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.
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