A week of work in the streets of a city where everything is possible (even mission impossible), has brought to my attention a new way of approaching middle east and to find out, how few we know about our own civilizations.
The starting point is of course, the city: an amazing and shiny scenario built-in a very short time, where the biggest, the tallest and the more expensive can be found. The big boom is gone and left emiratis with a powerful infrastructure that would need to be filled by time, social interaction, a big challenge for the government to develop a vision about the future and the participation of that 60% of foreign population living in Dubai.
New generations of locals and specially young emirati women, have their own perspective: a deep and cosmopolitan pride about their roots, that would hopefully help them with the task, of keeping their wealthy children and grand children in the track the emirs envisioned for their people back in the 70´s.
I would describe the UAE as a young state (last week celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Union) born from a very old culture that turned sand in gold, changing the dunes for grass and pearl diving for financial investments. An d would approach Dubai as a very masculine city, filled with symbols of contemporary and very old lifestyles focused on becoming the dream city of the present and still not planning in the long-term what their own present will bring. Luxury cars, endless highways leading to crystal skyscrapers are mixed with decorated bridges and the now invisible homes of harbor workers or fishermen that surrounded by white walls disappear under the sun.
Many question arise after a week of intense work in this city and many opportunities for building future scenarios too.
Consumerism, Habitat, Sustainability, Cultural Interaction, Heritage and Welfare are some of the topics to be commented in our following posts.