i've been in dubai all this week for some client meetings.
and i'm carrying back some volvic flavored water for the kids. i have not seen this kind of flavored drinking water back home. and this is what i find ironical. i am carrying back water from dubai (which is in the middle of a desert) to india!
i have been travelling from dubai to abu dhabi by road almost every day. it is amazing to see the extent of construction going on in dubai. the largest number of cranes in the world are apparently deployed in dubai right now.
what also strikes you is the amount of greenery and flowers in full bloom all along the well planned and immaculately managed roads. there is also hectic construction activity going on for a metro rail in dubai. the project was given the go-ahead in may 2005 and is expected to be completed in 55 months (http://vgn.dm.gov.ae/DMEGOV/dm-metro-news01). and by the looks of it it should be completed within that time.
dubai is a melting pot of many cultures. the largest groups of people you see are indians, pakistanis, filipinos, chinese, egyptians, lebanese, moroccons, russians and many europeans and americans too. at a superficial level there seems to be no discrimination against any specific community here. but most of the indians i spoke to do feel a sense of insecurity about their jobs, the rising prices, etc. (rentals have escalated by more than 100% within the last 2-3 years).
but for me dubai lacks a soul. there is a lot of glitz and glamor, but it all seems very fragile. i guess the fact that most of the funds pouring into the ecconomy here is from the underworld and from people who are avoiding taxes in their respecti8ve countries only adds to this sense of dicomfort that i feel. i prefer visiting other asian countries, but give me 'aamchi mumbai' (our mumbai) and 'mera bharat' (my india) anyday :-)