Monday, July 28, 2008

sun and sands

as i was watching Gossip Girl’s S1E10 “Hi, Society” last night, a particular scene made me realize how “in” the Emirate of Dubai is right now.

Serena: (to Carter) i heard about your scrape in Dubai
Blair: you’ve been to Dubai? did you stay at the Burj Al Arab?
Carter: no, i stayed at the Palm Island.
Serena: Dubai is so overrated!

and then Carter started yakking about his kinship with the Sheikhs and other big wigs in the city.

wow, even the writers of Gossip Girl think Dubai is a must-see luxury destination! :)

well, truth be told, Dubai is indeed a luxurious place to live in – meaning you really have to have the money to be able to keep up with the kind of lifestyle here. inflation is high, basic commodities’ prices increase regularly, and rent doesn’t come cheap. the only consolation we have is that gas is pretty affordable here. AED 360 (USD 98) doesn’t make a dent in our monthly budget, and that’s gas good enough for a full month, including weekend trips to wherever in Dubai. for us lowly people, we could afford to drive a 3.0 MIVEC engine on a daily basis, traveling 60 kilometers back and forth.

with gas being inexpensive here, it’s not so surprising that a lot of people can afford to buy vehicles with big engines that gargle on petrol when accelerated. this is the only place on earth where i’ve seen all the luxury cars one can ever imagine – Maseratis, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls Royce, Bentleys, and even stretch Hummers. Mercedes Benzes, Jaguars, Porches & BMWs are a common sight here. i pretty much have assumed that the unofficial national vehicle in the UAE is a Toyota Prado in white color. you can stand on the side of Sheikh Zayed Road for 10 minutes, and i can assure you that the ratio of spotting one cruising along is 1:1 (1 Prado per minute).

Dubai is known for being outlandish & flashy. in fact, it boasts of its love for superlatives in all sorts of direction. they are building the tallest building in the world (Burj Dubai), the world’s biggest mall, the world’s largest indoor ski slope, and the world’s largest airport (Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International Airport) that’s estimated to be almost twice the size of Hong Kong - not the airport, but the island. apart from those, they already have the world’s tallest hotel (Burj Al Arab), which is also known as the only 7 star hotel in the world, the most lavish 5-star hotels you could ever think of, glamorous shops and modern souks, 20% of the world’s cranes, clusters of economies, and all other material wealth you could picture. Dubai is obviously trying to become the world’s number one tourist destination of the insanely rich and absurdly wealthy.

but what i admire about Dubai are the people who truly work hard and roughen their hands to build Dubai from a hole in the ground to a skyscraper of an architectural wonder. these are the men who work in the construction sites, who carry rickshaws from the harbor in the Dubai creek to the souks, the watchmen, the street cleaners and those who serve in the hospitality business. these people make Dubai...they create Dubai. these are the very same beings who make things work, who provide the luxurious treatments, who carry the shoppers’ bags, who drive for the tourists, who fixes things when something’s broken, who carries the golf bags at a golf course on a hot, humid day. i could go on and on about these people who keep Dubai alive, steady, and upbeat - people who make Dubai known as a service-oriented city. but my main point is that Dubai is nothing without these people who offer these pampering and luxuries to locals, expats and tourists alike.

for those who wish to see Dubai, i’d say it’s a wonderful experience coming down here and seeing all the lovely sights. once you’ve stayed in a five star hotel here, your standards will automatically rise up, and you'll expect nothing less of what you've experienced. the sun and sands of Dubai will forever be etched in your memory…because there’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world.


chung said...

good thing you mentioned those construction workers who makes dubai what it is. i really feel for those people. imagine working under this weather?! and how much are they getting? i just really hope that whatever they're earning is enough to support them and their family back home. kakaawa kasi talaga.

Gracie said...

exactly! nakakaawa talaga! those construction workers are the heroes of Dubai. i just hope the locals and expats of Dubai realize that para naman magka-salary increase sila.