Saturday, September 27, 2008

Am I the only one who feels like this?

Dubai oh Dubai...

My oh my have you changed. There is not a single aspect of you that has remained the same. You have mushroomed from a little town into a major international city. In the process you have lost your identity and character. Worst of all you have lost your soul. You are just an amalgamation of concrete, roads and hordes of people eager to make their fortune in this land.

You have lost touch with the people who truly care about you. The sons and daughters of this city. They have now joined the rest of the people in this city spell struck by money and blinded by the chance of making it big in the fastest growing city in the world. But step back and think about what you are doing to yourself Dubai. You are blasting ahead in the name of success and progress but oblivious to the things that are being neglected. Or maybe its just me. Maybe I have lost touch with you; with my home. For each day that passes you feel, sound and look less familiar and more distant. I feel I have lost my connection with you.

Am I the only localexpat that feels like this or are there other localexpat(people who grew up here) who feel the same?

19 comments:

i*maginate said...

chin up dude, I think the best thing about blogosphere is that all of us can say what we think and have some kinda support system even if it's virtual.

Nature Strikes Back said...

Hi I am not a local expat.. in fact i only arrived last year but have spent most of that time feeling like I've arrived too late so i understand what you are saying here.... have heard it a lot from taxi drivers too :). I have at least found some local non expat artists who seem to be asking questions too.

Nature Strikes Back said...

sorry... forgot to say that its been much harder to find local expat artists who are exploring their relationships with this country and its changes... but i guess it's harder for them to a) do it and b) get exposure..

alexander... said...

Well, I ain't quite a local expat, but it's been 15 years living here and 20 travelling here.

And I agree.

Anonymous said...

yep.. its so true... been here my whole life.. and today Dubai is not the same place I call "home".. i still remember the 1st time i went to play arcade games in al ghurair city... those were the good 'ol days!

rosh said...

True.

Glam sham sucks. It's not just DXB, the whole country. What's worse is that nobody knows UAE anymore, it's DXB.

What hurts more, is not that it's home for souls like you & I - but the fact, our folks help build the tiny place, they spent the best years of their lives - now it's trashed left, right and center with gold diggers and what have you. And there isn't anything we can do about it - goddamn nothing. I hope they pull those brakes, take a moment and re-evaluate. I hope they see where is it they are heading. At times, I don't even know, why care.

Ali said...

Grew up here, what saddens me is many locals think all expats are to blame for the UAE's changes......they dont seem to make a distinction between those who have stayed for 20 years as law abiding residents and those who have come to party for a few months......

A survery in the National had a very good point; most expats think the greates threat to UAE identity is excessive materialism, while most locals think the greatest threat are.....expats.

I think the locals are wrong on that count and the expats are right (in that the obsession with materialism is the greatest threat to UAE Local identity)

Notorious said...

I live in AD but I come every now and then to DXB mainly to shop but everytime I go there I find it totally different. Its getting really crowded with buildings, bridges, and god knows what else I just cant stand stayin there for a long time I find it really hard to breathe..
I just have the feelin that if the ground can talk it would complain..

R. Ramesh said...

Change is good and non-stoppable. But the pace is scaring. Travelling to DXB from Sharjah was a pleasure just three years ago..now the chaotic traffic situation puts people off. Result: Less social interaction. The thing is everyone admires dxb for its progress, but when problems strike, we all become pessimistic. Maybe, Dubai can stop for a moment, introspect and proceed again. All said and done, it's a great city.

Fashion 4 UAE said...

I have being in UAE more than 3 year, i created a live chat group, now just has 12 members.
any one who has interesting to join please visit my blogsite to check the right side there. MSN group live chat.

Mira said...

Kudos! Well said :)

I'm an Emarati, and I can relate to every single word you say.

Sarfraz said...

I'm very glad there's a blog like this. You're voicing my inner identity. I was born here. Lived and left at 18. Now a Canadian citizen. My father is leaving after 30 years of service. He's not leaving in the best of terms. I don't blame him. Job discrimination. I've also grown disenchanted.

I used to consider myself, somewhat, an 'Emirati'. Sang the national anthem, celebrated on independence day, cried when we (haha, just realized I typed in 'we') lost to Saudi Arabia, etc. I argued with a 'local' Emirati passport holding girl in Canada about it. She basically thought it was wrong for me to say I was from Abu Dhabi when people asked me where I was from and shouldn't say it. Which was absurd. My Canadian friends at the party sided with me and found her quite cruel (or maybe she was just like that drunk, but it was a bad argument regardless).

I was 'ok' with my identity until recently. When exiting UAE for Canada, I had overstayed by 2 days. I paid an extra Dhs500. I tried to bargain it was just 2 days. A younger bedouin with an arrogant answer said "You could go to Bahrain and comeback, and no problem."

Its true I traveled on a Canadian passport for convenience (perhaps if I traveled on a Pakistani passport I would have 'known' my 'place' with the bureaucratic process needed for a visa and kill any belief of belonging). But I always considered UAE home and looked past the red tape (even with the national hierarchy that exists in the country, you let that kind of inequality and perhaps discrimination slide). But this came as a surprise. I guess I reached the realization that, UAE isn't 'home'. 'They' don't want me.

Now that I visit, you're right...its not what home used to be. In Abu Dhabi, gone are the real souqs, the volcano fountain, (expat) friends and old faces I used to know.

Sorry for the nostalgic dribble. Great blog ;)

rosh said...

Happy 09 Mr LE! I hope your dreams take shape this year onward.

Peace!

moryarti said...

born/raised in Kuwait but been here for almost 10 years now, wife and kids are locals (real locals, not localexpats), i am not.

And yes, I totally agree.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Since you are an expat. maybe you want to add this expatriates website (linkexpats.com) to you list of links. Your readers may benefit from it.

daniyal said...

well said

daniyal said...

well said

rak companies said...

your comment is really nice with have a good thinking…..
offshore company dubai

uae companies said...

This post is really incredible, one of the most helpful I have ever read, indeed.
Audit in Dubai