Friday, 27 November 2009

Goodbye Dubai (maybe)

Dubai brings out the worst aspects of both the Anglian Puritan and the man of taste in me. Vulgar, vulgar, vulgar. Kitsch. A shameless whore. A female colleague who holidayed there earlier this year plummeted in my estimation; megawatt air conditioning in interiors designed by Saddam Hussein's decorator, waste and conspicuous consumption, Filipino slaves, tacky Jimmy Choos and footballers' wives; I don't think there's a single book in the entire Sheikdom - Dubai is not the sort of place for people who can read without moving their lips. My personal Hell would be an eternity spent in an air-conditioned Dubai hotel with nothing to read. You can tell I don't think much of the place, can't you?

So it's with a certain pleasure that I read of Dubai's current financial problems. Even though Dubai owns a fifth of the Stock Exchange, P&O and Travelodge. And even though its unlikely to become a ghost town, with the waters of the gulf and the sands of the desert reclaiming, covering and purifying all that ghastly vulgarity, it doesn't stop me imagining the fate of these American towns that grew overnight on the back of the silver rush, with opera house but no sewers.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm right with you Radders. I hate conspicuous vulgarity such as these places openly display. Although I support the notion of capitalism, this sort of wanton waste deeply disturbs me. Dubai was built from nothing - or less than nothing if you consider that it was built on debt.

Remember the old adage..."money talks, but wealth whispers"

Coney Island

JuliaM said...

I'd be inclined to agree with you.

However...

Brian E. said...

I've been there once in transit, and took the opportunity to stay for two nights. Glad I've seen it, but have no particular desire to return.

Chris said...

What was that axiom about the world's tallest building always topping out just as the market crashes?

Woolworth Building > Empire State > Sears Tower > Petronas Towers > Burj Dubai

They should have seen it coming...

Ed P said...

All those nice new little islands, low-lying just like the Maldives, Bangladesh, etc. Now the AGW scam has collapsed, you can see why it was fine, as the planners must have known, to build them without concern for rising sea levels.

Newmania said...

Oh dear me that was funny R I think many many agree with you and I will not be sorry to see Canary Wharf turned over the charity shops either .. some great lines

Anonymous said...

Dubai is like Vegas but without the culture!

In Dubai's case to quote Bob Dylan: 'Money doesn't talk it swears.'