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Two Views of Dubai

February 19, 2002

This one may be giving us the camel-laugh because we had to swerve to avoid some of his friends who were wandering into the road.

In addition to the serious damage such a collision could incur, we'd also have to reimburse the owner. It's even more serious if the camel is just injured, because his welfare then becomes your responsibility!

The skyscrapers are more indicative of modern-day Dubai–the city that is, since Dubai is also the name of the emirate of which it is the capital. (The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a union of seven sovereign sheikdoms, formed in 1971 when the British withdrew from the Gulf.) Dubai was already wealthy as a trading port when oil was discovered in Dubai in the late '60s. The sheik who was emir of Dubai was a visionary, deciding that he would not follow the example of some neighboring countries that just distributed all the oil wealth among the nationals–does the name Bin Laden ring a bell? Here, fifty percent is spent on an economic modernization program to provide the basis for continuing prosperity when the oil runs out.

The skyscrapers show what interesting designs can be realized when one can afford to give a free hand to the best architects. Our friends noted that the Hard Rock Café building to the south of Dubai, designed to look like the Empire State Building–once you've been told you can sort of recognize the likeness–was all by itself when they moved here two years ago. Now it's only one building among the acres of Internet City, including the likes of Canon and Microsoft, and Media City, including Reuters and MBC.

Not knowing what the M stood for I checked their web site. I couldn't find any indication there either, but I did find a poll on their home page. One could choose among five endings to the question:

© Copyright 2002 Jack Ludwick - All Rights Reserved

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