With all the turmoil going on in the Middle East right now, not many people would want to visit. That’s when my mother told me she has planned a visit to Dubai, which is in the United Arab Emirates, I was apprehensive, yet very excited to visit a new place so far away. Dubai would be a four-day stop before a one-month trip to India, but nevertheless, I was ecstatic. Dubai is home to the tallest building and the biggest mall in the world, and some of the world’s richest people. Tourists from all over the world come to see the sights and experience a culture like never before. While I was there, I learned that Dubai’s crime rate is so low it is virtually zero. The laws and punishments are so strict that nobody would even think to commit a crime, knowing that they will not get away with it without a life of pain. People love this city so much that they will move here from another country, making 80% of Dubai’s population is immigrants.
On our first day, we visited the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, which on the inside includes a mosque, nightclub, and residential building. Standing at 2,716 feet, it breaks several records such as tallest freestanding structure in the world, highest occupied floor in the world, and highest observation deck in the world. After that we visited the Arabian Desert where we embarked on a desert safari, which led to an oasis filled with food, camels, and unique entertainment.
The next day, we visited the Palm Jumeirah, the worlds largest man made island. The island’s construction is made from all natural materials such as rock and imported Persian sand. All previous man-made islands have been made with steel and concrete, but the Prince of Dubai requested that they do otherwise to give the island a more natural look. The Island itself looks like a palm tree from above, with one main strip of land (the trunk) and 16 strips, 8 on each side come from the middle to make the island appear like a palm tree. The island is home to hundreds of extremely lavish, luxurious homes. Celebrities such as David Beckham and Brad Pitt even have homes here.
To add more on to the mass amounts of stuff to do here- Dubai is home to the world’s largest gold market. Just a short boat ride away from my hotel, my family and I spent the whole day excitingly roaming through the market shopping. As I spent my days enjoying the luxuries and pleasures of travel, I could not help but see the sadness in the eyes of many Dubaian workers.
Many people from poverty-stricken countries immigrate to Dubai in hopes for a better life-but it does not always work in a way that they planned. First off, Dubai is an absolute, illiberal monarchy: although it is only a small city that is a part of a small, fairly young country, the Sheik is a part of continuous and ancient line of succession. Many people who have moved there in hopes of supporting their families are often disappointed and their efforts to send resources to their needy families are usually frustrated. While Dubai allows foreign workers to immigrate for work, the emeriti government has strict policies that restrict these immigrates from bringing family with them. Employers provides their employees with housing and food, but these employees have to meet very strict financial requirement in order to become eligible to bring their families into Dubai. 99% of the land is owned by the Sheiks, and all business ownership endeavors must be in partnership with the Sheiks. In this way, the Sheiks have become extraordinarily wealthy.
Dubai is a beautiful country with world-renowned buildings and tourist attractions; but the tallest building in the world can also signify how large the gap is between the rich and the poor. In just 14 years, (1991-2005) Dubai transformed into one of the most richest cities from just an average desert town. All the lavishness in Dubai has its foundation in the hard work of the immigrants and workers who do not have the same social standing as the tourists who come to see the city.