Dubai, UAE 2016

Dubai has grown at an alarming rate in recent years only to be stopped briefly by a world financial crisis in 2008. Since then investors have continued to pump money into huge construction projects like Dubailand, a gigantic fun park or for the 2020 Expo where billions are being spent to make it one of the most prestigious events ever.

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I Can’t remember ever feeling so excited about visiting a city as I did recently in revisiting Dubai some three years after my first visit. This time though I had brought more time with me & instead of hanging out at one of the city’s many modern, luxurious & expensive hotels I opted to live with 2 families booked through Airbnb. My first impression of Dubai three years on was one of maturity with many details such as landscaping & unfinished construction projects being finalized. One thing that struck me instantly was the massive increase in traffic not to mention a larger population living in the inner city, this being most notable whilst travelling with the Metro.

It is said that 85% of Dubai’s population are guest workers & this could well be true judging by the multicultural presence at the airport, hotel staff, transport workers & generally in all aspects of the city’s infrastructure. Without these people from as far afield as Bangladesh, Nepal, India etc Dubai wouldn’t be half that what it is today. The city would grind to a halt without these people. You will never see locals working on construction sites or as taxi drivers or running a grocery shop, they run the country from governmental institutions, commerce & from the financial sector. The difference in wealth is also very apparent, whereby the ultra rich enjoy the luxury way of life with large, extravagant houses, non-stop parties & fast cars, there are others at the other end of the scale trying to make ends meet by sharing a single room with 6 or 7 others working 12 hour shifts up to 7 days a week just to be able to send a little money back to support their families at home.

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“No nation has embraced Total Quality Management, e-commerce and e-government with greater enthusiasm than Dubai. Such innovations have given Dubai a competitive edge and an accelerated growth rate that few could match.”

― Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair

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“I want Dubai to be number one. Not in the region, but in the world. Number one in everything: high education, health, and housing. I want to give my people the highest way of living.”

― His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

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“Dubai Airport will peak at a maximum of 100 million passengers a year, which would limit Emirate’s growth, but the new Al Maktoum International with its capacity for another 120 million passengers will allow us to continue growing.”

Maurice Flanagan

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“One of the main characteristics that differentiates Dubai from other commercial centres is its openness to innovation and the freedoms it grants people and institutions to operate.”

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair

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Did You Know?

Dubai wouldn’t be Dubai and Sheikh Maktoum wouldn’t be the Sheikh of Dubai if the world’s most prestigious horse race wasn’t held in the Emirates. The Dubai Cup with a jackpot of more than 4 million US$ is the city’s most prestigious yearly sporting event.

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