Dubai was a really interesting city, but at the same time I don’t think I really liked it. I found it too be focused on what is bigger and better. Everything has to be new, extravagant; it seemed to have no history. I know it is a very young city, but at the same time, I remember the tour guide saying there were some really old graves, very important ones too, but they are building over them? What? As a history and archaeology student, I find this astounding and at the same time, really disgusting. That may be harsh, but it is how I feel. I also found that they are incredibly hypocritical. Upon going into the mall, I noticed a dress modestly, cover your shoulders and cover your knees. Fair enough, we are in a majority Muslim country. I get it. But at the same time, in that same mall, I saw western models advertising clothing that showed your knees, your cleavage, and thighs. It seems that Dubai goes against its own customs, what it views at socially acceptable, in order to please those coming to the country. It is like a business model. I also noticed the extravagant areas of the city, there was lots of construction too which I am assuming something expensive is there, but I also saw a lot of crowded apartments passing on the bus, really run down areas. And I struggle to understand why this is, they have a huge profit from their tourism industry, yet they choose to get bigger and better things to please the tourists, whilst their own citizens live in the slums. It is awful. I really did not enjoy it. It is very capitalist, I am all for capitalism however I felt it is too far right in this area.
At the same time however, I did find enjoyment going through old Dubai, the market, the souks, going on a little boat across the river and the amazing food! I like to visit a country and get the most out of it so I did enjoy some aspects of Dubai. If I return, which no doubt I will because I would like to return to Europe and other places, I will go to the light show, the indoor snow centre, perhaps more time in the mall. However, I can spot the aspects of the city I did not enjoy at all. I would not live there, nor would I deliberately choose to go there for a holiday. If Dubai is what a new city should look like, what to expect from the future, with a loss of their history, their culture, trying to please others whilst their own citizens struggle in tiny rooms, this honestly terrifies me.
- Kimberley Crabtree