A pink taxi

A pink taxi

November 6, 2010

Dubai the Photogenic

It was hard accessing our home. DIFC was cordoned off this friday. Radio DJs were only chatting about Burj Khalifa and Mission Impossible IV being filmed in Dubai. I couldn't get myself out of bed very early this friday morning and peer out the window to discover what sounded like Formula 1 cars on Sheikh Zayed Road. Another Mission Impossible stunt!

Tom Cruise is in Dubai and the city is vibrating with excitement. Years ago, we had George Clooney come for Syriana. What I didn't like was that Dubai stood for something more abstract in that movie: an Arab city, modernity in a desert expanse. The locations we recognized always stood for something else. For example, The Royal Mirage Hotel was a shady tycoon's home. That movie was an amalgam of misused location shots. I was offended they "collaged" my city in that way.

Syriana did deal with taboo subjects such as badly treated labor, but it scratched at the surface. I have praised Dubai City of Life, the movie of Ali Mostafa, the talented Emirati director because his advantage, besides his photographic skills, is that he understands Dubai like none of his foreign peers do. Locations are veritable: even the views from the interiors are real!

I tried catching up with the motorcade of "Top Gun" today. It veered towards Mall of the Emirates as we drove further for a swim squad. I am certain they went to Ski Dubai. I always joke about living fifteen minutes away from the slopes!

Dubai has many cinematographic locations: the burj al Arab, the burj Khalifa, Dubai Golf Creek, Emirates Towers, the desert, the sleek metro, Medinat Jumeirah, the Beaches, the Gold Souk, the famed Arabian Horses, Atlantis and the list is interminable.

Dubai has always had its own character. Now, it has developed into a dynamic photogenic city. A city comparable to no other.  Some would say: "It is so not Dubai! You imagine you are somewhere else, in city X or Y." No, precisely, Dubai has so much to offer that is it Mission Impossible to coin it as anything else but quintessential Dubai!


  1. "Dont you miss the good old days of Duabi?".I am not a nostalgic character!As much as I enjoyed the several decades I have been in Dubai,where my children and grandchildren grew up;I always look at the present and look forward to the future.I never look in the rear mirror,nor do I feel sad if I hear a Fayrouz song about the good old days.
    Many people take the attitude of"I told you so",when they look at the real estate woes of Dubai:as if the West has not suffered from the same and is still aching under the same financial crisis.I took some visiting relatives around Dubai.I didnot know where to start.There is so much to see and visit,so much to appreciate in law and order,so much to applaud in services and ammneties.

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