14 July, 2006

The Desert Kingdom

A fascinating documentary from Australia's ABC on Dubai, with a focus on environmental and water issues. It shows the enormous change, and gives a sense how difficult it has been for local people here. As Dr Hessah Lootah puts it:

"There is so much emphasis on the value of materials, rather than the value of feelings or the value of human kindness."

Here are some then and now screenshots from the video, some things have changed more than others:







5 comments:

BD said...

Excellent screen shots, now if only I can download or stream the video!

BD said...

The streaming worked! I saw the video. A couple of comments: That oft repeated observation of how much water is used per capita in the UAE came up again. It makes a nice sound byte, which is why I suppose we always hear it. But someone really needs to breakdown the stats and say for example, this much water is used by agriculture, this much by industries, this much by hotels, this much by households and so on. Only then will the data be meaningful.

Take a crowded bachelor's flat in Dubai. You've got 20 people sharing a single bathroom. When each person is probably limited to no more than 5 minutes at a time in the bathroom, no one can say these people are wasting water. A lof of the per capita are living like this (consider the laborers) and are not using so much water.

Even the more comfortable apartment dwellers, do they really use any more water for their showers and other household needs than anyone else in modern cities around the world?

So, I think what you have is agriculture (including landscaping), industry and hotels which use vast amounts of water. And then you have the residents who use less or no more than the average amount of water when compared to people in other places. Any discussion about water usage really needs to be clear on the topic.

Again, its just the sound bytes that the media--including newspapers--throw out at us.

Axonsax said...

Excellent video thanks for the link.

Big up and much respect to Dr Hasser Lootha who recognises the change in "locals" attitude as I have noticed in my half dozen years of living in Dubai.

Greed.

secretdubai said...

Big up and much respect to Dr Hasser Lootha who recognises the change in "locals" attitude as I have noticed in my half dozen years of living in Dubai.

Yes. I like the fact that she's honest and doesn't try to blame expats for all the negative change. Obviously it's in a big part because we're here that changes are happening, but we don't make the rules. Recognising that everyone is contributing to change is important.

As is recognising that change is good and bad. It's good there are hospitals and schools and proper roads here. It's bad there is pollution. It's good there is greater tolerance and openness. It's bad there is greater crime. It's good that there are more activities for people to enjoy. It's bad that natural resources are being squandered.

BD said...

The good and the bad. That would be a nice topic to expand upon.

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