The Spine

Dubai, Or Abu Dhabi?


We stopped over for refueling in Dubai. But we remained on the plane. So I saw nothing up close. On the other hand, I did see the dozens of sky-scrapers rising out of the desert, including the one with the hotel with the helicopter pad precariously extended from the umpteenth floor of the colossus. This is a commercial wonderland that includes an artificial ski slope. Do you want to spend the next winter holiday in Dubai...skiing, with a nice hot chocolate after? I confess to a certain provincialism. I sometimes confuse Dubai with Abu Dhabi. One has oil and the other doesn't. The one that doesn't makes its money by being the oil sheikhs' bankers.

Anyway, I also suffered the highways from, well, on high. There wasn't much traffic. But is was about 3 or 4 in the morning. But there were plenty of highway lights, every ten meters or so. Which tells you that the contractors were in control not only of the construction but the planning.

At the airport there was a plane with cyrillic letters on its body. I immediately assumed it spelled Kazakhstan. Ah, Sacha Borat Cohen was visiting. But, no, it was Kyrghistan, and it was that country's prime minister who was visiting the ruler of Abu Dhabi. No, Dubai.

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