Dubai: Behind an Urban Spectacle
This book by Yasser Elsheshtawy, is pictorial as well as narrative account of the city of Dubai, beyond the glitz and glamour that one sees or is portrayed to us. The author begins to peel apart the layers of the city, to expose what he defines as ‘the other side of Dubai’ . He begins to categorise as well as differentiate the lifestyles of different communities as well as ethnicities that live in Dubai, and the metaphorical segregation that beings to manifest itself in the society. He calls Dubai, a city of constant struggle and ambition, an urban experiment with constant interactions and tensions between, the needs and aspirations of different sects of poeple. He begins to look at Dubai, at the level of the micro-community. An interesting ‘terminology’ he uses in the book, is that, the city of walls, to emphasise the degree of social exclusion between these different communities, the reasons behind which are highlighted in the book. He also begins, to look at these Micro-Communities, with a much more magnified lens, to talk about, the social structure, living typology and existing hierarchy with respect to other communities, within each community and with respect to the city’s urban structure in general. He also touches open, a topic that we were targeting our research towards, which is the living conditions of the ‘migrant labor camps’ in Dubai, particularly Sonapur. Thus, his account is of particular importance to our narrative, as the richness of his story telling, starts to bring alive the plight of the people actually living within these camps.