Travelblog: Dubai - International City

Before I headed out to SE Asia, I would stopover in Dubai. After seeing several of my friends visit the city and the country of the UAE last year I felt I had to see it. With so many flights stopping over in Dubai and a chance to fly the great Emirates airlines I hopped on the chance to go through Dubai and take a quick little tour with a cab driver while heading to the top of the Burj Khalifa. I was quite impressed with Dubai. Obviously, it's man-made islands, structures and design were taken to extremes with 7-star hotels, fancy cars, and resorts for the 1%. However, once you get past the initial excess you begin to learn about the reality of Dubai. Yes it is expensive, but it is also the most diverse places I have ever encountered.


To begin, my trip to the top of the Burj Khalifa had a person of a different ethnicity and gender the entire time: Japanese woman, Italian guy, French woman, African-American guy, West African Muslim woman, Filipino guy, Indian woman. I could go on and on, but it was the first time I had truly seen diversity since my elementary school. I felt that this was what NYC had been trying to accomplish because around town, in the airport, and in the Burj it seemed that everyone from all walks of life was living harmony. While yes Arab Muslims are the predominant religion and ethnicity of the region there are many religious freedoms and Western ideologies that have been taken to heart in the city.  The primary motive for this is financial as having a diverse tourism sector brings in revenue. However, I also felt it was genuine and that I could speak several languages and hang out with all kinds of people if I wanted to. And unlike NYC, the people actually talked to each other which never happens in the separated diversity of the New York. 


Thus, Dubai or Abu Dhabi have become pretty high on my list of places to expatriate to for teaching. I encourage you to explore the country of UAE and its cities. Though sexual freedoms may still need some work (they are notorious for confiscating sex toys), they have the diversity angle handled. It was refreshing.