We’ve just enjoyed a family break in Dubai to re-charge our batteries and make more memories. It’s my third trip here and in between the waterpark, pirate playground and seeking shade, it got me thinking…
Dubai is a like marmite.
I remember being disenchanted on my first visit back in 2005 (for a wedding, pre-kids, mostly spent in hotel bars).
To me, it felt soulless. It didn’t seem to have its own ‘thing’ or identity and felt brash and braggy with a “mine’s bigger than yours” mentality.
With 164 floors, the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building…
We have the world’s largest shopping centre with over 1,200 stores…
Our golf course is sooo big that it requires 4,000,000 gallons of water a day…
But, when we returned some years later with the family, I finally got it.
I was wrong!
Dubai does have a very clear identity, goal and plan. And it’s achieving these in abundance.
The city’s inspiring vision isn’t all about being the biggest in terms of concrete developments, it focuses on it’s:
- People: “City of Happy, Creative & Empowered People”
- Society: “An Inclusive & Cohesive Society”
- Experience: “The Preferred Place to Live, Work & Visit”
- Place: “A Smart & Sustainable City”
- Economy: “A Pivotal Hub in the Global Economy”
- Government: “A Pioneering and Excellent Government”
And they are working towards a goal that the Ruler of Dubai has set for 2071 (that’s not a typo):
“We want the best government, the best education, the happiest society and the best economy in the world. We aspire to build a global economic powerhouse.”
My final thought, and contrary to my original perception, Dubai does have a rich culture. You may need to dig a little deeper to find it, but it’s there.
I did enjoy watching Jacki fly down one of the world’s scariest waterslide…
Staying on the world’s largest artificial island…
Fish-spotting in the one of the top ten largest aquariums in the world…
But I also appreciated the reasons – and pride – behind these claims.
And we were fortunate enough to experience the culture during a sunset tour through the Arabian desert, stopping off at a hospitable Bedouin desert camp for a camel ride through the dunes.
Sometimes, it’s good to be proved wrong!