Monday, 12 November 2007

A view from Dubai

I have been visiting Dubai for 9 years, during which time it has changed rapidly and consistently. The view from my regular hotel used to be of the golf course, and is now mainly of homes on the site of the golf course. The signature building used to be the Burj al Arab, and I think will soon become the Burj Tower which is rapidly ascending to the skies. We are used to describing a certain sort of attitude as "Can do". One of my fellow tutors accurately described Dubai as purely a "Do" environment - never mind "try" even "can do" does not accurately reflect the attitude there. An example is the speed with which new Creek crossings are springing up to deal with the ever increasing traffic.

However still one of the best bargins anywhere is an Arba crossing on a wooden diesel boat from one side of the creek to the other - still a bargain at 1 Dirham (about 13p sterling), though up from 50 fils. 5 minutes that remind you that you are not in Western Europe.

Also along the banks of the Creek, right downtown in Dubai away from the beachfront tourist hotels, is the Dhow Wharfage where trading vessels are loaded and unloaded with just about everything you can imagine. I saw Kellog's Cornflakes, air conditioning refeigerenta 134a, tires and whole cars being moved around. The goods may have changed but surely this sort of activity would be recognisable to any Dubaii trader from the past millenium. Good to remember that the basics of business still apply, even in these days of Lasers in the jungle.

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