Sunday, November 27, 2005


Just got back from Dubai. My company sent us there to attend the JETEX (one of the largest airshows in the world). We are exploring the possibility of doing an aerobatic show in Jordan next year and I was also busy meeting potential sponsors for a variety of related events we have coming up in the next few months.

I'd never been to Dubai or an Air Show for that matter. I was very impressed by both.

The Air Show boasted a very impressive French aerobatic show, fly-bys from the top planes in the world including the new monstrous Airbus 380, and exhibition booths most of which probably cost more to build than my apartment did.

I was only there for 2 days/3 nights so I didn't get to see that much of Dubai, but from what I experienced, it was a very interesting place. The first thing that I noticed was it is immaculately clean. Unlike Amman or Beirut there is absolutely no litter and no empty sand lots. It actually puts any U.S. major city to shame in terms of cleanliness. I was told they have an immigrant workforce of about 1 million (mostly Indians) who take care of the city. They also have strict fines for littering. For example, tossing a cigarette butt out of your car brings a fine of $50.

Dubai is very modern in general. They are always attempting to build things bigger and more creative than anywhere else in the world. They currently have the world's only 7-star hotel, a development complex built in the Ocean shaped like a Palm tree (see the picture to the right that I took from the airplane). They are working on one in the shape of the world. They are also building the world's tallest building, the world's largest shopping mall and a hotel with an indoor ski slope. They recently abandoned plans for building a hotel completely under the ocean because of pressure from environmentalists.

The people are interesting too. I've never witnessed such polarized cultures colliding. The locals dress very traditional. The men all wear white gowns and headresses, the women wear all black with decorated black veils. Almost all the locals are wealthy from acting as "sponsors" to foreign businesses. Meanwhile, the infrastructure and lifestyle there is modern. There are an abundance of Russian and other immigrants from all over. You see many women dressed in tube tops and mini skirts. Even at the airshow, there were so many locals, westerners and skimpily dressed women all hanging out together. It's quite a scene.


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