08 October, 2006

What does Dubai and a Tarzanian Jungle have in common?

Something is going terribly wrong in this city. For some reason I have the feeling this is just the beginning.

There have always been some latent social and other community issues in Dubai. These were mostly kept under control by the system or had too “marginal” impact to be noticed by the masses. By marginal I mean that those problems often concerned very few people to be noticed, making it easier for the rest of us to turn our heads to look elsewhere and simply ignore them.

Things have changed and Dubai became a place nobody loves because of what it is or what it represents. The only interest people have left in this city resides in what they can “rip” out of it. And when you realize that most people do not get any of that, who is left to love the place?

It is like if by growing too quickly, the metropolis ended up unable to cope with the number of new inhabitants it is attracting year after year. The result is a messy mix (in opposition to a blend) of communities and individuals, all of them alienated, if not de facto then by choice.

Equality in front of the Law and Justice is my issue of the day. Probably like almost everywhere else in the world, in Dubai, we are born equal but we don’t die the same way. Yet, until recently, the phenomenon had been somewhat contained, and one could usually lead a peaceful life, doing their jobs and minding their own business.

These days you cannot leave your home and not see or meet some individuals that are perfectly aware that the Law does not apply to/on them. So they just behave like if they were the kings of the roads, the malls or the whole universe. It could be that reckless driver who endangers the lives of 3000 other people on Sheikh Zayed Road, the “under cover” policeman that harasses your wife in the mall, the employer who thinks of himself as Pharaoh and of his employees as the “it’s-your-birth-right-to-sacrifice-them-as-you-please” 2000BC Egyptians, or yet that bunch of teenagers that assaults a passerby for fun.

Instead of the omnipotent law and the blind justice, we ended up with a One-Eyed Justice and a Tarzan Law of the Jungle.

Looking for an explanation to this state of matters, I find it hard to reach a conclusion. So I try to rationalize and ask myself:

-Is it because of the system, rigid and inadequate, unable or unwilling to change and adapt?

-Is it the unavoidable large city syndrome that strikes you when you grow beyond a certain threshold or reach that “tipping point”?

-Or, is it a typical case of child’s mind in adult’s body, an acute teenage crisis the city is going through?


iwiwag said...

Nice blog :)

Anonymous said...

Dubai City = Dubai Zoo

Aro said...

Thanks :-)

bandicoot said...

Yet, until recently, the phenomenon had been somewhat contained, and one could usually lead a peaceful life...

What? How did I miss this time of paradise, even though I was here? Yes, traffic was a bit easier and construction not on this hysterical scale and some parts of the city seemed more appealing; but "equality before the law" and stuff? Are you kidding me?

Bloglingo said...

Nice one.

Anonymous said...

I do share your opinion, Dubai is getting hard to live and it is getting really hard to save as well. for the conclusion I'd rather prefer be optimistic and take your third option

"-, is it a typical case of child’s mind in adult’s body, an acute teenage crisis the city is going through?:\"

Great blog

marwan said...

What's different? The way I see it, things have always been the same. The only difference is the older and more educated you get, the less willing you are to take it.

The only difference I see is that expats used to be treated with something in the same galactic quadrant as respect. That's gone boom, boom now. We're all as disposable as paper napkins and the sooner you accept that, the better off you will be.

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