The Lectern: Random Dubai impressions

* Thanks to the director of executive education at the Dubai School of Government, I went on a "desert safari" last night, tagging along with a group of 25 George Washington University MBA students and two faculty members who are on a 10-day visit to Dubai. The motion sickness-inducing trip resembled a roller-coaster ride as much as anything, as we careened along in a Jeep with deflated tires at impossible angles across sand dunes. Afterward, we were treated to a camel ride, a barbecue and a performance by a belly dancer who turned out to be from Russia (!).


* There are roughly (or ROM, "rough order of magnitude," to use the DOD phrase) 200,000 native Dubaians and 1 million expatriates living here. Some of the latter are rich businesspeople and professionals, but the majority are blue-collar workers -- mostly from Pakistan and India but also from elsewhere. As a response to my recently posted notes, these people have low wages and lead rough lives. But almost all have come voluntarily (although there is a trafficking problem here) and generally from a long distance, and they have stayed. This suggests that their conditions here are better than at home.


* The local English-language newspaper actually divides up foreign news with one page marked "Americas," one "United Kingdom," one "Pakistan," one "India" and one "Asia" to allow the expatriates to more easily locate news from home. Recently, Dubai changed its law to allow expatriates to become citizens after 25 (!) years of residence, but a debate about multiculturalism still belongs to the future.


* A few days ago, the local paper ran a story headlined "Dubai to get its own French city." According to the report, a private developer will build a community that is designed to look like parts of the French city of Lyon, which the developer adores. Stories such as these promote the Disney World-like ambience of Dubai.


* Today (Thursday) is the Muslim New Year's Day, so it's a public holiday. The exact beginning of the new year is proclaimed each year by the mufti (senior-most Islamic religious leader) in Saudi Arabia not long before the day itself. I had planned to take a break from teaching last Tuesday and teach today but had to rearrange my schedule when New Year's Day was announced.


* According to a recent report, Dubai's economic growth rate in 2007 topped 16 percent.
 
* I am staying in Deira, the older, somewhat more downscale part of town to the east, which has a  bit more of a traditional Mediterranean feel (low-slung buildings, tan and white facades).  The fancier, ultra-modern Western-style architecture parts of the city, which dominate the television pictures from Dubai, are to the West, where the city has expanded. Further west it's still another 40 miles or so of desert to the border of Abu Dabai, the oil-rich emirate next store, so there's still room for expansion.


* Following up on my last post, this morning's paper has a story about the federal United Arab Emirates cabinet (Dubai is one of seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates) having an extensive discussion on the proposed system to manage the performance of federal governance:



"The system will...focus on ensuring satisfaction of the customers who deal with various federal government departments, providing the public the best services as per global standards.... The proposed system also makes it imperative for each federal entity to follow up the smooth implementation of the various stipulations in the federal strategy and to evolve plans to guarantee best results and high quality, as well as to maintain accountability and transparency in governance."



* President Bush will visit Dubai for a day next week for a day. His visit will feature an event at the Dubai School of Government, where I have been teaching.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.