|Old Souq, Deira, Dubai|
I've posted once this past week because I've been visiting people in Dubai. I took some gym stuff in order to do some running, but only managed one session of that as well.
I find Dubai fascinating. It's an improbable place, essentially. Despite making headlines for all the wrong reasons (Poor treatment of economic migrants, especially those working in construction! Economic crash despite crowing that they were immune from the credit crunch! House price crash! Luxury cars abandoned at the airport! You can go to prison for bouncing a cheque! Alleged police brutality! No proper freedom of speech! Outrageous construction projects! Blatant disregard for these construction projects' environmental impact! Etc etc) I can't help but feel grudging admiration for its leaders' vision. They've worked out a way to provide for this tiny country and its population with little resources other than trade and imported labour.
It's easy when the population is so small, but many other politicians and leaders in other countries with massive reserves of lucrative resources have turned the places into kleptocracies and sold their peoples down the river. It's not that simple by any stretch of the imagination, but it is what could have happened. Dubai has been badly affected by the economic crisis and is not out of danger yet - that small matter of all of its debt - but it is resilient and is bouncing back. The hotels were packed, at least.
When we arrived back in the UK the cherry trees and hawthorn bushes were beginning to bloom. I wouldn't like to live in Dubai.