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.
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