I Hope I Live Long Enough to See Dubai Fail
Updated: May 25
What do I have against Dubai, you ask? Nothing.
Then what's my problem? I am at least casually aware of history.
First of all, I am well aware that Dubai is a city, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. So let me re-set my premise. How many small countries in the history of the world have been flush with so much money that they have built World Wonder after World Wonder with almost no standing army?
You want to argue the Vatican City? The Vatican has existed within Italy for a hundred years thanks to the Lateran Treaty. Before that, they existed in the shadow of the remnants of the Roman Empire and the Country of Italy for a thousand years.
The United Arab Emirates only exists today because of the good graces of Saudi Arabia allows them to exist. In the artist's rendition above, the UAE envisions a mini-Moon motel not far from the Palm Islands.
The whole crux of this article is that the United Arab Emirates cannot continue this absurd architectural growth.
I am going to say it very slowly to let it sink in.
They want to build a motel.
Inside a mini-Moon.
Across from man-made islands.
In the middle of the desert.
You're howling at your computer: You ever heard of Vegas?
Listen, have YOU ever been to Las Vegas? There are casinos which cater to the rich and famous. They spend their time courting famous whale after infamous whale. But then there are the casinos that suck dry your social security check and slowly drain the life out of you, penny by penny. Casinos that are unsafe and riddled with crime. Half-ton disabled Americans, wheeling around on scooters, misappropriating their disability checks. And when the strung-out junkies collapse in the bathrooms of those casinos, who cleans THAT up?
No matter what business you run, wherever you live in the entire world, someone needs to clean the toilets.
The Emirates have built a playground for The Rich Emirates First.
The Rich Sunnis Second.
The Rich Third.
Who is working in Dubai? They aren't welcoming refugees, they are taking advantage of the poorest of the poor that they can control.
Now if you look at a simple map, you'll notice that there's a whole country full of Angry Shiites about an hour to the north of the country. If you go about 8 hours to the south, there's arguably the worst civil war on the planet in Yemen. The refugees from those countries aren't the workers spurring the growth.
There is no Emeriti Middle Class. The Emirates have the second largest non-displaced expatriate population in the Middle East building Wonders at a furious pace. The workers have to wait 30 years to apply for citizenship and are one of the most exploited populations in the Middle East:
Migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates constitute an estimated 88.5% of the federation’s overall population, with the majority originating from South Asia and Southeast Asia. While a small percent of workers are employed in skilled labour, the majority work in the semi-skilled and low-skilled sector and are often subjected to exploitation and abuse by their employers. - ICFUAE
So why do I want Dubai to fail? Because I like being right. People across the globe react to a giant replica moon being built with their mouth agape in amazement.
I ask: Who's going change the light bulbs in that thing in 10 years? Certainly not the Sheikh or his family.
Let me ask you this also: Did you watch the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo? It was beautiful and was universally acclaimed as a success, even though it was in a Communist Country. Within 10 years, the country was in Civil War and many of the venues were already bombed out and falling into disrepair.
The UAE might be fine now, but the Iranian Army is 10 times larger. It is not hard to fathom that the UAE could be in trouble surrounded by a bunch of Middle Eastern Hornets' Nests.
Today's Dubai is not Paris of the late 1800's, a hotbed of cross-pollinated artistic ideals. Dubai is still governed by an Absolute Monarchy and at least a partial interpretation of Sharia Law.
In America, we have tempered the masses with Alcohol, Gambling, Medical Marijuana Cards, and Easily Accessible Porn. What will cool the overworked masses in Dubai? Nothing that the Emirates are offering.
Back in 1920, Cleveland, Ohio was the 5th largest city in the United States of America. Awash in money, entrepreneurs started to build the Terminal Tower for $180 Million. When it was completed in 1927, it was the tallest skyscraper in the world (outside of New York City.)
Fast forward a hundred years, Cleveland is now the 54th largest city in the USA and the Terminal Tower was just sold for $38 Million.
Where am I going with with all of these scattered and seemingly unrelated thoughts? Dubai has the money to build the Moon, they don't have the resources to sustain it. Within a generation that Moon complex will have fallen into disrepair. 5 billion dollars flushed into the Persian Gulf.
The Eremites don't have the infrastructure, the population, nor the force, to sustain it.
Will Beacon of Speech be around in 25 years to gloat of their prognosticating skills?
You think the migrant slaves that are currently in the Emirates would fight for this government's existence if it was attacked by an outside force? They ain't.
Would the USA intervene if Iran invaded the UAE? Hell yeah we would!
Would the USA intervene if Saudi Arabia invaded the UAE? Uh, probably not.
Who's to say Oman wouldn't invade the UAE? EXACTLY!
Now ask the same exact question in 10 years. The world's alliances have shifted dramatically since the fall Berlin Wall.
America didn't fight for a free Kuwait in 1990, the Gulf War was an excuse to punch Saddam Hussein in the throat. If Iraq marched on Kuwait today and promised not to invade Saudi Arabia, I'm not sure we would do anything about ungrateful Kuwait now.
On top of all that, let's pretend that I'm dead wrong about absolutely everything and in 50 years Dubai is chugging along, stronger than ever, long after my death. What are the chances of Dubai being reclaimed by the natural ebb and flow of the Persian Gulf? Really good, actually.
Editor's Note: 2 Days Later
50 Million Trapped in Modern Slavery
One of the story's top offenders? United Arab Emirates