I’ve heard a lot about Dubai, but honestly, it’s one of the few places on the planet I never want to visit. Zero interest. Actively repelled. And I’d like to visit Antarctica someday!
Building giant skyscrapers and “entertainment complexes” has no appeal — it doesn’t make for an interestingly human place. Here’s a wonderfully brutal rant about Dubai.
Dubai, on the other hand, markets itself as fun in the sun, a kind of Las Vegas on the Persian Gulf. Yet it has far more in common with Saudi Arabia than you’d imagine. Before you say, “But Alex, Dubai is the forward looking part of the Middle East that wants to engage with the world,” I invite you to consider the case of Marte Deborah Dalelv.
Dalelv is a Norwegian fashion designer who was on a business trip in Dubai in 2013. During an evening out, she was raped. She later reported her attack to the police. The authorities’ reaction? Ms Dalelv was charged with perjury, having extramarital sex and drinking alcohol. She received a 16-month jail sentence.
It’s full of entertaining bon mots, too.
Bigger, better, higher, glitzier, nastier: it’s like an entire city designed by Donald Trump.
Aaaah! Run away, run away!