Erm. Almost completely soulless and artificial in every respect. Also, ridiculously expensive (a toy town for millionaires). And not finished yet. Huge swathes of Dubai’s ambitious construction projects are standing incomplete and neglected, thwarted by the economic downturn.
Oh, (pricey) fun was had, and Eva particularly enjoyed it. We wandered the biggest shopping mall in the world (and the second biggest too), went up the tallest building in the world, bestrode the manmade beaches and the brand new faux ancient Arabian architecture of the hotels. There were parks filled with water, and parks filled with snow. There were proper supermarkets, where proper ingredients could be pulled off the shelf.
There were, in fact, lots of things that you can get in other modern cities, at much less expense.
I’m not complaining too much. It was ‘fine’, after all. Compared to other expeditions around neighbouring countries though, I’m left with little sense of having discovered somewhere new. It’s just like other stuff, but less interesting.
The singular exception was Wednesday, when we went into the desert in 4x4s. Normally, these are the devil’s toys, but when hurtling up and down thirty foot sand dunes at ridiculous speeds, you suddenly discover that they do have a place in the world. I loved just being in the desert, and will remember that for a long, long time.
While I was in Dubai, this man died. Whether you actually use Apple products or not, this man changed your life. He changed how computers work, what they’re for, and how you use them. He changed communications, consumerism, the music industry, and a lot more. It’s not wrong to call him a visionary. Worth taking a moment to reflect on that. One man can, and has, changed the world.
Also while I was in Dubai, the line up for the forthcoming World’s Collider anthology was announced. I’m on it, alongside some top talent. Between us, with editor Richard Salter leading the way, we’re going to end the world as you know it. Go and like the Facebook page to keep up to date. As we go along, I’m also planning to blog the progress of this book. Like the Hiram Grange universe, this is effectively a shared world, and I’m looking forward to finding out how the collaboration is going to work. Stay tuned – I’ll report back soon, giving you exclusive access to the scandals, the cat fights, and other such behind the scenes chicanery…
Finally, I only have 1087 days left until my deadline. I’d better get a move on…