Thursday, 26 March 2009

On Dubai...

First off, a thank you to everyone who has been reading and commenting. It’s been great reading all your different perspectives.

I dunno you know, I find myself with competing, contradictory feelings about this one. To start with, I think that people should be socially aware and cast a critical eye on what is going on around them. I also think everyone has a right to their own opinion.

I disagree with the manner in which complaints about Dubai have been aired. I remember feeling a similar way when living in Beirut and listening to Americans mock the Lebanese banking system in a Lebanese restaurant surrounded by Lebanese people. There is a time and a place for everything and there is a way in which things are done.

The woefully ignorant negative press that we have been seeing about Dubai is ludicrous – an absolute mockery of journalistic standards. Frankly, if Germaine Greer, Sathnam Sanghera and Simon Jenkins are so desperate for an axe to grind, they would be well advised to spend more time focusing on the erosion of civil liberties in their own country... And, as a tax paying citizen of the UK, I feel I have every right to say that.

I am extremely grateful for the standard of life that Dubai afforded me when I lived there and even more so for that wonderful, safe and healthy childhood that so few get to experience. Here's where our opinions diverge though. I do think the price of that fantastic growth was high, I do think it represents an unrealistic way of life and I do find such focused capitalism disconcerting and discomforting.

Nowhere is perfect though and ultimately it is for each person to decide what they want from life and what compromises they make. You are right about one thing though, they are not being forced to stay in Dubai. Of course, it is always easier to remain in one’s comfort zone and complain than to get out and do something.

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