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Darkness of Dubai

Sheikh Mohammed's broad, smiley face - the ultimate sovereign of Dubai - shines down on his creation." That man has been selling Dubai to the outside worlds as the Town of Thousand and One Arab Lights, a Shangri-La in the Middle East isolated from the dusty towers in the region."

The Neverland was build on the Never-Never - and now the tears are beginning to show. All of a sudden it looks less like Manhattan in the summer than Iceland in the sands. As soon as the mad construction boom has ended and the hurricane has subsided, Dubai's mysteries begin to seep out.

It is a vibrant imagery of the neoliberal globalized bubble that may finally penetrate our past. In the parking lot of one of Dubai's best hotel chains, where she lives, I find her in her Range Rover. Here she didn't think her Dubai dreams would end.

"As he said Dubai, I said - if you want me to carry blacks and stop drinking, baby, you got the fake one. "when she landed in Dubai in 2005. "Sheikh Mohammed is the Maus, it was an grown Disneyland," she says. "She says we were really hammered by Dubai."

"I knew nothing about Dubai justice before I came here. Once you have given up your Dubai employment, your employers must notify your local banks. Everywhere in the town there are emaciated ex-pats who sleep in secret in the sandy dune or at the airports or in their car. "What you have to know about Dubai is - nothing is as it seems," Karen finally says.

A disinfected copy of this tale is narrated in the Dubai Museum's dust fortress. On its way there, Dubai chose to join forces with the six neighbouring states to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Most of them were illiterates who lived their life drifting camelids through the wilderness - and yet they now had a huge pan of amber.

In the past Israel boasted that it made the wilderness flourish; Sheikh Maktoum decided to make the wilderness booming. Building a town as a center for tourist and finance activities, he would take in money and talents from all over the world. When you take the Big Bus Tour of Dubai - the pass to a preprocessed adventure of every metropolis in the world - you get the propoganda mission of how this was done.

"This World Trade Centre was constructed by His Highness..." But the sheik didn't make this town. lt was constructed by butlers. There' three different Dubai's, all whirling around each other. Like Karen, there are the emirates, led by Sheik Mohammed; and there is the lower class of foreigners who constructed the town and are captured here.

It' like a mantra: the sheikh builds the town. It was the sheik who founded the town. Around 300,000 men lived here towered, in a place whose name in Hindi means "city of gold". "In order to bring you here, they tell you Dubai is heaven. It was abruptly said to him that from now on he would work 14-hour working holidays in the arid wilderness heats - where West visitors are encouraged to spend less than five minute's time outside in the summers when it reaches 55°C - for 500 Dirham per months (£90), less than a fourth of the pay promise.

In midsummer, humans are sleeping on the ground, on the rooftop, wherever they can say a prayer for a brief breezy time. Work is " the hardest in the world," he says. Dubai PD surrounding their camp with knife cord and hydro guns shot them out and back to work.

The glittering Dubai skies, which he constructed without noticing, are in the background. When I stumble in dizziness from the warehouses into the spacious mall marbles that seem to be standing on every road in Dubai, I am very surprised. There' s a headdress show before the Dubai race that sells lavish headdresses for 1,000 pounds each.

Each street has at least four tracks; Dubai is like a highway interrupted by malls. Dubai dwellers fly from centre to centre by taxi or automobile. When you try, the wives blind you out and the men look insulted and tell you that Dubai is "all right". "It'?s the best place in the whole wide fucking jungle!

Governments pay for your training until graduation. "I try to make possible reservations about this panglossal conclusion, but he leaned forward and said, "Look - my grandpa has woken up every single night and he would have to struggle to get to the well first to fetch it.

Once the wells were dried, they had to be supplied with drinking soda by camels. Like Ahmed, most Emirates work for the goverment, so they are protected from the financial crisis. No one wants to go back to the day of the wilderness, the day before everyone came. "Sheikh Mohammed will not be supported by an emirate that you will find very difficult to find.

You' re going to be in a Pizza Hut or Nando's in London, and at the same in Dubai I' m going to be in one," he says and orders another one. At the slim Emirates Tower Hotel I met Sultan al-Qassemi. "He shouts, "These folks are turning into rotten, obese little girls. "And yet, when I try to address the system of enslavement that Dubai has established, he looks mad.

"His insistence is that our friends should give us credit." "We' re the most permissive human beings in the whole wide open planet. It is the only truly cosmopolitan town in the whole wide sense of the word. "but considering how many folks are here..."

"Don't you think Mexicans are getting bad treatment in New York City? How long did it take Britain to give good treatment to man? If Dubai falls, the Middle East will be much more perilous. Egyptians or Libyans or Iranians are growing up and saying: I want to go to Dubai. It is Dubai that will take the Islamic way, the Islamic way.

Every day my mom went to the well and got a pail of soda every day. Beside a Virgin Megastore and a Dunkin' Doughnuts, with James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" behind me, I met the Public Enemy Number One of the Dubai Doctrine. Mohammed al-Mansoori says of his whitened robe and his stringy face:

" Sniffing out the only Arab diner in this shopping center, he says everything you can't say in Dubai under menace of jail. Moslem Mohammed told me that he was sired in Dubai as the son of a fisher who gave him a permanent lesson: never obey the cattle.

