Mounir Har­fouche:

Dubai, the Multi-faceted Emi­rate

ArabAd - - CONTENTS CONTENTS - Mounir Har­fouche

Maybe you should know that Dubai’s strat­egy is geared to­wards the hap­pi­ness of its peo­ple.

The ar­ti­cle pub­lished in the UK’S The Tele­graph on the 19th of Oc­to­ber, 2015 en­ti­tled ‘Who in their right mind would want to visit Dubai’ by

Alex Proud, re­sulted in a flood of con­tro­versy over the va­lid­ity of the claims made and the vo­rac­ity with which it was writ­ten. The piece, un­jus­ti­fi­ably so, at­tacked a num­ber of fac­tors found in the Emi­rate such as its taste­less ar­chi­tec­ture, in­hu­mane treat­ment of for­eign work­ers, and the ab­surd en­force­ment of its laws. In re­sponse, Mounir Har­fouche, CEO of Lowe MENA, who has made the coun­try his home for al­most two decades, shot back with an ar­ti­cle about what liv­ing there is really like. Dear Mr. Proud,

I have read your ar­ti­cle about Dubai and found it mys­te­ri­ously child­ish, bizarrely in­ac­cu­rate and pro­fes­sion­ally im­ma­ture.

I don’t know who you are so I am not judg­ing you as a per­son, I am sim­ply judg­ing your un­ex­plained pho­bia called Dubai.

It shocks me to know that you filled a page of ha­tred against a city you haven’t even vis­ited. So what makes you judge?

It suprises me to see your care­less way to in­sult around 2.5 mil­lion peo­ple, quot­ing you: “And then it hit me. You know ex­actly who Dubai man and woman are. They’re a cer­tain brassy sub­set of the mid­dle­classes. The kind of peo­ple who love ex­pen­sive mock-ge­or­gian new-builds. The kind of peo­ple who drive SUVS with per­son­alised plates. They have good jobs and they’re suc­cess­ful, but they prob­a­bly don’t have many books on their shelves.” -- I am won­der­ing what books have you read in your life to make you so shal­low in your reflections and opin­ions, where none of your ar­gu­ments make an inch of sense.

I found your ar­ro­gance closer to ig­no­rance and your in­fe­ri­or­ity com­plex su­pe­rior to all. Your nar­row-minded com­par­isons and facts you used to con­struct your mas­ter­piece are pity. Maybe you need to learn more about tol­er­ance and open­ness, ac­cep­tance and re­spect rather than liv­ing in ex­tremes. The world is not just Am­s­ter­dam or Ibiza ver­sus Saudi Ara­bia. There is much more in be­tween.

Maybe you should learn while read­ing the books on your shelves that Dubai is not just a va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion. It is the most cos­mopoli­tan city in the world where more than 200 dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties from dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties and re­li­gions, live to­gether in har­mony to pro­duce, cre­ate and live. Dubai has one of the most ad­vanced in­fras­truc­tures in the world, its Smart Gov­ern­ment is lead­ing unique global so­lu­tions, its safety is equal to none, its busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment is one of the most at­trac­tive and its cul­tural events are in­creas­ing by the day. Let’s not forget your coun­try had a great deal of pos­i­tive in­flu­ence in this coun­try as well but you seem to rape this too.

I am not say­ing that ev­ery­thing is per­fect, but show me per­fec­tion in any coun­try in the world. Maybe you should know that Dubai’s strat­egy is geared to­wards the hap­pi­ness of its peo­ple. This is not just nice talk. You need to be in­formed that ev­ery in­vest­ment and ev­ery step they make has the com­fort and hap­pi­ness of any­one liv­ing or vis­it­ing Dubai at its core – and this is an ob­vi­ous sign that this city will nat­u­rally evolve even more with its sys­tems and laws to be­come more pre­pared to em­brace the so­cial changes and the com­plex struc­ture of its com­mu­nity.

You should also know that any­one who lives here does it by choice be­cause some­how ev­ery­one finds a bit of an up­grade to his busi­ness, to his life­style, to his safety or to any rea­son it might be.

I have been liv­ing in this city for 18 years and I am ‘Proud’ of it. I am suc­cess­ful (I can find a great job), I am driv­ing a flashy car (I can af­ford it and park it), I do live in a beau­ti­ful house (and I need no alarms to pro­tect it), I am con­nected to the world (and I travel the best air­line com­pany called Emi­rates), I do at­tend many cul­tural events (and I don’t mean soc­cer), I do own many shelves with many books on them (in three lan­guages), I do party in the best clubs till 3 am, I do drink, I do dance, I do pray in my church, I do live the way I want, but I do also re­spect the re­spect this city gave me.

Do I miss rain and snow? Sure. But maybe not as much as you miss the sun and some pos­i­tiv­ity in your life.

If you ever de­cide to visit Dubai, I’d love to be your host.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bahrain

© PressReader. All rights reserved.