Sunday, 26 September 2010

To Dubai and back

For all the environmental talk that I have spoken, it’s ironic that I landed myself in Dubai in my first official business trip.  This piece of land is a desert not too long ago. Today, Dubai is a full fledge metropolitan city.

I was told the temperature has come down a bit but coming out from an air-conditioned shopping mall to catch a cab in the open, I felt as though a fireball was thrown at my face.  It was really hot!  Moving in between the hot open space and the winter chilled air-conditioned building can make you sick, literally.

Do you know… that 99.999999% of the working population in Dubai is foreigner?  My colleague told me the Emiratis don’t work, or more accurately… don’t need to work. They are freaking rich already.  He said even the govt agencies and police are foreigners! 

Well, I saw 1 Emirati who worked though… the guy who stamped by passport at the immigration.  He made up the 0.000001%.  For the rest, money comes out from the ground for them… literally.

Throughout my stay here, I have been having meetings with Jordanians, Lebanese, Pakistanis (yes, a lot of high flyer from this nation), Indians and some Brits.  Oh… one Lebanese I met looked exactly like… I kid you not… Takeshi Kaneshiro!  A very nice guy and I am working with him on some transactions.   Any girls want his number?

I went up the Burj Khalifa, the pride of Dubai.  This building makes the Petronas Twin Tower look like a dwarf.  The lift which took us up was amazing… 124 floors in less than 30 seconds. No kidding.  124th floor is not the top by the way.


The view from the top? Well... everything just look small…

Don’t think I like being here but my colleague who is based here said it will take a while to settle down and once settled, this is quite a nice place to live.  I am not sure if I can agree with him. This place is an insult to mother nature, the amount of electricity used is beyond comprehension… they built an ski-mountain in the middle of a desert!!!!!!

You know the news about buildings being empty and all because the economy collapsed and there is an oversupply of real estate?  Well… somewhat true… I see a lot of construction and yet, a lot of buildings are vacant.   Rental has crashed… what used to be Dhs120,000 (SGD45,000) a year is now Dhs70,000 (SGD26,000) a year… and you can even get a bigger place!

Being a city born into metropolitan state, there is no cheap coffee shop type of food here.  A meal will easily cost you Dhs40.  Well, the guys here (those who worked in the same company as I am) are all paid in USD and they don’t need to pay tax so… no problem for them.

And so… my first business trip…

Oh… being flown in business class and at arrival, chauffeured to my hotel in a Lexus… and the same tomorrow morning to the DIFC… I felt like a small kid who just got his first taste of candy… and I guess this is why I became a modern slave.




2 years ago… Hypocrites aplenty


29 comments:

Cruel Angel said...

nice place to earn money...

emiratis do work.. really high post...

POLICE, Immigration &

they paid is much more higher than others

eiling lim said...

i did enjoy Dubai. Went there twice cos my dad is working there. You're right, the only emirati I saw working was at the immigration! Teh rest of them are enjoying life!

yileen said...

The number, please? Thanks. Lol.

MKL said...

Great post, bro! Hope I get to see Dubai one day. I love skyscrapers and I think the Burj Kalifa will be the tallest for many many years. They were smart and didn't stop at 600m, hehe. But the rest of Dubai may not be my cup of tea. If you ask me, I rather prefer a kopi tiam or mamak stall over some fancy air-conditioned food court :)

day-dreamer said...

Awesome views!

mh said...

Of course there is cheaper food, but only if you know where to look and are willing to venture into places where foreigners who are paid in USD are unlikely to frequent. In the Mid East, there are inevitably two different economies. Service industry workers and blue collar workers do not get paid very much at all.

- PixieFaerie - said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anak Merdeka said...

Takeshi Kaneshiro lookalike? Not his number .. show me his pic!! LOL

C said...

Nice!!

Anonymous said...

fantastic..worth the wait. blog more often plz ;[

MeRy said...

Dubai....a very nice place...I wish to travel there one day(maybe in my dream).

Oh... a handsome guy like Takeshi..got his pic? wanna c...Joking:)

fufu said...

yeah show his picture! i wanna see if i look like him or not! wahahahhaa

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

hot air? well u will have plenty in australia if u ever move haha during summer.

blackjack said...

being driven around from airport to hotel to difc, zewt, are you some high flying investment banker who is screwing up the world economy? lol

secret agent woman said...

I remwmber being really struck by how dry the heat was when I went to Saudi Arabia - I'm used to heat, but much more humid.

Linda said...

I would really like to see the EXACTLY look alike picture, onegaishimasu...... :)
You are very lucky to experience the other part of the world, meeting new people... and the business class.

pinsysu said...

dubai oh dubai ... a mirage materialised in a dessert! better go see it b4 the oil runs dry ...

Pinknpurplelizard said...

It was there that I had my most expensive beer. :P

I heard that all the working middle easterns go to Isreal instead. Not sure how true that is though.

missironic said...

hmm.. looks like takeshi kaneshiro? now im really curious how the lebanese looks like! care to share? hahaha...

jacss said...

haha...zewt, u r too funny!! i like "a kid who had his first taste of candy" ....LOL :D
i'm proud of you, what a nice experience that was!!

sabrina said...

Good to hear that your colleague finds it a good place to live in cos been thinking of applying for a job there soon

ClaudiaMom said...

Thanks for sharing, my next trip is Dubai, yeahh!!

deus X machina said...

From what I know before this,UAE don't have many historical places to attract tourist, thats why they build a place like ski-mountain and a lot of high building.....



btw, harlow zewt, long time not visit your blog hehe

zewt said...

Cruel Angel - i think they have a post... and doesnt really work.

eiling lim - and they come out late at night for dinner.

yileen - the number is up for bidding... what's your offer? hahahaha..

MKL - exactly, i didnt really enjoy dubai and i dont think i will go there unless it's for work.

day-dreamer - :)

zewt said...

mh - let's just say i didnt go that far. and i am not about to venture around.

- PixieFaerie - - exactly...

Anak Merdeka - i didnt take pic... have to be professional when i am there lah...

C - thanks.

anon @ 26/9 11.25pm - i shall try.

MeRy - well, i would think other places would be better. i recommend Beirut.

zewt said...

constantly craving joe - i know about that aussie summer... not very nice.

blackjack - not quite... not quite.

secret agent woman - despite growing up in a tropical country, i still cant stand it.

Linda - yeah, blessed... comes with a lot of stress though.

pinsyu - dubai has no oil... all from abu dhabi.

pinknpurplelizard - really? that i will have to find out.

zewt said...

missironic - like takeshi kaneshiro lor...

jacss - and i hope i will have more...

sabrina - you have to be there to know if you will like the place.

ClaudiaMom - u really wanna go there?

deus X machina - how are you doing man?

mh said...

Of course understandably you're limited by time to venture further. But these "cheap" places are not necessarily dodgy. It is almost akin to how tourists who stop a night over in KL rave about restaurants in Bintang Walk or Starhill but have no idea that local mamaks/ hawker stalls further afield (in say PJ) offer cheaper and tasty meals too. Sure there is difference in class and quality lar undeniably, but options are available :)

zewt said...

mh - not about to go there... and the taxis there scream at you if your destination is too near....