Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dubai as Metropolis

Everyone likes to compare Dubai to SimCity (plant some residences here, throw down a few business areas there, all close to instantly), and hail the creation of a shining city from the desert in a relatively short time. I see their point. I write this in just such a shining tower in an area that was empty air and hot sand less than 10 years ago. But I still maintain that the more apt comparison is Metropolis in Fritz Lang's classic film of the same name. I enjoy the views, the ocean, the nice cars, (almost) tax-free income and generally not having to lift a finger for anything, knowing that someone, somewhere is taking care of it. But I also know that there is another side, and life for the underclass is very different. The work camps might as well be in a different country as my Marina-based existence. They aren't a secret, as in Metropolis, but they are invisible (at least one sprawling workers' area doesn't appear on any maps), and they definitely live different lives.

My view while eating dinner tonight
(click for larger version)

Work area outside of Dubai taken the same day
(click for larger version)

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