|Burj Khalifa the worlds tallest advertising billboard|
In your face:
All the glitz and glam here in Dubai is crowned with logotypes, every building, company making, creating, or selling something sticks their neon gizz on it, “if it’s worth doing do it well & flaunt it”, tell everybody you’re doing it and rub it in their faces, there’s no quiet achiever here. The common denominator in Dubai is money and the avarice's that go hand in hand with it. Bad taste is bad taste it doesn't get better by being expensive.
Of course it’s not all bad the whole world comes here to see and study how it can be done, the ideas from this melting pot are major world influences. It’s all happening here. Dubai is constantly rolling off large diverse international events all marketed at different customer segments all aimed at attracting new visitors, filling hotels and shopping malls, Dubai is like a giant mincing machine we all go in as customers and come out as greenbacks. Metaphors like Cash is king, new day new $ spring daily to mind.
|A herd of golden horses, I'm sure influenced by Michael Jacksons never land |
I’m in the process of working my way through all the pavilions here at the expo 2020, a fantastic array ideas and national pride. I’m trying to break them down and categorise them into groups and point rank them, the list is still a work in progress and should be finished in January.
The new Corona outbreak is starting to affect our operation with lots of rumours within the pavilion families of positive tests, obviously these are affecting staffing levels, some pavilions are being forced to fall back to plan b.
The locals and budget tourists are still coming in droves, everyone is well vaccinated with 3-4 shots and regular PCR tests, obviously without any vaccination proof or negative PCR you are not allowed in, so there are not many negative flat earthers here.
The Expo organises a variety of high quality daily, shows, entertainment, and cross culture events it makes a diverse and interesting wonderland to walk though after work on the way to the metro station every day.
|cool raptor birds one of many pedestrian hazards|
There are restaurants everywhere here in Dubai your wallet decides the experience, every worthwhile world cuisine is showcased here. All the larger hotels have multi themed concept restaurants with guest chefs and specialised kitchen teams in place all with a huge focus on details. This drive and quality focus feeds this overall restaurant quality and fuels the momentum and branch diversification and quality.
It’s interesting how many of these top end restaurants have no alcohol licence, and it’s also interesting how many of these restaurants serve fantastic mock cocktail’s the selections here are fantastic.
|A view from part of Dubai fish market, a very large selection from the whole world|
The food at both ends of the spectrum is very good, Dubai emirate has rigorous food safety control system in place that put every European country/kitchen to shame.
Many of these control measures for me are very labour intensive and wouldn’t be viable in a western country with standard wages, but they work here, every kitchen stands by them, if they don’t, they’re out for the count.
we've been busy at the pavilion flying the flag, and presenting a selection of Swedish dinners, lunches, buffets ect. They've been a great success, many guests trying our Swedish flavours for the first time.
We've imported many products direct from Sweden, extremely complicated import regulations but well worth the effort. The authenticity of the products make the theme more believable.
|Our Swedish buffet at the pavilion|
|Tubes of bleak roe & sour cream from our space week menu|
I’m too much of a cynic to be interested in the glitter and glam, and the dollar generated tourist attractions, shopping malls are shopping malls, here they are crammed with locals and tourists taking pictures of themselves with their telephones, taking selfies seems to be a national preoccupation.
|Even I take them "but just to fit in"|
Be warned also Dubai is a fast city full of slow people, I’ve never seen or experienced so many slow walkers or seen people cueing for a lift when there are stairs or escalator alternatives. if you are a fast walker be prepared to be frustrated by the teaming hoards. So far, my best tourist experience are the old boats that cross the creek, cheap and nasty and shitty, all classes of people crammed in a little transport ferry that chugs past some old waterfront buildings. Wunderschön. There are nice beaches as well with lots of stuff to do, alas some of the beaches are a little too nice. if you are coming long term sports clubs, interest groups and networking are a must.
We were downtown "central Dubai" a few weeks ago doing the tourist rounds, we ended up down at the Dubai fountain and decided to stay and watch, to my surprise the show accompanied of course by music was accompanied by an instrumental version of Lou Reeds walk on the wild side, WOW obviously the decision maker behind the choice of music didn't understand the text or the meaning of the text. It reminded me of Frank Zappas Bobby Brown which was played frequently on the radio when I arrived in Sweden, banned in the English speaking world and a hit in non English countries.
|The, your opinions are irrelevant reminder|
Here's Dubai in a nut shell, I picked up this rerelease of Fleetwood Macs 1969 LP "Then play on". Interesting is the black censorship sticker still relevant 50 years after the original release.
On the 2nd of December we celebrated the UAE's national day 50 years of consolidation between the local Emirates, we had 300 000 visitors at the expo with all the imaginable prearranged pomp and festivities. One part of the festivities that was thought provoking was how many of the immigrant population seemed to be 100% behind the national day celebration. So many flag wavers and proud nationalists have I never seen at any other countries national day celebration. My thoughts went to these immigrants and how I perceive that many of their arrivals and first footsteps in the country were, we hear of irregularities and almost work camp experiences that many of these flag wavers must have experienced upon their arrival.
Arabic and expats:
There are many expats here, these immigrants can be grouped in different groups as well, the labourers, the workers, the administrators, the expats the muslims, the Arabic speakers & those who are open for the language. all of these different groups have different challenges, ambitions and possibilities of success in this the land of opportunities. Many of these low wage immigrants are running the treadmill from day one with years of depts owed to their transport and work sponsors, load on top of this the wage % they sent home to support their families and you quickly realise they're here for the long run with no way out, weather they like it or not. Some of these can be Arabic speakers this may improve their chances to move ahead and climb the refuge pile.
|builders compound, down town Dubai|
Educated immigrants slott often in as workers and administrators into this mélanger, fitting into the middle class is the goal, getting established creating careers and making opportunities for their families and children.
Dubai is full of expats from everywhere all driven by their individual entrepreneurial drive, chance taking or working on short and long term ambitious career steps, again some of these are Arabic speakers this offers these extra networking possibilities, many expats make do with the languages they already have and don't bother so much with learning Arabic, in some ways I feel that the money driven expat group rely too much on the fact that locals command of English is so good and ignore the benefits on building the cultural understanding that comes from learning the language.
This is also true with the lower echelons of the work force, some of the chefs I'm working with have been here 10 years with only a handful of Arabic words, this attitude limits the experience that the lower end of the work force can amass during their stay here. After all an expat living for 15 years or so in a foreign European country and not learning the language, can't really expect to be very successful? After 3 months I've come to the conclusion that it's a control thing,
"give them whatever to make us great and use the language barrier to keep them isolated & ignorant".
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