the necessary money needed into fixing the problem.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I'm thinking I may need to wait until they get that whole raw sewage problem fixed. Some people will call it a paradise because they like that sort of thing. I prefer the mountains, so a place like Jackson Hole, WY would be my paradise.
nariyal nariyal 9 years
One can't deny that Dubai is growing at a phenomenal pace. But at what price? 'We need slaves to build monuments.' This is the predominant attitude towards blue-collar workers, even if it isn't voiced. It's something that's glossed over, rather conveniently. There's no "official" division of classes, but problems and prejudices remain all around. Don't get me wrong.. it is a dazzling place, and it's really easy to have a good time here. The large percentage of expat population (only 20% of the residents of the UAE are actual UAE nationals) ensures that whatever multicultural experience you sample, be it an Indian restaurant, an Irish pub or a Philippino club, it's near authentic. It is also very tolerant given that it IS an Islamic state. But paradise? Yeah, that might be overstating it a bit. Still, it is worth a visit. Mostly. :)
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
hmmph, well i guess that Citizen Sugar Meet Up 2008 conference at that 493,942,382 star hotel in dubai will have to be canceled now. boooo!
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