Family Vacations, Dubai Style



In my 2006-2010 search for the Dubai landscape, I found Dubai was two entities. An Emirate, one of the seven that comprise the United Arab Emirates. And a Municipality, in the centre of a burgeoning 230km coastal megalopolis stretching from Ras al Khaymah in the north east all the way south west to Abu Dhabi.

The rulers of Dubai, the Emirate and the Municipality, are the family of Shaik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. Shaikh Mohammed, born in 1949, is the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Emir of Dubai.

He has built Dubai and its hospitality offerings as a place for family vacations.

That’s the official story but even in the ‘winter’, I found the weather too hot to be in the sun very long, before seeking AC. And in the summer, sometimes only after midnight it might be ok for casual walks of more than 15 minutes, before seeking AC.

I was in a conundrum. Maybe it was my cultural upbringing, but I thought that family vacations were outdoor experiences. Yet in the Dubai landscape, I found its climatic extremes always pushed me back indoors. Aha! The aha moment–AC shopping–indoors–spectacular architecture and attractions–yes indoor shopping as a family vacation. Hmm.

Family vacation with outdoor landscape as a condiment. Just use it a little. Hmm…


3 thoughts on “Family Vacations, Dubai Style

    • I sometimes look for clues in a larger historical frame of reference for the Dubai landscape. Contemporary Dubai landscape might be a blip that depends upon using a brute force energy solution to the ‘impossible-to-live’ climate. Author Maha Gargash, an Emirati from Dubai, wrote an intriguing novel, ‘The Sand Fish‘. In that novel she describes the daily life of the Dubai region as a young girl grows up and marries in the 1950s. That story helps to expand the Dubai 21st century landscape a little further back in history.

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