Tue, Oct 18, 2011 - Page 9 News List

Dubai is a place of horror, where Islamism meets hyper-capitalism

Dubai, like the rest of the United Arab Emirates, is a repressive state, that tries to hide behind religious piety and modernist glitz

By Tanya Gold  /  The Guardian, LONDON

It is almost understandable, if you are a psychopath. For every piece of human misery Dubai offers, it has a wondrous piece of leisure to distract you. This is, entirely, its terror. There are buildings of incredible scope and ugliness, fake islands in the shape of continents and the Burj al-Arab hotel, which is shaped like a sail and stuck above the Arabian Gulf.

This is all meat for gibbering travel PRs. There are many places on Earth as repressive, but North Korea and Saudi Arabia are not touted as dirty weekend destinations for residents of liberal democracies. Dubai is a place of horror, the land where fundamentalism meets hyper-capitalism. Could anything be worse? So again, Liam Fox, why?

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