Monday, 5 October 2009

Dubai's 'achievement'

Just back from a quick visit to Dubai. The main item of conversation, apart from the fact that Abu Dhabi is keeping the place on life support, is the new metro system. As usual with the Gulf, everything has to be bigger and better and more beautiful and taller and faster, and..... well, you get the drift.

And indeed the metro is an outstanding achievement.

The Emiratis are taking immense pride in it.

To which I respond ... why?

Look at it this way.

* The overall design of the infrastructure was done by the British, French and Singaporeans

* The design and build of the rolling stock was a Japanese effort

* The civil engineering design was British

* The civil engineering construction was managed and supervised by Turkish interests

* The raw physical work was carried out by virtual slave labourers from Southern Asia

* The money for the project came from oil that was discovered, extracted, refined and distributed by foreign (mainly Western) interests.

So what the fuck are they so proud about?


abdulhakim said...

Bravo and well said! It makes me sick to see the Emiratis - and the Qataris - the way they go on. They do absolutely NOTHING themsleves, just spend the money from the oil they happened to be sitting on in the most extravagent ways possible.

Think! said...

Well at least they are employing talented people, rather than "Affimitive Action" place holders and the like. Also consider they could use the money to further corrupt Western politicians and build mosques in new cities. Not such a bad deal if you consider the other options for a moment.

Anonymous said...

But that is what they are proud about precisely-- they only had to sit on their asses for the duration! And now they are there, still in sitting position!

Now if those bastards did something really cool, like build a $US300M museum dedicated to the moths of the world (no butterflies, just moths) THEN I might have an ounce of respect for them.

I think that sums up the difference in a neat, odd way between the desertic A-rabs and, say, the Brits: the former want lion heads on the wall, while the latter are not satisfied with lion heads alone. They must have drawer after drawer of all manner of beetles, centipedes, etc., and stove houses packed with pitcher plants from Borneo and the like.

Whatever that gene is, the Irish have it, too.

W Baker said...

Sounds pretty Semitic to me....

Zngr said...

Dubai and the emiratis are fucked. Also, from the point of view of a secular western individualist, they appear as monsters when you probe the depths of what has transpired but I might be biased.

For those who still (like I did - only a few years ago) think they are achieving something positive and are suspicious of the validity of Mr. Savant's rightly severe judgment do your self a favor and read the report "The Dark Side of Dubai" by Johann Hari on the Independent.

In fact, if you are simply interested about Arabs, Emirati culture or the developing world in general read it anyway. I promise you rewarding thrills.

Dubai by and large could (will) end up like any of the massive North Korean building projects that were never finished.

Another interesting article from the (surprise surprise) Guardian.

Oh my!

To follow general events in Dubai (most of which are scary to horrific) here is your hub. It almost seems their economy is based on a huge bubble. Who could have known?

From Hari's relentless assault one almost comes to the conclusion that Dubai (and others) will in a decade or two end up as wastelands, ruins of failed projects that were fueled by megalomaniac ambition, gathering sand in the desert... Keep in mind the emirates are unable to even maintain their most basic infrastructure on their own. What happens when ALL of those who can, leave, or escape (as some like the French Herbe have done)? It is not hard to imagine.

Burj Dubai looming over the desert, surrounded by a city which grows darker by the day. Standing guard over polluted beaches and a dead sea. Beaten by the sands. Empty. Dark. Rusting.

I've become a Link Monster.

enola said...

Have not read those links posted by zngr (just going to after this comment!). What he says about the place is correct. Beyond the veneer of modernisation there is a hideously corrpt, backward and I'd almost say evil society and polity.

However, can't agree that it's doomed. The UAE has phenomenal amounts of oil and will bankroll the rest of the EMirates if needs be.

Don't forget that the native population is tiny.

enola said...

zngr - that link to the Telegraph says that things are looking up there. Had you something else in mind?

Exegesis said...

I find it immensely amusing. One day, their oil reserves will run dry, at which point the whole population will rush en-mass to western countries as UAE & co. deteriorate.

Won't the Irish be so happy with their enrichment, that the EU will lovingly share with them!!

Anonymous said...

The British ex-pats there remind me of those in South Africa years ago. Ignorant lower class drones suddenly provided with servants. Completely out of their knowledge. Hope it goes belly up for these fuckers as well.

Zngr said...

@ Enola, read them as you will. Insert smile.

Things are looking up?

Why, so is Western economy. The pits of 08 and 09 are going to vanish because something significant has changed!