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Old 12-04-2008, 02:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

Tasteless, no culture or class, souless, empty, unethical, racist and sexist, yep, sounds like Bilbo's kind of place alright. Even Las Vegas has heart and soul.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com...cle5267814.ece
Why I'd rather die than visit Dubai
Essentially it is Las Vegas without the sex and gambling, which is Las Vegas without a point


by Sathnam Sanghera

There are certain places that I would like to visit before I die, Tokyo, Mumbai and Havana among them. But, like grilled cheese sandwiches, I don't travel very well and there are many more places that I would rather die than visit. And, for many years, the city that has topped this list has been Dubai.

I know it is popular - it has set itself the target of achieving 15 million tourists by 2015. But whenever residents and tourists start banging on about the great shopping it offers, I can't help thinking that you can also shop very well in Birmingham; when they rave about the climate, I can't help thinking that 48C is too hot; and when they gush about all the plush restaurants to dine out at, I can't help thinking that London has quite a few of those, too.

Given that its one remaining attraction - beach life - holds little appeal to a man who can't swim and doesn't need to work on his tan, I would rather go on a cycling tour of Sunderland than spend a week in Dubai. And I was saying just that to a friend last week after a conversation about the Gulf city's property boom - which has fuelled double-digit growth for five years, but is now showing signs of turning to bust - when I was accused, not for the first time, of ignorance and prejudice.

So last week I spent an entire day reading newspaper articles and travel guides about Dubai and am now much better informed. And whereas before I would have suggested that people who went there on holiday had absolutely no imagination, and Britons who emigrated there did so because they had essentially failed in their home country, I would now say that British tourists and emigrants to Dubai also:

1. Have no taste. The briefest of flicks through any tourist guide to the city reveals that the £1.5billion Atlantis, The Palm resort, the launch of which was recently marked with a £13 million party, and the owners of which reportedly hauled 24 live dolphins 30 hours by air from the Solomon Islands to entertain guests in the new water park (despite protestations from environmental groups), is actually an establishment of considerable sobriety and dignity compared with many other attractions in the city. These include: Dubailand, a £13 billion theme park and entertainment complex three times the size of Manhattan; “The Mall of Emirates”, which, despite the desert climate, has a ski slope attached to it, is kept chilled to minus 2C at night and minus 8C when the snow is being manufactured; and the QE2, which is to be permanently moored on Palm Island to serve as an hotel and events centre, having gone through the kind of makeover that MTV's Pimp My Ride normally reserves for VW Golfs. Frankly, Dubai makes Blackpool look classy.

2. Are deeply uncultured. It seems to me that the purpose of the city's many shopping malls, resorts and skyscrapers is to distract visitors from the fact that there is actually little to do or see there. The desert, most travel writers concede, is featureless, the Gulf waters simply do not compare with the Mediterranean or the Red Sea, and the city lacks the historical intrigue of such destinations as Egypt, Italy and Greece. Essentially it is Las Vegas without the sex and the gambling, which is Las Vegas without a point.

3. Are unethical. Fans of Dubai often witter on about the lack of crime and the affordable luxury but this comes at a heavy price. The economy - which may turn out to have been literally and metaphorically built on sand - has been propped up by imported labourers who work six or six and a half days a week on 12-hour shifts, toiling in the desert sun for a daily wage that often amounts to no more than the cost of a pint of beer. The city also has no elections and no political parties. And in the UAE it is quite acceptable for employers to specify the preferred nationality or gender of applicants in job advertisements and for Europeans to be paid more than Filipinos or Indians who are doing the same work. All this should leave the piña coladas sipped by the tourists on the balconies of seven-star luxury hotels with a rather bitter aftertaste.

4. Are deluding themselves about the city's tolerance. Dubai is often held up as an example of how modern it is possible for Islamic society to be. But case history suggests that it has some way to go before it is challenging Amsterdam for liberalness. The British couple recently convicted of having sex on a beach in Dubai may have been freed and deported to the UK after their three-month prison sentence was suspended, but others haven't been so lucky. According to the Lonely Planet guide to the city, one British tourist was arrested at Dubai airport and sentenced to four years in prison after 0.03g of cannabis - an amount “smaller than a grain of sugar and invisible to the human eye” - was found on the stub of a cigarette stuck to the sole of his shoe. Meanwhile, a Swiss man was reportedly imprisoned after customs officers found three poppy seeds on his clothes (they had fallen off a bread roll he had eaten at Heathrow), and a British woman was held in custody for two months before customs officers conceded that the codeine that she was using for her back problems had been prescribed by a doctor.