Mohammed completed his training as a solicitor in the wave of developments. Then - all of a sudden- Mohammed reached the boundaries of Sheikh Mohammed's toleration. The last times there was recession, there was a star cluster of democracies in Dubai that was violently taken by the sheiks. It was Sheikh Mohammed who turned Dubai into Creditopolis, a completely indebted town.

The Dubai region has 107 per cent of its total GNP to thank for. Mohammed says anxiously: Humans who are said to keep their mouths shut at all times can just detonate. It' s a very different town from the one I was bred in 50 years ago. Dubai dwellers are very proud of their town, and justifiably so.

"We are afraid in our heart that we have constructed a contemporary town, but we are loosing it to all these emigrants. I climb down under a renowned guesthouse to perhaps the only homosexual nightclub on the Saudi Arabia. "A 25-year-old emirate with prickly haired hands wraps its arm around its 31-year-old "man" says Dubai is the best place in the Moslem homosexual community.

" It'?s against the law to be a lesbian in Dubai and you get 10 years in the can. Every Arabian homosexual wants to be in Dubai. I went to Double Decker, a meeting place for UK expatriates, one evening in the middle of this home sick town, exhausted from shopping centres and warehouses.

You' re always seeing humans. "They' ve been in Dubai for 20 years and like to talk about how the town works. "But Dubai has failed them. A Filipino woman in a Burger King told me that it is "terrible" for her to walk through the shopping centres in Dubai because Filipino maidens or nurses always creep away from the host families and ask them for help.

" Dubai's only women's shelter - a dirty privately-owned mansion on the verge of expropriation - is full of runaway servants. So I asked a Brit named Hermione Frayling what the best part of Dubai was. "The world is empty. "It'?s the end of the world," says a Southern man.

Atlantis Hotel opened last winters at a $20 million fin-de-siecle celebration with Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan and Lily Allen. Unexpected rain falls, rain falls from the rooftop and the bricks fall off. Large shark-filled reservoirs sneak around neglected forts and sunken underboats.

Dubai is where you can live and breathe with the fish. I' m signing up for a few night's lodging at the city's finest park Hyatt. It' the fashion fans' favorite place to go, where Elle Macpherson and Tommy Hilfiger are staying, a beautiful, discreet place. Every time I have dinner, I'm one of the few persons in the restaurants.

In the end, they had even constructed an isle there. You' re standing on a well-kept Dubai grass and watching the Sprinkler sprays around you. They hike into a big refrigerator, where they have constructed a skiing piste with genuine snows. This is the wilderness.

World itself is trying to ward off Dubai, drying it out and blowing it away. Flooding the cityscape with dusty towers that mist up the sky and give the cityscape a blurred shape. Mohammed Raouf, the Environment Manager of the Gulf Research Centre, sounded gloomy as he sat in his Dubai desk and warned:

"and we' re trying to brave the surroundings. When you face the wilderness, you will loose. "in a place with no usable waters. It has no superficial waters, very few aquifers and one of the lowes rainfalls in the can.

Dubai is drinking the ocean. Enormous demineralisation facilities around the Gulf remove salts from the Emirates' waters - making them the most costly waters in the world. It is the major cause why a Dubai inhabitant has the largest CO2 emissions of any person - more than twice as much as an American.

However, if we had lower incomes - for example if the earth shifted to an alternative resource than oil..." he shook his brain. Waters are the primary sources of existence. There'?s only enough soda in Dubai to last us a whole weekend. However, to remain still, the ordinary citizen of Dubai needs three time as much drinking pool space as the ordinary person.

Dubai is singularly susceptible to the beginning centuries of aquatic stress and fossile fuel transitions. Because I wanted to know how the Dubai authorities would respond, I chose to see how they handled an existing environment issue - the contamination of their shores.

"She said, "If you give away my name, I will be sent out of this town on the first plane," before she started speeding the bank with me in a nervous way. After they had gone in, the waters seemed and smell strange, and they became ill. "He said the waters were getting poorer and poorer.

" It started to write furious postings in the expats' forum discussions - and they started to find out what was going on. All of a sudden it was an open mystery - and the city administration recognized the problems. However, the freshwater has not improved: it has become blackened and stenchy. "Quit embarrassing Dubai or your visas will be expunged and you'll be out," they said.

And now the water's even worst. Those guys are getting really ill. Feces swim on the shore in the shade of one of Dubai's most popular hotel. "The thing I learned about Dubai is that the government doesn't blow the environmental wind," she says, stinking.

" While she is speaking, a dusty wind is blowing around us as the wilderness tries to reclaim its lands over time. My last evening at Dubai Disneyland I stop on the way to the international base at a Pizza Hut on the edge of one of the city's vast, open streets.

It is a market fundamentalist globalization in a city. I' ve been here for a month before I realized everything in Dubai is forged. "And I think Dubai is like an haven. but you get closer and you only get a moutful of sands.

Forcing her face into the wide, empty Dubai grin, she says, "And how can I help you this evening, sire?

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