Sunday, 9 June 2013


Dubai was a fascinating example of a city that has been created over the past 50 years. The population of Arab emirates who live there make up only less than a million and the foreigners are quadruple that.  The number of construction workers they have needed to build the city are phenomenal and most of them come from Pakistan, India and China. I spoke to the tour guide privately about the conditions that these people live in and he said that they are terrible. Large camps have been built to house these men, and there are often 5 or 6 men in one room with poor sanitation and water. It is difficult to understand the benefits for them but they must be there for a good reason, they choose to come to Dubai to work.

We were taken to the Dubai shopping area that is the largest in the world. It was just sheer opulence and extravagance and personally made me feel uncomfortable. I have travelled in Asia and Europe but this was something quite different. It is a city for the wealthy, based on western culture and we saw no evidence of anyone who was not extremely wealthy except the construction workers. Of course it is difficult to make a judgment on a place when you have only spent 24 hours there but I doubt I would ever go back for the culture, perhaps only as a stop over to get somewhere much more culturally diverse and exciting.
- Cathy Vines (Bachelor of Community Development)


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