Dubai’s Sightseeing Tours: A Ghost Town Awaits

Dubai’s Sightseeing Tours: A Ghost Town Awaits
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Dubai’s Sightseeing Tours: A Ghost Town Awaits


Dubai’s Sightseeing Tours: A Ghost Town Awaits - Dubai is strange place, an artificial oasis built on top of a fishing village, designed to be the city of the future and is a playground for the super rich. Visitors to the city number in the hundreds of thousands every year most of them just trying to get a taste of the extravagance that Dubai offers. In this new ultra modern metropolis startles a fine line between a tourist destination and an actual world city. While I was there I felt an ever pressing need to break free of the manicured tourist village and see all the sights in Dubai. However, being without a rental car leaves the choice to getting around very limited. I don’t normally want to go on guided bus tours but when that’s really the best option I take it, and boy was I in for a surprise.



As we paid our ticket fare and sandwiched ourselves in to the confined space of the bus, I thought to myself how much smaller it was than what I would have thought. Little did I know that this was simply the bus that picked up everyone at each major hotel in the area and then shuttled them across town where the real double-deck open air tour bus awaited. Unfortunately for us or bus was broken, an ominous sign for the beginning of the day, and we spent the first hour of our guided Dubai journey getting to understand what the heat is really like. The easiest way I can describe it is somewhere between West Texas and Hell. We were lucky in that on this particular day the humidity was nearly non-existent, however it can get into the high 80s couple that with 130 degree heat and you’ve essentially got yourself a sauna the size of the city. Standing out in this kind of heat, even under shade you get the impression of how incredibly hard it was to live here before the oil boom took this place from a small sea-side village to a sparkling city-scape in less than 30 years. Just as the heat became unbearable the next bus finally arrived and we were whisked away on our site seeing adventure.

My first impressions were essentially the same as when I first arrived at the airport, shock and awe. The city is truly something that has to be seen to be believed, it’s literally ripped from the pages of science fiction and could easily double for the future Los Angeles in Blade Runner. Buildings shoot up out of the ground almost like trees, lining either side of the highway and towering high above the earth. As we rolled past building after building it became clear that each one was built simply to out-do another. As if the businessman responsible saw his college’s idea and said “that’s not building… THIS is a building” and stamped down another monstrosity in the quickly filled in empty spaces. The truly futuristic feel is that each is a tower of glass, shimmering in the sun.  Almost a real oasis in the middle of the desert.


Dubai’s Sightseeing Tours: A Ghost Town Awaits - It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer opulence of it all, but paying attention closely reveals a much different story. While the city has no shortage of immaculate modern architecture it does have a major shortage of something else… people. While there are plenty of tourists roaming about there certainly isn’t enough that could fill each and every building. The city should literally be packed full of people if you simply looked at the number of buildings alone, however everywhere you go you find that you’ll have plenty of room. The fact is that they built the buildings simply because they could not because there was any real need to do so. Each building stands simmering in the desert completely empty. All have massive signs draped over the front doors informing they are now taking leases. The more decadent the building the less likely it has any sort of residence inside.

As we slowly pulled up to our first destination on our sightseeing tour of Dubai it became clear that all that matters was the appearance. It didn’t matter that the most futuristic city in the world lacked people, all that mattered was that it is futuristic. As many times as I can say it I will, this is the true land of excess, where things are built regardless of need or sanity. Everything here is made to tailor to a certain class of people and while all others are welcome to come and bask in its glory the ones who the city was truly made for sit high above in their towers of glass looking down on all of us.



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Dubai’s Sightseeing Tours: A Ghost Town Awaits Dubai’s Sightseeing Tours: A Ghost Town Awaits Reviewed by Zahir Style on July 14, 2019 Rating: 5

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