Dubai from 15,000 feet

15 04 2010


I met up with a friend from Canada two days ago, it was great to see him after long time. When I asked him “How do you find Dubai?” I got the same form of answer for umpteenth time. “Dubai is like fake Las Vegas”, “It is so artificial out here” . Even my ex-idol of relationship management Keith Ferrazzi did not have anything new to say.

It is easy observing Dubai from what it is now and comparing with system you have been brought up. The system basically the social and justice system you have been acquainted with most probably took more than 100 years to develop. I am telling this to citizens of western countries where for example it took States about 300 years to really get to apply the wisdom in Declaration of Independence – the declaration where black and white man are equal. It was just in 60’s Martin Luther King , Malcolm X et al fought for rights of black people when Dubai was just a barren desert inhabited by only 40,000.  From 1968 to 2009 the population grew almost 300% ! Did people find gold , black diamond like El Dorado in America?

Wild Wild East?

Dubai to a westerner is a city of 21st century infrastructure with 18th century social and judicial fabric as States was when they imported lots of immigrants (Chinese and Africans) to work on rail roads and coals building the backbone of industrial America.  Similarly, Dubai didn’t have the workforce to implement the dreams of shiekhs who knew that oil was going to dry up and UAE being a federal country , Dubai had to plan ahead and rely on it’s own to become partly self-sufficient. Immigrants were brought in mainly from South Asia which gave them a chance to improve their standard of living and living in a safe environment compared ot their home countries.

Recent census polled in 2009 showed the population of the emirate was 1,771,000 as of 2009, which included 1,370,000 males and 401,000 females . Yes, UAE has one of the highest sex ratio in the world for a reason (second after Qatar)- most of the men are laborers who stay away from their family and cannot afford to bring their family here and dont see them for 5 years some even a lifetime.

Social IQ difference

The social IQ between these laborers and so called equality minded westerners is so high that it is difference between a complete idiot and Albert Einstein. It is for reason clubs do not allow single men and enforce “couples only” policy which is unheard of in western world – to keep away socially inept men who have been deprived of taking sniff of their opposite sex. No wonder when a woman walks by (mainly westerner) it seems like a doughnut rolling in the ground of Ethiopia.  If these men would have been in present States it would have taken them 100 more years to enforce equality laws because of the difference in mentality of various groups of people.  West legally takes in only people who are educated who are more likely to adjust and assimilate to the “dominant West culture” – melting pot. Compared to this UAE is mosaic NOT a melting pot of different cultures where people of one race usually stick to their race as each race usually has certain purchasing power, social skills, implicit or perceived status – we as human beings associate ourselves with groups certain  status or class, people left out of the class may cry out ELITIST , NARCISSIST group but the fact is would you feel comfortable if one of the laborer dropped by your open party? Obviously your first reaction would be to get this weirdo out or your party will turn sour with some of your friends excusing themselves (taken from real life experience from a party of some so called social worker).



There have been people in this city who had taken action to help these laborers but most were and are low profile organization compared to Emirates Autistic or Arthritis Foundations eventhough less than 5% of UAE residents have been affected by autism or arthritis. The reason is authorities of UAE have been trying to suppress any information which shows UAE abusing laborers. Many have been documented in videos and denials in the newspapers leaving the blames on unscrupulous recruitment agencies who promise laborers one thing and do another. The issue is the authorities are not enforcing any laws which punish these recruitment agencies thus the circle of crime goes on. These injustices and schism have been there and resemble that of 18th century Wild West like Canada to Chinese – Canadians or Americans.

Sheikh Zayed Sultan Al Nahayan (Sr:Eu)

Rise of a Leader

It is unfair to dismiss the contributions of UAE for what it has done in terms of betterment of lives of locals and residents in such a short span of time i.e 30 years. Dubai has less natural resources than some of the African countries like Nigeria or Congo. Compare the regions and you will find the efficiency with which the charismatic founder Shiekh Zayed Al Nahayan merged this region and enabling the clans , families to put aside their differences and come together as seven emirates. The region has so many clans and families who were bitter rivals that if they hadn’t merged they would have been wasting their private wealth in West like any corrupt African nation and having civil wars filling the coffers of some western defense industry.

Graph showing improvements during Shiekh Zayed's time (

Sheikh Zayed modernized the country after he deposed his brother . Due to his contribution the mortality rate of infants decreased and longevity and purchasing power of locals increased which is stated by Hans Rosling in his famous speech in TED Feb 2006. In 30 years this region has seen massive growth in infrastructure and industry that improvements in social institutions and judicial systems did not keep pace with the rise of skyscrapers. “The laws seems so backward and upsurd here” quipped an American lawyer who works for ADIA (one of largest investment groups in the world)  in a business social gathering in Dubai recently.

I remember the wisdom from the saying “Water is unknown to fish until it has found air“. The problem is what may seem important to you may not seem important in the eyes of rulers as they have been socially programmed in a different way and wont realize the importance until after the luxuries bestowed by natural resources, great marketing by making superlatives and boom had given way. It is then the nation’s leaders will realize that a nation can prosper for sometime by building skyscrapers but will sustain by building and investing in people.

So next time you visit Dubai and observe the sky high skyscrapers , try to remember & appreciate how long did it take to build the city on sands and enjoy for what the city is, not what it could have been.




3 responses

22 04 2010

“enjoy for what the city is, not what it could have been”

Classic closing and right on! How people look DUbai in the eyes of present moment instead of studying the history of rapid growth

22 04 2010

Dubai still is concentrating less on improving the social structure and still doesnt realize the importance of it.

28 04 2010
Hashim Ali

Wow I didnt see in that way!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: