Will Dubai become a major tourist center?
Chris Masse posed me this question. Here are some reasons why not:
1. The city is unwalkable.
2. The temperature can hit 120 in summer, with humidity of up to 90 percent.
3. Much of the place resembles Las Vegas but without casinos. You can’t even access www.tradesports.com.
4. Most of the modern buildings are ugly or at best mediocre.
5. Most items are no cheaper here than in the United States.
6. Few people are interested in studying economically fertile but politically dystopian Blade Runner-like scenarios.
7. It is more fun for men than for women.
On the other side:
1. Many of the visitors and potential visitors hold a different aesthetic than do North Americans. They admire the city’s aspirational qualities for its own sake and care less about traditional beauty in the sense of European high culture. Some would call them "tacky." Others would say that observing an Arab success is worthy on its own terms.
2. Retail space per capita is four times that of the United States.
3. I am told it is only a ninety minute flight from Karachi.
The bottom line: Yes, Dubai will become a major tourist center.