Monday, May 28, 2007

Dubai in context...

Just to continue a little on the last subject - putting some perspective to our complaints about Dubai - because the comments raise a couple of points.

Secret Dubai made some very valid points, including "I've never thought most problems were unique to Dubai, but people blog and complain about them because we live here. Were I living in the UK I would doubtless complain about the situation there".

Very true - I also write in the Australian blogosphere and most of my postings are complaints.

But "I've never thought most problems were unique to Dubai" explains the thought that prompted me to write the post because many expats living in the artificial cocoon of their lives here, actually do convince themselves that the things they complain about are problems unique to Dubai. These things don't happen 'back home' - I very often debate the point with people.

As SD pointed out, and I'm in full agreement, there are indeed many things which need improving in Dubai, and many areas where the situation is worse than in other countries. But too many expats fall into the trap of believing that these things don't happen 'back home' , and the longer they're here the rosier the memory of 'back home' becomes. The reality is that while we do have problems here that need fixing, so does 'back home'.

The other point, which again I debate with people often, is the claim that 'Dubai compares itself with...' other cities/countries.

That came up in the comments too:

Secret Dubai said: Dubai is generally much worse than the average western country it regularly seeks to compare itself with.

dxbhack said: Dubai says "We are cheaper than Hong Kong, New York and seriously compares itself in the bigger picture with these cities?

Being pedantic, Dubai is an inanimate object, so can't compare itself with anything. So the expression actually means 'people in Dubai compare the city with'.

But I've never heard or read anyone doing this comparison and claiming that Dubai is as good as, or better than, any other city. Maybe others have, but I certainly haven't. When people have said to me that 'Dubai compares itself with' I've asked them who actually said it, and they can't tell me.

Dubai wants, has or is getting, the tallest, the biggest, the fastest, the only...but that's very different from claiming 'we're better than'.

My experience is that no-one does actually claim that Dubai is as good as or better than any other city - it's another expat myth.

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