Rob Bell TV - Supersized Earth TV - Wild Arabia TV - Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum - Misha Glenny - Escape from Dubai: The Mystery of the Missing Princess TV - Panorama TV - Inside Dubai: Playground of the Rich TV - The Billion Pound Hotel TV - Gold Mafia TV -
Dubai – home to more skyscrapers per square mile than anywhere else on Earth. Wild Arabia III: Shifting Sands, BBC 2013
Dubai is home to the world’s largest shopping mall. ibid.
I want Dubai to be a place where everybody from all over the world meets each other, don’t think of fighting or hate, just love it, enjoy their sport, and that’s it. Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum
We in the UAE have no such word as ‘impossible’; it does not exist in our lexicon. Such a word is used by the lazy and the weak, who fear challenges and progress. Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum
Burj Dubai is one of several pinnacles in the novel architectural movement that I call Emirates futurism, and which expats call The Master Plan of Sheikh Mo (a cheeky, if endearing, reference to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Dubai’s enlightened despot. Misha Glenny, McMafia
The new Dubai hosts glitzy visitors from all over the world ... Construction projects that are multiplying like a rampant virus down the coast and into the desert. ibid.
Dubai’s discreet attitude to cash has enabled the city to attract leading figures from industries beyond sports and showbiz ... Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, renowned as the Merchant of Death, used to park his planes in Sharjah ... The largest cigarette customer in the Balkans established his offices in the Burj al-Arab ... ibid.
And although Dawood was unable to travel to Bombay, he succeeded from his base in the Gulf in consolidating and expanding the biggest criminal network Bombay had ever seen. ibid.
At the end of the Second World War it was barely more than a coastal village that had survived largely on its wits since its only indigenous industry, pearl fishing, had been wiped out by the war and by the Japanese development of cultured pearls. ibid.
This goes back to Rashid, the legendary founder of modern Dubai, who reinvigorated Dubai’s role as a trading hub ... or smuggling as the rest of us called it. ibid.
The al-Nahyans of Abu Dhabi. The discovery of huge oil reserves on Abu Dhabi territory proved a godsend to Dubai and the other five emirates that formed the new state of United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1973 after the British decided to withdraw all its forces east of Suez. At present extraction, Abu Dhabi's oil will last for another 200 years. The al-Nahyans’ cash ... is estimated to stand at $500 billion – half a trillion. ibid.
Iranian and Afghan traders moved to Dubai, bringing with them their businesses, thereby bolstering the local economy. With neither income nor sales tax, Dubai steadily developed a reputation for being a safe place in the Middle East to stash your money. Since then Dubai has always boomed during a regional crisis. ibid.
For Dawood Ibrahim, Dubai was the perfect retreat ... to make his core business activity – gold smuggling. ibid.
It did not take Dawood long to choose a new product ... and started trafficking in drugs, chiefly in heroin bound for the European market and Mandrax for South Africa. And in Dawood’s part of the world, if you want to guarantee the success of a narcotics business, there is only one organisation you need to cosy up to – the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s secret service. ibid.
With no tax, a beautiful coastline, sunshine all year round, no bombs or assassinations ... and enough shopping malls to satisfy a small planet, it did not take long before money was pouring in from every part of Europe. ibid.
Eleven of the sixteen 9/11 hijackers had received their cash from Dubai. And it wasn’t long before a multi-agency posse from Washington had saddled up and ridden into the desert kingdom. ibid.
In many of the building zones, foreigners would be permitted to purchase property, and hold the freehold. The frenzy began. ibid.
One-third of the world’s cranes were working in Dubai ... The overpowering sense of science fiction is further enhanced by the armies of robotic workers, crawling all over the construction sites. ibid.
Dubai may be a huge undemocratic money-laundering centre in the Middle East, but the country embraces free trade and globalisation; it is stable in a region renowned for violence; it has not relied on oil for its wealth, but invented itself as a novel force in the Arab world. ibid.
They are then packed back to their barracks in Ahman, where they are expected to provide and cook their own food. The conditions are subhuman. About sixty men are required to share one stinking toilet ... Eight to fifteen men live in one room. ibid.
Mumbai’s gang warfare was now being played out in the exclusive areas of Dubai and the authorities decided upon drastic measures. ibid.
It is Dubai where the money from the two economic systems converges and where one can begin to perceive just how symbiotic relations are between the black and the white economies. ibid.
Dubai: one of the world’s most glittering cities. Its ruler Sheikh Mohammed [al Maktoum] is one of the richest heads of state in the world. Three years ago the Sheikh’s 32-year-old daughter Latifa tried to escape. But she was captured. Now, Panorama can reveal that a year after she disappeared, Latifa began recording video messages. This is the story of what happened to Latifa and the lies told to the world. Panorama: The Missing Princess, BBC 2021
‘Behind that modern facade there is no tolerance of dissent.’ ibid. Ken Roth, executive director Human Rights Watch
Latifa and Tiina [Jauhiainen] managed to get out of Dubai and board a yacht. The plan was to cross the Indian Ocean then fly to the United States where she would try to claim political asylum. ibid.
At around midnight on 4 March 2018 Latifa was taken off the boat. Tiina and the crew were held in a UAE high security jail for two weeks. ibid.
Dubai: a man-made oasis in the Arabian desert. Home to 52,000 millionaires. 2.5 million expats. A city where east meets west. You have to watch what you say. But a paradise for some if you follow the rules. Inside Dubai: Playground for the Rich, BBC 2022
One of the draws of Dubai’s ex-pat lifestyle has always been the abundance of low-paid domestic staff. ibid.
Dubai has dozens of luxury enclaves for ex-pats. ibid.
Every year Dubai’s visitors spend almost £20 billion in hotels and restaurants, earning the city a healthy income in VAT. ibid.
There are less than 34,000 Emiratis in Dubai. ibid.
Sheikh Mohammed is Dubai’s absolute monarch. Nothing here happens without his say-so. He is adored and feared in almost equal measure. His presence looms large in Dubai. ibid.
Criticism of the Sheikh is forbidden. And even peaceful political opposition is punishable by fine or imprisonment. ibid.
Breaking the law or speaking ill of the regime is punishable by deportation. Inside Dubai: Playground for the Rich II
The city was under the protectorate of the British government until the 1970s. It only gained its independence in 1971. Before then, it was a humble fishing village. ibid.
The city has become a magnet for bloggers, influencers and U-Tubers. ibid.
A quarter of all men in the UAE have at least two wives. And keeping them all happy can be costly. ibid.
The loosening of many of Dubai’s laws is more than just an effort to appear more westernised. It’s part of a much bigger plan. At the start of 2021 ruler Sheikh Mohammed made a bold statement that Dubai will be the best place to live in the world by 2040. Inside Dubai: Playground for the Rich III
London to Dubai is the busiest flight route in the world. ibid.
Dubai has become the place to go for a touch of indulgence. The Billion Pound Hotel, Channel 4 2015
The Burj al Arab: an estimated one billion pounds to build. ibid.
The Burj does not offer any budget rooms. Starting from around £900 per night. ibid.
In addition to the gold plating, the hotel contains over two thousand square metres of twenty-four-carat leaf. ibid.
The gold ipad: $10,000. ibid.
One of three aquariums in the hotel. ibid.