(Writing from Gate 117 at Dubai International Airport)
I’ve visited some weird places in my time, but Dubai really takes the cake.
I may only have been out here for the weekend (to visit a couple of old MBA mates and recharge my visa) but it’s left a lasting impression – one of total bewilderment!
Apparently, my friend’s uncle refers to it as “DisneyWorld for business”, and he ain’t wrong!
It’s a fantasyland. The land of “-est”. One giant advertising campaign, seemingly devoid of any connection to reality.
Maybe I’m just going grumpy prematurely, but as my friends and I sat enjoying a lovely Lebanese meal last night – watching the world’s tallest fountain (which fires up every half hour) going off against the backdrop of the world’s tallest building (lit up like a bloody Christmas tree) – all I could think was, “Jeez, what’s the carbon footprint of this place?”
The profligacy is just staggering.
Take the massive ski centre at the heart of one of the malls we visited. Not with artificial snow, mind you. Nope, whilst temperatures outside hit the mid-40s (over 110˚F), this huge space is permanently chilled to between -3 and -5˚C.
Real snow. In the middle of the ****ing desert!
I mean why for god’s sake?! That’s like sticking a life-like reproduction of the French Riviera in the middle of a shopping centre in Glasgow – it’s just nuts!
Oh well, my flight’s just been called.
Back to the normalcy of Riyadh (and there’s something I never thought I’d say!).