Gloom over Dubai
Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 31st July, 2009
I landed in Dubai this evening, to find the whole city shrouded in a murky, yellowish mist. It reminds me a bit of the Lancashire fogs in my childhood, only the temperature outside is 40 degrees centigrade, not 40 degrees fahrenheit,and the reduced visibility is not from smoke pollution but from sandstorms which have been afflicting the region this week. If one ignores the temperature (hard to do, I know, but…) one would think this was mid-winter, not mid-summer. The hotel where I am staying, courtesy of Emirates Airlines, is virtually deserted, which both refelcts the relative unpopularity of Dubai at this time of the year but also the city’s downturn. The credit crunch has bitten hard here and many ambitious building projects have slowed or been put on hold. But for travellers there are bargains galore at the moment and staff in my hotel, at least, are almost falling over each other to be of assistance. The overall atmosphere is all very odd — but maybe things will look brighter in the morning!