When I first landed in Dubai, I was taken in by the sights, by the traffic, and above all, by the roads and by what to me then looked like perfection. Few months in, and I can see clearly the chink in the armour. I can spot the places where paint has peeled off and the brickwork (figuratively) shows through.
Rahul Bhatia talks much the same thing in this post:
The feeling that Dubai had moved on lasted a few years. Then, quite recently, a visiting cousin mentioned the spate of robberies and murders. Another spoke of seeing beggars for the first time. The city had poverty, it had crime, labor unrest, the traffic situation was incredibly bad – these were real problems and the newspapers were reporting them. This, ten or even five years ago, was unthinkable. They didn’t exist. Zero-crime place, we told everybody. But what to tell them now? That it is a city with real problems? In a funny way, this is rather satisfying. The city has overtaken everybody, its planners included, and is now something else. Now the fun begins. Now concerts will be chaotic, now social norms will change, now its pristine image will lose some shine, now classes of people will be more distinct and there will be markets for each of them. It will produce art and literature and all kinds of creativity. This is immensely exciting. It’ll be a real city.
Read the whole post. It’s brilliant.