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Friday, May 04, 2007

Dubai Tourism and Homeland Security

Several months ago, when first dabbling with YouTube and Google Video, I viewed a video of Dubai. It was created by two Americans who were young, and hip, having just started their version of CraigsList in Dubai. I was very impressed with the nightlife and how modern the city of Dubai appeared to be. Peppered with gorgeous beaches, you have to respect a city that brags the world's largest indoor ski slope!

May 1st through the 4th, Dubai hosted one of the largest conferences on Tourism in the world: The Arabian Travel Market. This is THE PREMIERE venue for countries to send delegates in order to win the tourist bucks of the Arab nations.

On my drive home today, I heard an interesting story about this travel market. Imagine all the tourist bureaus falling over themselves for the business this conference could pull in for their countries. The United States was the only country not to send a representative. Before you put your head in your hands and cry "why!", it's not like the US to snub its supporters, such as Saudi Arabia.

Of course not! The US sent several representatives from the Department of Homeland Security. This puzzled me a bit at first, but then I learned that these representatives were demonstrating the new fingerprinting machines that all foreigners will have to go through in order to SPEND their tourist dollars.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for fingerprinting or otherwise identifying foreigners, ALL foreigners, going into ANY country. I myself had to go through a slight hoop jumping when I first entered the UK. It's okay with me. BUT you would think there might have been someone to tell those interested about the beauties of the Grand Canyon, The Catskills, Santa Fe, The Golden Gate, Crater Lake, The Salt Flats and any number of beautiful wonders we have to offer those who care to visit BEFORE trying to demonstrate the fingerprinting process!

There is much discussion of late in the astro blogosphere about Jupiter transiting Capricorn in the US horoscope. Saturn rules Capricorn and is all about restriction, and Jupiter, among other things, signifies travel. Just one more manifestation coming into bloom! As a side note, Jupiter also indicated good fortune, and to some extent, money.

Ray Hanania takes you on a tour of Dubai:

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At 8:52 AM, Blogger Melody said...

I'm reading your blog for the first time and am thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve linked it on my blog. All I can say about this piece is Wow – this country never ceases to amaze me! I spent close to 8 years in Lebanon as a child (ages 4 – 12). At the time it was the Jewel of the Mediterranean, and the people are polite, sophisticated, hospitable, where knowing up to 7 languages fluently is commonplace. When I came back to the U.S. for the first time for my family’s year long furlough in 6th grade, I was surprised by the crudeness of much of what I experienced including racial prejudice still being quite alive and well. I had naively though we had ditched that with the civil war!

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Melody said...

P.S. "this country never ceases to amaze me" meaning the U.S. :)

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Velvet Blade said...


Welcome! And thanks for the great feedback!

I have never been to the Middle East, but I recall that after living in England for 6 months I had culture shock coming back. I came back to sell everything I owned at the time and move back over to Jolly Old.

My first impression returning came from LAX. I had a lay over and was waiting outside for a friend to share a cup of coffee and some lunch with me. It was loud, obnoxious, rude and selfish. So self contained. I remember sitting there, on my carry on bag, in shock.

I think to gain a wider world view you have to travel. The majority of the folks in the US never leave their home state. That amazes me and also says a lot. We are very insulated as a population.

It's easy to assume that every place is like "home" with only a few variations, but until you live in a different culture, you never truly open your eyes. So much of culture is passed down in families, and you can be an ex pat in a country for years and never quite have a full handle on the deeply ingrained culture.

You are very lucky to have had the opportunity to travel and live abroad.

Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Send me the link to your blog, woman!

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Melody said...

I am lucky! My daughter is leaving the country for the first time to visit her boyfriend in Japan for a week. Should be interesting!
Here is my link - thanks

At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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