Tag Archives: Predeparture

Preconceived Notions on Dubai

23 Dec
Geography & Environment:
It’s funny how many people give me puzzled looks when I tell them that I’m going to Dubai. It’s not that they have never heard of the city before, but it’s because they have no idea where it is (many mistake it for Mumbai or think it’s in India),However being in the Arabian peninsula and surrounded by desert, I believe that Dubai will be (obviously) incredibly warm (especially compared to Michigan’s wonderful winter weather). I am guessing that Dubai will be incredibly dry and very different from any type of weather that I’m used to. Typically whenever I go to a warm environment (such as Florida) I’m used to humidity, so being in a warm climate and not feeling bogged down by moisture will be a nice change. Learning about desert ecosystems in AP Biology, I can guess that the nights will be pretty chilly compared to the morning and heat intensive afternoons. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t mind wearing shorts and a swimsuit in the winter for once-In fact I could live without shoveling snow for the rest of my life.
Given that Dubai is such an eclectic city filled with foreigners from all over, I think the people of Dubai range from all different cultures. We learned in one of our lectures that 15% of the people are the local Emirati people. I believe that the Emirati people make up the upper class of Dubai (from oil,royalty,etc). The Emirati people are most likely muslim and more conservative than others in Dubai. The next tier in the social ladder/ racial hierarchy is followed by foreigners from economically successful countries such as the Untied States, Australia, UK, Germany, etc. The next tier are the probably the working class which consists of the Filipinos,Chinese, and Indians. Although I bet these hierarchies aren’t exactly strict, I presume that there are  wealthy indians and middle class arabs. All of the people in Dubai are probably very worldly and (unlike some Americans) are very fascinated with other countries and their different forms of government, culture, and lifestyles.
Unlike majority of countries, I’m guessing that Dubai’s government is heavily influenced by religion. I heard that Dubai is run by a Sheik (ruler) who I’m guessing is extremely wealthy and acts as a king or queen. I would guess that the Sheik is followed by some sort of parliament that actually organizes the government system. The Sheik probably is Muslim and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that similarly to Obama and Prince William, The Sheik  and his family are probably seen as a sort of celebrities amongst the people. I’m guessing that majority of the laws and rules are based off of teachings from the Koran. Compared to the rest of the Middle East I believe that Dubai probably is the most liberal and tolerant of other religions. Given its frequent western exposure, I believe that Dubai will eventually begin to change more of its laws to apply to more foreigners to improve tourism.
I’m guessing that Dubai’s economy is heavily centered around tourism (and maybe a little bit of oil). Dubai’s economy is probably fluctuating and rapidly changing all the time (from high to low). After spending so much on infrastructure and tourism I believe that Dubai’s economy took a turn for the worse in the previous years, However I feel that Dubai is beginning to turn it’s economy around and starting to make a huge benefit off of tourism, but the question remains: Is it enough? I believe that Dubai will eventually overcome its financial downfalls and begin to look like “The New York City in the Desert”. Knowing that many businesses  have middle eastern cliental they are most likely to meet in Dubai than Saudi Arabia or Iraq. With the expansion of globalization and movies such as Sex and the City 2, people are probably beginning to become more fascinated by the Middle East and Dubai is the most “Western” friendly city to visit.
Similarly to all cosmopolitan cities, Dubai most likely has very up to date communication systems, and is very globalized compared to the rest of the middle east. Many citizens probably use Facebook and other social networking sites. Vast majorities probably communicate via cell phones and the internet (e-mail). I’m guessing that majority own Television sets and radios as well. Dubai is most likely very similar to the United States in its use of technology and ways of communication. Dubai probably has a large mixture of different languages but English is probably predominately spoken in order to unify all the different foreigners. This will probably be extremely beneficial for not only me but also the rest of my comrades (18) who are going on the trip with me. I hopefully will not have any difficulty being lost in translation or any cultural misunderstandings. The biggest difference in its ways of communication is probably the different social gestures (such as women not shaking the hands of men, or looking at people in the eye).

With five days left, I can honestly say that I am EXTREMELY excited and cannot wait to leave THIS: