I’ve been reading the newspapers here more often in an attempt to understand as much as I can about this place I now call home and I have discovered a slightly disturbing trend and I hope others are taking note.
Dubai, with its announcement of the “third” tallest building in the world (huge surprise here), is basically the Britney Spears to Abu Dhabi’s Jamie Lynn Spears. Dubai is the big kahuna with its larger-than-life ambitions. It has the biggest, first, or best of everything there is to offer from hotels (Burj Al Arab) to water parks (Atlantis’s Aquaventure) to man-made majesties (the Jumierah Palm), while Abu Dhabi is the still well-known, but in-less-trouble, “little sister”. It makes me wonder while the UAE is grabbing headlines, how long this can continue. With all of its glory, the UAE has its ugly aspects, including rampant prostitution and pollution. The law here seems to have taken the “turned head” approach to law enforcement which has facilitated SEVERELY dangerous roads and apparent ties to the Russian mob.
Every country has its bad aspects, and within each country there are places that are better or worse than others for the reasons listed above, but since the UAE is so young and has grown so fast, with as far as I can tell, little planning, it makes me wonder how long this can continue. I guess only time will tell, but I wonder how bad the ignored things will have to get before somebody steps up and does something about them. In the meantime I guess everyone will just have to enjoy swimming with the sharks at Aquaventure, avoiding the driving it requires to get there.
Another interesting thing to note is that this country is funded with oil proceeds. I hear the price of oil is going down yet again… Sure, the UAE holds 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves… but what happens when that runs out???