In the United States, everything is bigger in Texas. In the world, everything is bigger in Dubai. The city makes the term skyscraper seem relative. Its skyline doubles in width and height any found elsewhere. Though without comparison, its look is standardized.
Few places impress such ambition. Less back it up with execution. For every building that stands, there is a foundation being constructed. The Dubai Mall directory is an encyclopedia of the worlds brands, as well as restaurants. All is represented here for the sake of the consumer.
In less than two decades the Sheikhs have synthesized any experience found elsewhere. Doing it all where nothing had recently existed. The only reason it seems an Emirati should travel is to experience origin. For anything that exists in the first world can be sampled here.
On my first day I went to the Mall of the Emirates to buy running shoes. That morning I had spent some time on the beach. I considered going skydiving, but didn’t have time. Instead I spent an hour snow skiing while at the mall. This was all before heading to a large hotel for dinner with friends. One where there were fourteen in-house restaurants to choose from.
I would be disingenuous saying that I love it here. My interests have always favored authenticity. Arabic culture most definitely underlies everything that is Dubai. However at face value it seems to be their cultural obsession with the finest things that others have to offer.
Regardless, it is beyond intriguing. As I sit at the base of the Burj Kalifa having shish, fountains that belittle the Bellagio’s blast like cannons to the wonderment of beauties and businessmen broadening the definition of indulgence. It’s surreal knowing that had he been here, Gatsby would have been considered average.
Today is my birthday.