Monday, March 06, 2006

Yo, Dubai bashers -- Read this and shut up...

I'm just a plain old blogger but I'm not altogether stupid. Somebody either show me how this is a bunch of made-up hype or quit painting everybody in the Arab world with the same broad brush. I'm so tired of reading about "them" and "they" I want to throw up.

If you were to arrive in Dubai and look at all the glass and concrete buildings, you might easily believe yourself at first to be in a medium-to-large American city. This is not true – the city runs along rather different lines from any in the West, and similarities are often only superficial. However, there is one important way in which Dubai resembles the United States: the business of Dubai is business.
A hundred years ago, Dubai grew as a trading center, drawing traders from ports like Linjah in Iran, then in decline due to government intervention there. As a stable, well-run city surrounded by chaotic neighbors, Dubai continues to benefit from turmoil and inefficiency in neighboring countries. Terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia? Get American expatriates to Dubai, where they are safe. Concerned about the security of your investments in America after 9/11? Put the funds in Dubai. Afraid the Iranian government won’t last too long? Put the money in Dubai’s property sector. Have trouble conducting direct trade between India and Pakistan because of red tape? Ship the goods through Dubai’s port.

1 comment:

BD said...

I'd say you got it right about Dubai in your short post. There's a story that a high-placed Saudi complained to high-placed Dubaian. "Why do you allow the bars, the women and so much to go on in Dubai? Why don't you build big mosques?" Dubaian, "Because big mosques don't make money." It might sound crass, especially to a fellow Muslim, but it is Dubai's mantra. It isn't a cruel and hard capitalism, but a practical and very successful one.