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Published: September 23rd 2010
Dubai rises out of the desert, all tallest, newest, richest, biggest and most expensive. The world’s tallest building. The Most expensive hotel. The Newest city. The Largest shopping centre. So what? Who wants to discover that the worlds tallest building is really tall? Or that you can shop in a place with lots of shops? Or spending lots of money on a 7-star hotel provides amazing service?
Dubai excels in superlatives, but fails with surprises. But, maybe that’s how it’s meant to be - safe, ordered and predictable. Every shop is a western brand, Starbucks on every corner, Gap clothes in the shops. Price is the only measure here. Hotel ratings used to only reach 5 stars, so Dubai invented the $20,000-a-night 7th star, cleverly leaving out the 6th star.
Quality here is not measured by that indefinable quality we actually use in the West, cool. Dubai only wants the best of the west. You can't taste any authentic Arabic food here, but you can eat in a Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsey restaurant at the Hilton.
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