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What cultural issues would arise if disney chose dubai for its next theme park

Why Disney will never build a theme park in Dubai Yesterday we had a look on different destinations where Disney might open one day a new theme park.

And this place is Dubai. Its beaches on the Persian Gulf. If we look at the brochure it looks like a Shangri-La where everything looks great and luxury. I will explain to you why Disney will never build a theme park in Dubai - and why Disney won't be the only one - but, first, you need to read this brilliantly written article by Johann Hari from british newspaper The Independent and know more about the reality of Dubai.

What cultural issues would arise if disney chose dubai for its next theme park

The truth is not always pleasant, and in this case, it's the least we can say. I'll meet you at the end of the article, if you survive to its reading - you will understand what i mean! But as hard times arrive in the city state that rose from the desert sands, an uglier story is emerging.

Johann Hari reports The wide, smiling face of Sheikh Mohammed — the absolute ruler of Dubai — beams down on his creation. His image is displayed on every other building, sandwiched between the more familiar corporate rictuses of Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders.

And there he stands on the tallest building in the world — a skinny spike, jabbing farther into the sky than any other human construction in history. But something has flickered in Sheikh Mohammed's smile. The ubiquitous cranes have paused on the skyline, as if stuck in time. There are countless buildings half-finished, seemingly abandoned. This Neverland was built on the Never-Never — and now the cracks are beginning to show. Suddenly it looks less like Manhattan in the sun than Iceland in the desert.

Once the manic burst of building has stopped and the whirlwind has slowed, the secrets of Dubai are slowly seeping out. This is a city built from nothing in just a few wild decades on credit and ecocide, suppression and slavery. Dubai is a living metal metaphor for the neo-liberal globalised world that may be crashing — at last — into history.

An Adult Disneyland Karen Andrews can't speak. Every time she starts to tell her story, she puts her head down and crumples. She is slim and angular and has the faded radiance of the once-rich, even though her clothes are as creased as her forehead. I find her in the car park of one of Dubai's finest international hotels, where she is living, in her Range Rover. She has been sleeping here for months, thanks to the kindness of the Bangladeshi car park attendants who don't have the heart to move her on.

This is not where she thought her Dubai dream would end. Her story comes out in stutters, over four hours. At times, her old voice — witty and warm — breaks through. Karen came here from Canada when her husband was offered a job in the senior division of a famous multinational.

But he asked me to give it a chance. And I loved him. You had these amazing big apartments, you had a whole army of your own staff, you pay no taxes at all. It seemed like everyone was a CEO.

We were partying the whole time. But for the first time in his life, he was beginning to mismanage their finances. It was so unlike Daniel, I was surprised. We got into a little bit of debt.

Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumour. One doctor told him he had a year to live; another said it was benign and he'd be okay. But the debts were growing. I assumed if all these big companies come here, it must be pretty like Canada's or any other liberal democracy's," she says. Nobody told her there is no concept of bankruptcy. If you get into debt and you can't pay, you go to prison.

He knew he was guaranteed a pay-off when he resigned, so we said — right, let's take the pay-off, clear the debt, and go.


As soon as you quit your job in Dubai, your employer has to inform your bank. If you have any outstanding debts that aren't covered by your savings, then all your accounts are frozen, and you are forbidden to leave the country.

  • If we start to think about regrets
  • If we start to think about regrets;;;
  • The very earth is trying to repel Dubai, to dry it up and blow it away.

We were thrown out of our apartment. Daniel was arrested and taken away on the day of their eviction. It was six days before she could talk to him. Daniel woke up and the boy had swallowed razor-blades. He banged for help, but nobody came, and the boy died in front of him.

I've never lived like this. I worked in the fashion industry. I had my own shops. Daniel was sentenced to six months' imprisonment at a trial he couldn't understand. It was in Arabic, and there was no translation. I have to last nine months until he's out, somehow.


She is not alone. All over the city, there are maxed-out expats sleeping secretly in the sand-dunes or the airport or in their cars. This isn't a city, it's a con-job. They lure you in telling you it's one thing — a modern kind of place — but beneath the surface it's a medieval dictatorship.

