Dubai is a planet in its own Universe. A land of frenetic progress, vanity to the extreme; land of world records, a place that changes every day only to prove that the human potential has no limits. Size matters here, same as height, luxury, speed, ambition.Yes, you can go skiing in the desert, you can admire the dancing fountains, the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa) until the next one comes to break the record, you can see the taming of nature in a group of islands in the shape of a miniature world map or that of a gigantic palm tree.
It would take a while for the western eye to get used to the obsession with anything that shines. Dubai is the land where the throne of Globalization lies: untold consumerist activity, malls remaining open until midnight, carefree men, shinny women-covered or not-heavily decorated in the most expensive accessories nonetheless, brands, expensive cars, diamonds everywhere. Does anyone truly work here? Who knows. Workers do, immigrants at most. Dubai really is a paradox: a city-westerner than any European or American city-in the middle of the desert: A city that buried its past in the sand to race among the fastest for the trophies of post-capitalism. But here’s the challenge and here’s the question: Does Dubai suffice to bridge the gaping hole between the East and the West? And if it does, how many “expos” would it take? After all, should this gap between the east and the west ever be bridged to the claim of the western arrogance ever since the 19th century? Thankfully, the desert is still there; beautiful and original in its myriads of colours. Before you go skiing in Dubai, don’t miss the sunset in the Arabian Desert. Far from the frenzy, as blissful and precious as very few experiences in the middle East.