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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Word About Dubai

OK, I still have pics to post from Spain, but we're in Dubai for a brief stay. This place never fails to amaze. I picked up a Papa John's Chicken BBQ pizza (no onions) to munch on while I write this. (No way I'm paying hotel prices for food)

Anyway, I'm reading "The Braindead Megaphone" by George Saunders and in it he talks about Dubai. To paraphrase, you know how sometimes in the States a big architectural firm will announce a series of major projects, maybe ten, for a particular city that they hope will re-shape the entire area? In the end perhaps only one of those will be completed on a scaled down version and the firm will hope you forgot the original proposal.

In Dubai all ten projects are completed and they are all bigger, grander and more expensive than the original plans called for.

Thirty years ago this place was a sand pile with a creek running through it. It was started up by illiterate Bedouins. Only five percent of the revenues are derived from oil (It will run out in 2010). By then they'll have the world's tallest skyscraper (700 meters:2300 feet as compared to Taipei 101 at 500 meters), the world's largest mall, biggest theme park, largest indoor ski run (see previous post), biggest this, most that...you name it Dubai will have it.

Why doesn't AlQaeda hit this bastion of westernized commercialism? Outside of the US there could hardly be a more high profile target. Because they are invested heavily here. Those guys throw PILES of cash into banks here. As does the Italian Mafia, the Spanish Mafia, Indian Mafia. So how come we don't come after them?

Because so does CNN, Reuters, Google, Microsoft, Papa John's, etc. etc. etc.

Dubai is to the Middle East what Switzerland was to Europe during the time of Hitler's Germany.

Both sides need it. It's surrounded by Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, three of the most boogered up countries in the world. Gotta be a valve to ease off the pressure somewhere.

Is it sustainable? I believe it is not. But what do I know?

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