15 September, 2006

Dubai – A Fusion Spot or a Melting Pot?

Often Dubai is marketed particularly to the Western World as an “international City” where societies “integrate” and cultures assimilate. But how far Dubai has progressed on this front? Or does Dubai at all have the chance of truly assimilating various cultures? Does Dubai, or the UAE offer enough opportunities and avenues to make it so?

Despite my otherwise positive views on Dubai on numerous aspects, I tend to agree with this long interview based article in Gulf News today, that it is still a “Fusion Spot”:

"Dubai is being perceived as a fusion city, where Middle Eastern values mix with those of the rest of the world"

I feel that progressing towards a melting pot will take a long time... (read further).


moryarti said...

I prefer 'Culture ConFusion Spot' ...

DG said...

Nice article. I believe the city is changing, but at a slow speed. It takes long time before the mentality of people changes. But change cannot be avoided. If you look at things 10 years ago, things definitely have changed.

One small example, tinting of car windows. Before it was a privileage enjoyed only by citizens of UAE. No more restrictions now.

You might have read recently in the newspaper, an Ivory Coast player named Ibrahim Diyaki was naturalized & given citizenship, so that he can play for the national team. This is something which was unimagineable 5 years ago.

Things definitely are changing. Thanks for the nice post :-)

shansenta said...

Moryarti... nicely put on a lighter vein... esp. when confusion seems to be the trend in many of the hasty solutions proposed in recent times.

DG... thanks for your comments.
Yes, the pace of change has been really blinding over the past 5 years! However, here we're talking of such a change that will create a new integrated society. Not just a relaxation of few laws that have more effect on how you live here rather than how you integrate and assimilate. I feel this is most important for Dubai to flourish as a whole.

I could think of at least 5 points (mentioned on my page) which could give it a start. And yes, naturisalisation of Diyaki is a positive start, that could be sustained in the long run!

moryarti said...

granting expat sports players uae passports is not new... especially when those passports are as easily taken away. its just that media is more at ease talking about it now, than before

Lirun said...

why is it important that you become a melting pot..


shansenta said...

Good question! Better that you asked lirun!

When various nationalities are invited to either stay or run its economy, the city's inhabitants make it homogenous in composition, thus creating a new character and identity for the city. At least Dubai has been marketed likewise.

In the long run if this homogeneity is not allowed to melt down, the fruits or benefits are never realised.

Anonymous said...

Dubai has come a long way but what shocked me the other day was an article in Gulf News - a guy who was kissing a girl in his car was shot at by the Police. Hmm. I knew there were laws and he did try to drive away but really - should he have been shot at? Keeping that in mind, I feel Dubai still has a ways to go.

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