Beyond the Glitz of Dubai, Lots of Questions

‘s note – Ann has been sending dispatches on her experiences in Dubai, and I am compiling these into blog posts and putting them on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear your thoughts on her trip. – Melanie Blake]

photo 4 (2)In this latest update, just a few words about my visit to the Dubai Mall. It was spotless, glitzy, efficient, full of brand name luxury shops and all kinds of entertainment. I saw many abaya-clad women entering Givenchy, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta … I will not be able to get closer, during this short stay, to the sensibility of the Emirati women about how they feel about how they dress, what they buy at these pricy shops, and when and where and for whom they wear the clothing bought there.
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Last observation: I wonder if anyone lives outdoors. Do people walk, hike, engage in sports, get out in nature. Ride a bike? We were in the desert, which was beautiful, but so much is artificial. You want to skate or ski? You do it inside a mall. You want to climb? Artificial walls inside a mall.

So many questphoto 4ions remain: Why aren’t Arabs from beleaguered states not flocking here? How long will the money last? What then? Will expats start demanding privileges and protections accorded only to Emirati citizens? Will locals start demanding more freedom of expression? How will the Gulf States (more than UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar) fit within emerging Middle East politics?

Ann

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