MUMBAI: This is with reference to May 1’s article by Conor Purcell, ‘At least we are Dubai’, which was written in response to George Fulton’s piece on Dubai (April 21). I seriously think both of them should go to Saudi Arabia and discover the true meaning of sajda and abaya, respectively. Instead of getting into the ‘George said this’ and giving him the full Monty treatment, Mr Purcell ought to have given his own premise.
But it turns out to be tantalising alternative glimpses that only further the stereotypes that were being dangled in the first place. A person going on a holiday will see things differently from how a resident would and I am afraid a gora resident will have a vastly different perspective and experience than a South Asian and there will be major class disparities at play in the way we perceive things.
Both the gentlemen have concentrated on bling analysis. Neither works to give any deep understanding, although smart slapstick bombs harm no one. And, yes, in this year I have already visited Dubai twice and have been a regular for over a decade. I choose what I wish to do and see and I am perturbed at the overemphasis on Bedouin culture. When I am consulted by friends who consider me an ‘expert’ of sorts, I do not ask them to go to the labour housing areas. It would be as bad as watching people bend down at a designer store — which they do when they try out a pair of shoes. So what?