Indeed, I couldn't help noticing in last week's coverage of the grand opening of the hideous Atlantis resort - which is built on a man-made island - that the singer Lily Allen, the model Agyness Deyn and her boyfriend, Albert Hammond Jr, were all subjected to a strip search on the way there. Deyn remarked afterwards, “It was really traumatic”, adding: “It wasn't the best experience in the world, but it is their culture and you just have to respect it.”

She's right - you have to respect it. If you go. But you don't have to go.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:55 PM   #17
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

brilliant article!
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

people like tangy who have never been outside the USA and still think everything is better in America will always find negative things. i for myself can only smile about it.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

I agree with some of those things in the article, but it only weighs up one side of the argument, the negative side, and funnily enough is written by an Indian, so according to one statement in the article, could be 'slightly' subjective.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

Oh no, Bilbo's favorite resort canceled New Year's celebrations to show "solidarity with the Palestinian people" even though the UAE won't allow them into their country. I'm sure the Palestinian people appreciate this cancellation of New Year's fireworks, which is sure to help them a lot in dealing with Hamas and Israel.

Dubai calls off New Year's Eve extravaganza
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5423839.ece
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:26 PM   #21
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

My parents visited Dubai last year and said much the same thing as that article, that it's spectacular on the surface but the entertainment is superficial, the culture is minimal, and the conditions for workers is not the best.

I can't say it's ever appealed to me as a destination. Unless you are filthy rich and can afford to be treated like royalty, I doubt it has much to offer.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:12 PM   #22
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

I don't know why he wrote that article. If you are not interested in something and it is not bothering you, then don't bother with it. He seems really annoyed that other people have different tastes, but being an Indian that lives in Birmingham and does not like to travel, I doubt he even has any taste.

And as for the section about lack of tolerance - well, why then is Havana near the top of his list of cities he wants to visit?

And as for calling the Atlantis resort ''hideous,'' then he reveals himself as some silly little asshole socialist that can not bear the sight of success. Oh, wait, he would love Havana.
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:16 PM   #23
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

Bilbo's perfect Dubai fantasy world is crashing down all around.

Laid-Off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/12/wo...2dubai.html?em

"No one knows how bad things have become, though it is clear that tens of thousands have left, real estate prices have crashed and scores of Dubai’s major construction projects have been suspended or canceled. But with the government unwilling to provide data, rumors are bound to flourish, damaging confidence and further undermining the economy.

Instead of moving toward greater transparency, the emirates seem to be moving in the other direction. A new draft media law would make it a crime to damage the country’s reputation or economy, punishable by fines of up to 1 million dirhams (about $272,000). Some say it is already having a chilling effect on reporting about the crisis.

Some things are clear: real estate prices, which rose dramatically during Dubai’s six-year boom, have dropped 30 percent or more over the past two or three months in some parts of the city. Last week, Moody’s Investor’s Service announced that it might downgrade its ratings on six of Dubai’s most prominent state-owned companies, citing a deterioration in the economic outlook. So many used luxury cars are for sale , they are sometimes sold for 40 percent less than the asking price two months ago, car dealers say. Dubai’s roads, usually thick with traffic at this time of year, are now mostly clear.

Some analysts say the crisis is likely to have long-lasting effects on the seven-member emirates federation, where Dubai has long played rebellious younger brother to oil-rich and more conservative Abu Dhabi. Dubai officials, swallowing their pride, have made clear that they would be open to a bailout, but so far Abu Dhabi has offered assistance only to its own banks.

“Why is Abu Dhabi allowing its neighbor to have its international reputation trashed, when it could bail out Dubai’s banks and restore confidence?” said Christopher M. Davidson, who predicted the current crisis in “Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success,” a book published last year. “Perhaps the plan is to centralize the U.A.E.” under Abu Dhabi’s control, he mused, in a move that would sharply curtail Dubai’s independence and perhaps change its signature freewheeling style."
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:35 PM   #24
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

how's dubai doing?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...ebt-protection

FTSE plunges with Dubai debt crisis

lovely.
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:04 PM   #25
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

I was going to post this
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:25 PM   #26
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

They used too many fire works
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:24 PM   #27
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Old 11-27-2009, 04:16 PM   #28
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

Abu Dhabi to the rescue.
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"I asked a bloke in the front row if he liked the serve-and-volley stuff," said Rafter. "He said he did but asked if he was going to get to see any rallies. 'Not today, mate,' I told him."-Pat Rafter silencing the Nadull fanboys
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:26 PM   #29
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Default Re: Massive firework and light show opens new Atlantis hotel in Dubai

OMG! The government has put out a statement saying that Dubai World is a government related entity, owned by the Government of Dubai, but that it is not guaranteed by the government. What is this? !
Does sovereign risk even apply? Is this a sovereign? It's only part of the UAE ... what does that make it? And, there is no balance sheet for Dubai World -- not public, not internal either
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