I generally don’t write travel notes, however I could not resist this time. Pessimists represent Dubai as the place that is made of concrete jungle; very hot and is not liveable; country that was built with cheap labour / even slavery; country with harsh laws etc. etc…
To be honest, I was one of those pessimists who even turned down a lucrative job offer for some or all of the reasons above. Several years after that, my wife and I decided to visit Dubai for a few days end of last year. While we were there, we took the opportunity to talk to number of people there, visit the national museum and learn about the country. Guess what, now my perception is completely different from what I had before. All the above may be true, however I admire that country for the dream, leadership and the way they have come-up in the last 50 years.
Until about 1960, they were not aware of the existence of oil under their soil. A country that was no more than a desert until early 1960s, which was literally struggling to survive, is now in the list of one of the developed countries, is one of the popular destinations for investment, trading, shopping, tourism etc. etc. The country has the world’s tallest structure, has a structure of the world in the middle of the sea; Structure of Palm tree in the middle of the sea and on and on.
My pessimist friends can argue that the development was due to the availability of Oil. We will be dishonest if we don’t account the success and development more to do with the dream, leadership and attitude. I am sure we all accept that there are many countries that produce more oil to the world but stay under developed. I have attached a few of the photographs of Dubai that belongs to 1960 and now.
I quote HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
“Most of people talk, we do things. They plan, we achieve. They hesitate, we move ahead. We are living proof that when human beings have the courage and commitment to transform a dream into reality, there is nothing that can stop them. Dubai is a living example of that.”
This I thought was a very inspirational quote. The difference between other inspirational quotes and this dream is “Someone not only dreamt but also made it a reality”. HH Sheikh had the dream. He transformed the desert to a wonderland, which no body would have thought to have achieved.