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Friday, June 20, 2008

Dubai


The freeways are dead straight in the Emirate of Dubai and as hot as an oven. There are records of the town of Dubai from 1799. Earlier in the 18th century the Al Abu Falasa lineage of Bani Yas clan established itself in Dubai which was a dependent of the settlement of Abu Dhabi until 1833. On 8 January 1820, the then sheikh of Dubai was a signatory to the British sponsored "General Treaty of Peace" (the General Maritime Treaty). To the east the land is bounded by mountains of bare rock and to the south by endless sand dunes. From here the route out of the desert leads to the Persian Gulf. To the northwest shrouded in a shimmering haze one sees strange shadowy outlines of parts of a pyramid-like or mussel-like object or perhaps even the Tower of Babel. A mirage perhaps? The freeways are dead straight in the Emirate of Dubai and as hot as an oven. There are records of the town of Dubai from 1799. Earlier in the 18th century the Al Abu Falasa lineage of Bani Yas clan established itself in Dubai which was a dependent of the settlement of Abu Dhabi until 1833. On 8 January 1820, the then sheikh of Dubai was a signatory to the British sponsored "General Treaty of Peace" (the General Maritime Treaty). To the east the land is bounded by mountains of bare rock and to the south by endless sand dunes. From here the route out of the desert leads to the Persian Gulf. To the northwest shrouded in a shimmering haze one sees strange shadowy outlines of parts of a pyramid-like or mussel-like object or perhaps even the Tower of Babel. A mirage perhaps?
This hallucination on the horizon proves on closer inspection to be constructed of steel, glass, and concrete. Tens of thousands of immigrant workers have constructed hundreds of ultra-modern buildings on the coast line of more than 40 miles (70 km) of the Emirate. There are barrel-like twin towers, pyramid shopping temples, giant office blocks, and towering hotels with curvilinear exteriors that remind one of a sail.
Posters proclaim "Our city is getting bigger and better." Dubai is one of the states forming the United Arab Emirates, about one and a half times the size of Luxembourg and the ruling Al Maktoum family wish to turn it into the world's most modern city. With its World Trade Center, Dubai is the most important trading center of the region, has the most competitive airport, and the largest artificial container harbor.
It rains Petro Dollars The dream blossoming began to develop when oil was found in the sea. With the successful offshore drilling Dubai overnight joined the club of oil extracting nations. The daily yield is in the region of 1,500,000-2,000,000 barrels and for the state's treasury it continuously rains Petro Dollars. Part of the wealth was shared with members of his tribe in 1990 by the ruler Sheik Rashid bin Zayed Al Maktoum, the 180,000 original inhabitants of Dubai. None of these descendants of Bedouin is forced to breed camels, fish, dive for pearls, or get involved in smuggling to make a living. They all live in luxury villas and have at least a Mercedes 600 parked by their gate. The Sheikh was concerned with engineers' reports that calculated Dubai's oil fields would be exhausted in the near future, perhaps as soon as 2025. In order to continue to profit from the blessings from Allah billions of dollars have been invested in major projects to yield major profits when the final drop of Dubai oil is drained off. In Dubai City two ages clash head on with each other. The area around the harbor was once an Arab settlement on either side of a small sea inlet that stretches for 7 and half miles (12 km) inland. Wide-beamed Arab dhows — trading vessels little changed since the Middle Ages - still moor at the quay. There are also oriental souks and old quarters such as Bastakia with its wind tower houses with decorated roofs that let fresh air into the living areas. This is all within a couple of hundred yards of the shaded business center and high-rise bank buildings with full air conditioning and marble clad temples of consumerism with their conspicuous design, sometimes ancient Egyptian, sometimes Belle Epoque, and sometimes futuristic. Tourism is also booming. For the wealthy there is an extremely modern cruise terminal and in winter the international airport conveys a virtually never-ending stream of pale westerners to the Marina. More than two hundred luxury hotels offer rooms and suites of more than

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