I found this picture doing the rounds on Facebook the other day with the caption “Only in Dubai” on it. I was amused by it and shared it on my wall.
While a few “liked” it, it was the people who lived outside the UAE that found the photo shocking and commented most on it.
I guess life in Dubai is very different from life elsewhere, and while not all of us may be as rich as the sheikhs who spend thousands of dollars on an architect to simply build a cage for a tiger (or even keep a tiger as a pet!), because of the lifestyle of the rich that we see around us, our threshold for the fantastic has risen to such an extent that very little will shock us anymore.
Yes, you will find pet shops here selling snakes. (I’ve a picture of a python around my neck somewhere on FB). According to the law, potential owners of exotic and dangerous animals such as lions and tigers need to obtain a permit, and the Ministry will monitor how well the animals are taken care of. But a lot of it is illegal (but that is a topic for a different post altogether).
This is the one place in the world you should be wary of asking ” what can money buy?” cos they will show you exactly what, and it will drive you crazy! :D
In 2008, while the property prices were still sky-rocketing, there was fierce competition amongst the various real-estate companies to secure the most buyers. So this one company, offered a jaguar (at this point I feel the need to clarify that they offered the car, not the animal :P ) to everyone who bought an apartment from that company!
Recently there was a twitpic that had gone viral, of somebody’s clubbing bill at the Cavalli club. Whoever it was spent close to 400k AED for one night of clubbing. Not to be outdone by Dubai, someone in the capital, Abu Dhabi, spent a 110k more than the guy at Cavalli club just the weekend after. *grin*
Yes, this is what this place is like.
You will find people spending more on their car’s license plate than they would have on the car. And while the rest of us try to hide our speeding fines, we read articles in the paper about people who walk into the Traffic dept with a 42k fine for speeding (the report stated that he didn’t have to pay that much cos they gave him a discount… for bringing cash!).
There is a lot more to the country than this, of course. But you can’t deny that this kinda blatant bling-iness exists here.
If you visit me, while I might take you out to a bubbly brunch (they are amaaaazing btw! And I don’t think that’s restricted to UAE. It shouldn’t be!) and show you the only 7 star hotel in the world (self-proclaimed :P) or the tallest building and the biggest mall, or zip you off to check out the vending machine where you can buy gold, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is how we live all the time!
Well, maybe this guy does. But not all of us! :P