The operative phrase on my first day in Dubai was "Oh My God." And the good part is still to come with the good part being all of the incredible high rise architecture that is the new Dubai and was created out of nothing in just 11 years. Our guide is Dr. Norma who turned out to be a man ( no surprise as who would have expected an Arab Guide to be female). He explained how this city of 700,000 in the 1970s became 2 million in thirty years. Over 80% of the population are guest workers from countries like Pakistan, China, India, and Nepal, migrants who can never look forward to citizenship. There is no lack of money, no lack of jobs, and no constraints on what can be built. The government pays for everything: education, health care, and housing and owns everything too. And it seems as if almost everybody is rich. NO TAXES!!!! No sequester!
The Jumeirah Mosque, where we learned about the 5 Pillars of Islam, was rather plain compared to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, but the seven star BURJ al Arab Hotel made up for it. You will be interested in this. Tonight one of our friends asked a salesperson in a very expensive jewelry store in the hotel "From what countries do your patrons come from? " First, by expensive jewelry store, we were looking at watches that cost $250,000. He asked her for clarification. " Do you mean quantity or quality?" "Both," she answered. "Quantity China and Quality Russia, " he replied.
The Adventure Continues.