Dubai, What will happen to the paradise on earth?

12:32 AM that's me 1 Comments

Some people call it "The paradise on earth";

“Nurturing Arab dignity”

The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman writes “Dubai is a model we should want the Arab world to follow”. In a politically-charged editorial he says:

Dubai is building “a future based on butter not guns, private property, not caprice, services more than oil and globally competitive companies, not terror networks,” he writes. “Dubai is about nurturing Arab dignity through success not suicide. As a result, its people want to embrace the future, not blow it up”.

But I wander: Is Dubai becoming a country only for rich people, where not even the middle class sector can afore a home or deal with the increasing cost of life there?
Is Dubai giving good example with all this luxury to the Muslim world?

Luxurious living is an enemy of every call towards truth, justice, and social reform. Quran says:

When We decide to destroy a population, We (first) send a definite order to those among them who are given the good things of this life and yet transgress; so that the word is proved true against them: then (it is) We destroy them utterly.

Wa-itha aradna an nuhlikaqaryatan amarna mutrafeeha fafasaqoo feehafahaqqa AAalayha alqawlu fadammarnahatadmeeran

34:34 Never did We send a warner to a population, but the wealthy ones among them said: "We believe not in the (Message) with which ye have been sent."

Wama arsalna fee qaryatin minnatheerin illa qala mutrafooha innabima orsiltum bihi kafiroona

It is believed that the impact of the global financial crisis will be particularly harsh in Dubai, due to the highly leveraged and externally facing nature of it’s economy.

A slowdown or contraction is expected in a number of economic sectors, most notably in real estate and construction as projects are canceled or put on hold. The workforce in the both sectors will most probably decrease by over 30 per cent in 2009. The fall in population will further result in weaker demand for housing,
coupled with this economic problems there is an other very important: The climate change; and this is not only in the country's hands.

The United Nations climate negotiations are designed to prevent global temperatures rising above 2C by making it harder to keep emitting greenhouse gases.
Scientists predict that if we fail to reverse the surge in greenhouse gas emissions, then the average global temperature could rise by up to 5C by 2100. Such a rise could see Dubai becoming waterless and virtually uninhabitable.

This is a country that has staked its future on conspicuous consumption, with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, its ruler, announcing plans to turn it into a “world capital for the 21st century”.

What Sheikh Mohammed is depending on to maintain all this is energy from fossil fuels – lots of it, at very low prices – plus cheap air travel and nobody to count the carbon emissions. Until recently, that is just what he has had, but that is beginning to change.

In the United Arab Emirates, climate change has never been much of a concern,” says Khaled Awad, director of property development for Masdar, the world’s first carbon-neutral city, currently under construction in the deserts of Abu Dhabi we are also seeing a growing interest in sustainable development.”

Awad is convinced some green shoots are emerging. Perhaps the most important of these is Sheikh Mohammed’s own blueprint for development, the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, in which he commits the city-state to sustainable development principles.

Business is beginning to respond entrepreneurs Wadah Abusin and Karim Aly set up Ecobility Energy Solutions in Dubai to promote investment in renewable energy, resource conservation and sustainable buildings.

Increasingly, hotel chains are trying to incorporate sustainability into their business plans. At the other end of the scale, AC Towers, five 100-floor supertowers (three in Dubai) will be clad almost entirely in solar panels. In theory, they should be able to generate more power than they consume – aided by a radical form of natural ventilation, using the sun’s energy to pull cool air down through the towers to reduce the need for air conditioning. Since air conditioning accounts for about 60% of Dubai’s energy use, this could mark a huge saving. It shows how serious is Dubai about this green agenda? Perhaps part of the answer lies in the deserts on which Dubai is built, whose sands are derived largely from seashells, coral and sediments. Dubai was once covered by sea.

Dubai’s average elevation is just 52ft above sea level, and much of the land is substantially lower. That’s a rather uncomfortable fact when scientists are predicting a rise in sea levels that could reach several feet over the next century.

Energy is another emerging problem. Dubai began exploiting its then-plentiful reserves in the 1960s and built its economy and lifestyle on the back of those revenues.Now the wells are running dry and oil and natural gas account for less than 6% of the emirate’s revenue.

The Emirates Environmental Group was set up in 1991 to improve the environment through education and community involvement, and initially faced great resistance and scepticism. It has recently experienced a surge in membership and now has 2,500 individual and corporate members, including government agencies and educational institutions.

Such enthusiasm shows just how seriously green branding is being taken. announced the emirate’s biggest ecological project yet, the £37 billion Mohammed bin Rashid Gardens.

Stuart Bond, head of research at the UK branch of the conservation charity WWF, welcomes the fact that Dubai is talking about environmental issues but worries that most of its efforts so far may be little more than a branding exercise. “They’ve made some moves towards green building design, but the benefits are going to be outweighed by the extra energy use and air travel involved. The whole conspicuous consumption lifestyle that is encouraged in Dubai can never be considered green. They’ve moved forwards – it’s good for Dubai – but there’s a long way to go.”

Dubai’s burgeoning golf industry perhaps epitomises this view, with the emirate announcing plans to establish itself as one of the world’s leading golfing destinations. Each, however, will require nearly 90m gallons of water per acre each year, mostly extracted from the sea via desalination plants, one of the most carbon-intensive industries on the planet.

There are some countermeasures. The 18-hole championship course at the Four Seasons Golf Club in Dubai Festival City is one of several that make use of the salt-tolerant Paspalum grass, which enables partially desalinated water to be used for fairway maintenance.
Dubai’s Emirates airline also sees no contradiction between its plans to expand and the environmental consequences. Such views – suggesting it is possible to reconcile surging economic growth with a green agenda – are going to be an increasing source of tension for countries like Dubai. If the world ever agrees on a global regime for cutting carbon emissions, how will Dubai respond? Will it risk becoming a pariah by defiantly churning out CO2 by the millions of tonnes? Or might it have to rewrite its vision of the future?

"18:33 Each of those gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein: in the midst of them We caused a river to flow."

Kilta aljannatayni atat okulahawalam tathlim minhu shay-an wafajjarna khilalahumanaharan

God know better what will be the future for this country.

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