From Sim City to Sin City

I haven't been precisely kind to Dubai lately*, but things keep turning uglier in this tiny Emirate where - I hate to say this - everything tends to take biblical proportions.

Building the tallest Babel Towers (Burj Dubai) is one thing, competing with Sodom and Gomorrah quite another. The rape of 15 year old Alexandre Robert by 3 Emirati (2 former convicts including one H.I.V. positive) recently made the international headlines only because he was a Westerner and because his family decided to fight ; to overcome the humiliation ; to help all the silent victims, and to prevent more crimes from happening in the future.

This tragedy could become a turning point for Dubai's rulers. This time, it's too late for your usual cover up, you can't hide the dark sides of your wonderful mirage anymore. You can make a few bucks out of a Disneyland Resort, not out of a Mickael Jackson's Neverland. Either you stick to denial or you decide to take measures.

This Emirate is led by people who do have a strategic vision, people who should understand that firing a few people won't be considered as measures, that scaring away a few potential customers is much less serious than building a social bomb at home, or alienating the global Muslim community. Dubai could thrive as a neutral heaven in the middle of the Middle East, where sailors meet pirates, raiders traders, fundamentalists infidels. Dubai will collapse if it doesn't come to its senses.

This is no more about luxurious condos but about that most valuable ressource : human beings. This is no more about concrete but about the cement of a nation.

* to mention a few :
- blogules in English : "Red blogule to the DP World - P&O deal's Architects and winners"(20060224), "
Halliburton and the 40 thieves (continued) - Dubai, we have a problem" (20070312)
- blogule in French "Dubai - de Sim City à Sin City" (20071101), later published on Agoravox.
- one letter published in Newsweek (20070810 - following their Dubai Rising article last summer) : "I wonder if your writer went behind the scenes in Dubai. The bulk of its population is poor Muslim foreigners from the East living in ghettos, workers building a dream world they cannot afford and which is denied to them anyway because even longtime residents cannot become citizens. I saw Dubai rising, all right. But I also saw the seeds of unfairness, injustice and anger being sown ; these are the kind of things that breed fundamentalism. And I saw wealthy Westerners all over the place, enjoying this Middle Eastern Vegas. Let's keep a watch on what may rise from that."

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