The sheer magnitude of the buildings in Dubai and neighbouring Abu Dhabi is just mind-blowing. You’ve seen the photos but to actually be encompassed by these beautiful structures is something else. There was always an exciting tower to stare at. Each was unique, like nothing I had ever seen before. The liberties taken in design ... The creative roofs. Just mesmerizing.
The city is divided neatly into pockets – Dubai Internet City, which has all the technology companies, the .coms, tech startups and global names such as Facebook and LinkedIn. There is Dubai Media City, home to such companies as CNN, Forbes, Reuters and Sony. And there is Knowledge Village, the area for personal development, training and schools. These areas are called “free zones”, where companies are 100% foreign-owned and not taxed. Companies outside of the free zone must have 50 per cent local ownership. It is beyond me how the city was able to organize all of its businesses into categorized areas.
There is an "old" section of the city, where the markets are – old ... the UAE only established its roots 42 years ago.
Bevan has now lived in Dubai for more than five years. He said amongst the shiny buildings, the glitz and glam, the fancy Lamborghinis and McClarens, the 5-star, 7-star hotels, there was one thing Dubai lacked – old character. There was no deep history, there was nowhere to walk where people had walked hundreds of years before. The bars were mostly upscale, attached to expensive hotels. There weren’t really any dressed-down, old-school pubs, no Horseshoe Taverns, no Imperial Pub, no Dominion on Queen. He missed those types of spots. I get that.
TIP: Torontonians, we can still boast: even though the twisty building is seriously cool, our CN Tower is way taller.
Published journalist, world traveller, big thinker, fun haver