Dubai? Do buy.
This is a place for making money and for spending it excessively. Go into a shop in one of the gigantic air-conditioned malls and the first thing the Filipina assistant will ask you is, "Which brand are you looking for, sir?"
"Well, actually I was looking for a good quality linen shirt. Preferably one that doesn't have some damn logo on the front."
"But which brand, sir?"
If you're like me and retail therapy does nothing for you, don't expect your jaded spirit to be revived here. This is a city for consumers.
|As it is now|
Conditions for some workers here are grim. Over the last few years the statistics show around 900 Indians a year die on construction sites building the Dubai Dream. It has been estimated recently that perhaps 20% of the world's cranes are in Dubai: in spite of the hiccup in 2007-8, the building madness has hardly paused. The epitome of this is the Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest man-made structure on the planet. This place fosters excess and the flouting of achievement.
|Coming soon to a shopping mall near you|
When that time comes, the non-indigenous population will evaporate like oil fumes in a cracking tower. The huge skyscapers will empty, the malls will assume a less imposing and more post-apocalyptic look; and carried by the heated desert winds the sand will finally reclaim its own.