I recently returned from Dubai where I spoke and played a bit at a YPO (Young Presidents Organisation) convention, and also gave an “Alien Guitar Secrets Master Class” at a local Hard Rock Cafe.
In all of the places I have visited over the years, perhaps Dubai surprised me the most. I had heard of Dubai’s attractions and opulence and was expecting more of the Vegas atmosphere I was told it is representative of, but what I found was a completely different cultural atmosphere than what I expected.
First, the place is very safe. There is virtually no crime. Men or Woman can walk alone at any time of the day or night and feel safe. It’s wonderfully clean on every street corner. There is no graffiti, homeless, or street pollution. There seems to be an ethical awareness built into the culture. The architecture is quite astounding and although I heard stories of the opulence being overdone, I didn’t find any of that “Vegas” that was attributed to it, but instead I found an appreciation for elegance and quality of life. Although some of it’s citizens ascribe to various religious dress and practices, there is a respectful tolerance for all faiths, but one is expected to honor certain ethical practicality.
In looking a little deeper into the fascinating infrastructure of this swiftly evolving city, I was lead to learn about their leader Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, also known as Sheikh Mohammed. He is the ruler of Dubai as well as vice president and prime minister of the UAE.
As an American that is fatigued with USA politics, and virtually all world politics, I have no responsibility to pay allegiance to any world leader outside of the respect for protocol when visiting another culture. But when I learned of how this visionary man has been cultivating the expansion of Dubai since 2006, and feeling the deep and sincere respect, gratitude and even reverence that the people have for this benevolent leader, I was not only impressed, I was inspired.
I’m looking forward to returning there whenever there is an opportunity.
Here’s some photos, enjoy!