Dubai update - better late than ever.
I left there about a week and a half ago.
Let me be honest from the get-go - I am not a fan of Dubai so everything henceforth is completely biased.
You would think that for a city that is spending money like an Indian going to temple - they would think of simple things like internet access. They are so far advanced that they have wi-fi but this is completely useless if you don't have your own laptop.
Got into Dubai airport, without a visa because I had been informed in sydney that its electronic and not stamped; of course the people in the airport didn't know about this new fangled concept. First heart-attack but...it worked out. Cab from airport to place of residence - starts at about 25 dirham; second heart attack. This was just a taster for the expense of the city. Everything is super prized. To put it into perspective - Burger King meal - regular $9 aussi. Chinese dish (rice and bit of chicken - about $13 aussi.
All i see and hear 25.2 hours a day is construction and more construction. There is dust everywhere and more and more HUGE buildings. They are building Dubai to be the next Mother Las Vegas replete with all the fast food and luxury, minus gamlbing and more importantly consumers. Everywhere I went (with the exception of Mall of Emirates were populated predominantly by security guards and cleaners) I kept looking for actual consumers and saw about 2.
Why Dubai will never be home for me? Bloody traffic - it is bumper to bumper everywhere at all times. At first I thought this was endearing - you know "new place, oh! how exciting...." this feel good spirit left me at the second traffic light. Oh! The homous to my pita bread was the lack of pedestrian crossings in the city. None. And yet I was told that pedestrians were really valued in the city. Still doesn't compute.
(Big exhalation) The saving grace of Dubai for me. The beach at Jumeira, public buses and the people. The buses are 2 dirham to go anywhere and the buses have places reserved for just the ladies. There is also a healthy respect for women in the culture.
Very very wealthy city. The Dubai landowners have an option to work if they wish. Mostly they hang out in the malls, sip at Starbucks and speak on their Nokias. No Exaggeration. But I met so many hard working migrants. They easily work 12-14 hours, and eat and sleep in these crowded apartments the size of my bathroom, paying 1000 euros a month still. The people who build the monstrocities are mostly from india, pakistan, sri lanka etc, get paid a pittance and live in labour camps. I will upload the pics soon.
I could live in Dubai if Mars crashed into Earth and dubai had the only water available but short of that - it would take a lot of (mostly money...:) to get me to create an existence there.
So - I left on a jet plane. With fond memories of Ammer and his boys and their beautiful kindness.
Next stop Delhi.