Upon a recent visit to Dubai, Tareq Al-Maeena confirmed what many people have been saying recently: the thriving city has become very expensive, crowded, with too much ‘bling’, and not much substance. I wonder what he would say when he learns that Hooters are coming soon :-) In his conclusion, Al-Maeena suggests those can’t stand living in Dubai anymore should consider taking the nearest exit, hinting that Saudi Arabia can be heaven for those repelled by Dubai’s luxurious hell. Actually, this kind of argument is not exclusive to us; it is very visible in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar as well.
However, Al-Maeena does not forget to point out, though shyly, that in order for this to happen Saudis should relax their regulations and implements some changes and reforms before they can offer their country as alternative to our Emarati neighbors. Saudi Arabia is the largest market in the region after all, right? I wonder what suggestions Al-Maeena, and the rest of our distinguished intelligentsia, have on how we can make our cities more attractive than Dubai. I mean: with the fierce opposition against everything “different” and/or “liberal” we see in our country on daily basis, is this idea of competing Dubai even realistic?