  1. Dubai will go down the Iranian path, the Islamist path.
  2. I find a United Nations of tank-tops and bulging biceps, dancing to Kylie, dropping ecstasy, and partying like it's Soho.
  3. And I loved him.

Tumbleweed Thirty years ago, almost all of contemporary Dubai was desert, inhabited only by cactuses and tumbleweed and scorpions. But downtown there are traces of the town that once was, buried amidst the metal and glass. In the dusty fort of the Dubai Museum, a sanitised version of this story is told.

In the mid-18th century, a small village was built here, in the lower Persian Gulf, where people would dive for pearls off the coast. It soon began to accumulate a cosmopolitan population washing up from Persia, the Indian subcontinent, and other Arab countries, all hoping to make their fortune. They named it after a local locust, the daba, who consumed everything before it. The town was soon seized by the gunships of the British Empire, who held it by the throat as late as 1971.

The British quit, exhausted, just as oil was being discovered, and the sheikhs who suddenly found themselves in charge faced a remarkable dilemma. They were largely illiterate nomads who spent their lives driving camels through the desert — yet now they had a vast pot of gold.

What should they do with it?

Dubai only had a dribble of oil compared to neighbouring Abu Dhabi — so Sheikh Maktoum decided to use the revenues to build something that would last. Israel used to boast it made the desert bloom; Sheikh Maktoum resolved to make the desert boom.

He would build a city to be a centre of tourism and financial services, sucking up cash and talent from across the globe. He invited the world to come tax-free — and they came in their millions, swamping the local population, who now make up just 5 per cent of Dubai.

A city seemed to fall from the sky in just three decades, whole and complete and swelling. They fast-forwarded from the 18th century to the 21st in a single generation.

If you take the Big Bus Tour of Dubai — the passport to a pre-processed experience of every major city on earth — you are fed the propaganda-vision of how this happened.

  1. Its wooden interior looks like a cross between a colonial clubhouse in the Raj and an Eighties school disco, with blinking coloured lights and cheese blaring out. Imagine a country where they the workers can just stop whenever they want!
  2. I worked in the fashion industry. In a Burger King, a Filipino girl tells me it is "terrifying" for her to wander the malls in Dubai because Filipino maids or nannies always sneak away from the family they are with and beg her for help.
  3. But they never know their address, and the consulate isn't interested.
  4. I can't talk to you," she snapped, and hung up. These Indians throw themselves in front of cars, because then their family has to be given blood money — you know, compensation.

To purchase fabrics," he adds. As you pass each new monumental building, he tells you: The sheikh did not build this city. It was built by slaves. They are building it now. Hidden in plain view There are three different Dubais, all swirling around each other.

There are the expats, like Karen; there are the Emiratis, headed by Sheikh Mohammed; and then there is the foreign underclass who built the city, and are trapped here. They are hidden in plain view. You see them everywhere, in dirt-caked blue uniforms, being shouted at by their superiors, like a chain gang — but you are trained not to look.

It is like a mantra: The Sheikh built the city. Every evening, the hundreds of thousands of young men who build Dubai are bussed from their sites to a vast concrete wasteland an hour out of town, where they are quarantined away.

Until a few years ago they were shuttled back and forth on cattle trucks, but the expats complained this was unsightly, so now they are shunted on small metal buses that function like greenhouses in the desert heat. They sweat like sponges being slowly wrung out. Sonapur is a rubble-strewn patchwork of miles and miles of identical concrete buildings. Some 300,000 men live piled up here, in a place whose name in Hindi means "City of Gold".

In the first camp I stop at — riven with the smell of sewage and sweat — the men huddle around, eager to tell someone, anyone, what is happening to them.

Sahinal Monir, a slim 24-year-old from the deltas of Bangladesh. Then you get here and realise it is hell," he says. Four years ago, an employment agent arrived in Sahinal's village in Southern Bangladesh. It was a place where they would be given great accommodation, great food, and treated well.

So Sahinal sold his family land, and took out a loan from the local lender, to head to this paradise.