Mapping Dubai: A Very Personal Take on My City

Photo by Hind Mezaina

Photo by Hind Mezaina

On Tuesday, 26th January, Shelter will host a talk with Mishaal Gergawi, an Emirati commentator on socio-economic and cultural affairs in the UAE. With so much being said and written about Dubai recently, Mapping Dubai will attempt to build a narrative of the series of events and ideas that led to its current state, analyse the ramifications of the economic crisis and finally where Dubai can and should go from here.

"I have been writing a column for almost two years which has for the most part focused on Dubai in some form or another. I hope that you've enjoyed it and sincerely appreciate your comments and feedback, it has been truly invaluable to me.  

During this period I have developed ideas on the differing requisites of a commercial center and a civil society; I am interested in the later. And so, a I believe Dubai needs a broader score card beyond financial performance and brand equity, two criteria which I believe Dubai has almost exclusively measured it self with so far.

This score card would recognise crucially belated educational reform, the dire state of healthcare, an uncompromising set of human rights, an unedited cultural identity, vernacularly conscious urban planning, regulation that is friendly to entrepreneurship and a process of qualification to long term residency and citizenship based on clear rules that recognise the UAE's demographic state.

I will attempt to draw a historical thread leading up to the last decade, explain, both, the logic and lack of during the naughties and finally where we can and should go from here and how those two possibilities can become singular reality.

Your presence is important because Mapping Dubai is only the beginning, Multiplying Dubai (into the endless contradictory yet harmoniously coexisting cities that each of you wants it to be) is the end goal. I hope to see you there." Mishaal Gergawi


You can follow Mishaal Gergawi on Twitter: @algergawi

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Tel: 04 434 5655