The UAE’s global image as an oasis of dreams in the desert ignores the reality

Every now and then, the UAE’s carefully constructed reputation as the most peaceful part of a troubled region is put under risk, writes David Harding

Wednesday 19 January 2022 01:01
Comments
<p>Dubai in the UAE sells itself as a place everyone wants to be </p>

Dubai in the UAE sells itself as a place everyone wants to be

I accidentally started watching Inside Dubai: Playground of the Rich the other night. It is one of those hypnotic TV programmes, which features a number of uninteresting, forgettable characters but somehow is still watchable.

The BBC show features several people chasing their dreams in the UAE, brunching in 5-star hotels, sunning on gorgeous beaches, and everywhere Instagramming their beautiful, gilded lives. “Dubai is the place where everybody wants to be,” says one of those interviewed.

Whether or not that is true, what it does show is the astonishing success Dubai – and the country it is part of, United Arab Emirates – has had in projecting itself to the world as an ultra-modern, welcoming, country – a high-rise, societal and political oasis in the desert. It is the place to go if you have dreams, and want a great all-year-round tan while doing so. UAE has built its global image in no small part by fostering a reputation as the most peaceful part of a troubled region.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in