Tag Archives: Dubai

At least we are not Dubai

Among all the gloom about our country, we tend to forget the richness and the diversity of our cities and culture. We have a lot to achieve, but we overlook a lot more that we possess. George Fulton expresses his disdain for Dubai, a ritzy burgeoning middle eastern city that portrays itself as a coastal quasi-western city of choice for businesses and tourists. We may not fully agree with George’s assessment of Dubai as just a glamorous and materialistic cosmopolitan. Yet his comparison of Karachi or Lahore (with their rich culture, traditions, intelligentsia, linguistic pluraity and democracy) with a drab city (run by an autocratic dynasty and inhabited by empty fops looking for relatively quick riches) do ring a loud bell. (AZW)



By George Fulton, The Express Tribune


We haven’t got a lot to be thankful for these days in Pakistan.

But at least we are not Dubai.

Fed up with loadshedding, bombs, and TV cynicism pervading Pakistan, I recently escaped to Dubai for a holiday. Big mistake. Huge. Ten days later I returned, gasping for Karachi’s polluted, but far sweeter, air. Dubai may have the world’s tallest building and the world’s largest shopping mall, but it also has the world’s tiniest soul. It’s a plastic city built in steel and glass.

It has imported all the worst aspects of western culture (excessive consumption, environmental defilement) without importing any of its benefits (democracy, art). This is a city designed for instant gratification a hedonistic paradise for gluttons to indulge in fast food, fast living and fast women. It’s Las Vegas in a dish dash. You want to eat a gold leaf date? Munch away.

You want to drink a Dhs 3,000 bottle of champagne? Bottoms up. You want a UN selection of hookers at your fingertips? Tres bien. Let’s start with the malls. These cathedrals of capitalism, these mosques of materialism are mausoleums of the living dead. Slack jawed zombies roam around consuming food, clothes and electronics in a desperate attempt to fill the emptiness of their existence.

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Filed under ancient civilisations, Architecture, culture, Democracy, Karachi, Lahore, New Writers, Pakistan, Politics, public policy, Society, UAE

Songs of Destruction

By Ahmad Rafay Alam
The Lahore Development Authority placed advertisements in national dailies this week of its intention to widen the Canal Bank Road. The decision is another example of how people with good intentions but no relevant experience can lead a city down a path to disaster.

Lahore hit headlines last week, but for altogether the wrong reasons. It is now the most polluted city in the country. The emissions from industry and automobiles have rendered its air un-breathable. It has no waste-treatment plant, so all the raw sewage it produces is happily tossed into the River Ravi. And in the next twenty years, expect its population and size to double.

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Filed under Activism, Environment, Pakistan

Looking in different directions in Dubai?

A brilliant photo from the Daily Times, Pakistan. A related story by DAWN’s Amir Wasim below:

Top leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-N ended their marathon talks in Dubai on Thursday with an announcement that they had agreed to reinstate the deposed judges through a parliamentary resolution in accordance with the Murree Declaration. Continue reading

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Filed under Pakistan

Death in Dubai

A disturbing piece by  Ron Gluckman in Dubai, UAE – a must read. Ron writes about how, “Every year, scores of kidnapped children are smuggled from South Asia to the Middle East where they are maimed and killed, all for the amusement of the oil-rich rulers of kingdoms on the camel racing circuit.


ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOP JOCKEYS poses for a photo by the track. His smile says it all. Two front teeth are missing. Raji Shubir ranks with the youngest champions of the race course.  Continue reading


Filed under Society