First Person

Freedom and the Great Man of Dubai

The first time I came to Dubai—on one of my brief stopovers between the Anglophone mother-country and its remotest offshoot—I went to the beach. After a jetlag-induced slumber on the sunbed I woke to see: a couple getting off a pair of camels after a trek; a woman falling off an inflatable obstacle course into the water; a man teetering uncertainly on the twin water-jets fired vehemently downwards by his jet-pack; and, off in the middle-distance, at least three jet-skis. There’s a lot going on here. That, of course, won’t be news to anyone who’s been here, even on a…

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