Another Western publication has taken a jab at Dubai, and a lot of people are getting sick of it.
After referring to Dubai as "the World's Vegas" in the headline, the tagline of The New Yorker article went on to describe the emirate as "a non-place of a city."
The article continues, describing the city's skyline as follows:
"The skyline, if that’s the right word for it, was garishly, unapologetically artificial." (Because New York's is natural and organic?)
And it gets worse, saying the Ski Dubai complex "juts incongruously into the desert sky like a middle finger aimed at the Creator." (That was just unnecessary.)
Basically, a writer spent an extended layover in the city with his wife, visited a few of the most touristic spots, and decided that was enough to judge all of Dubai ... because Dubai is only Burj Khalifa and two shopping malls?
A lot of people are getting downright sick of these cliché portrayals by Western publications.
For one, 'the Las Vegas' is overused
Some are turning the writer's words around to critique
Some are defending Dubai
Because there's so much more than the touristic highlights
Honestly though, would The New Yorker publish a similar article about say, New York?
Would the publication find it valuable for someone who only spent a day in the city – visiting only Macy's, 5th Avenue shops and the Empire State Building – to write an opinionated and critical article summing up the entire city? Would they title it "New York, the East Coast's Vegas"?
Sure, Dubai isn't perfect. Yes, the city is very consumerist oriented and attracts a lot of tourists in certain areas. But that can be said of every major global city.
Yes, as the article points out, Dubai pumps "carbon emissions" into the atmosphere. But does New York not? Of course it does! And the UAE is actually on the road to surpass its renewable energy targets.
Yes, as the article also points out, many non-Emirati laborers in Dubai do not enjoy the luxury and comfort that tourists come for. But, do the minimum wage workers and immigrants in New York live the glamorous lives of "the rich and famous" so often associated with their city? No. In fact, income inequality is rapidly increasing in the United States as protections for workers are being pulled back.
Negative aspects and touristic spots do not define a city.
Dubai is a city of 2.75 million souls hailing from nearly every nation on earth. Many people from around the world truly love living in and visiting this city. There are problems, sure. But at least the leaders of the UAE are striving to make residents' lives better and happier.