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City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of…

City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism

by Jim Krane

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A good account of the background as well as the pros and cons of what has happened in this 'unrea'l place ( )
  simbacat | Jun 28, 2011 |
proud to have made my way through this book. a look at sheikdoms, arab culture, explosive growth, skyscraper envy, unplanned development, labor exploitation, and unsustainability
  splinfo | Mar 17, 2011 |
Krane delivers a great synopsis of Dubai’s startling emergence (at least I think so, having never been there). This is an exemplary example of neutrality, positioning Dubai presumably as it is without any other apparent agenda on the author’s behalf. Roughly speaking, the first half traces the city’s transformation from sand to Singapore in fewer than 50 years (or, in many ways, fewer than 15 years). Obviously an amazing – even inspiring – story, I damn near began thinking a hereditary monarchy might just be the way to go. This is the shining example of progress and religious/social tolerance smack dab in the middle of a region not necessarily known for these traits. Of course there’s a dark underside to all of this – exploited underclass of immigrants, outrageous ecological footprint, questionable business ethos, lack of cultural development and even an identity crisis amongst bona-fide Emirates, an increasingly vast minority – and the latter half clearly articulates these issues despite an overall non-critical disposition. This is a definite must-read for those interested in this peculiar City of Gold. ( )
  mjgrogan | Jun 14, 2010 |
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Krane is particularly good at capturing the hysteria that accompanied the building boom.
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Two titles -- ONE BOOK: CITY OF GOLD: DUBAI AND THE DREAM OF CAPITALISM - published in North America by St. Martin's Press in New York. DUBAI: THE STORY OF THE WORLD'S FASTEST CITY - published in the UK and Commonwealth by Atlantic Books in London.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312535740, Hardcover)

The city of Dubai, one of the seven United Arab Emirates, is everything the Arab world isn’t: a freewheeling capitalist oasis where the market rules and history is swept aside. Until the credit crunch knocked it flat, Dubai was the fastest-growing city in the world, with a roaring economy that outpaced China’s while luring more tourists than all of India. It’s one of the world’s safest places, a stone’s throw from its most dangerous. In City of Gold, Jim Krane, who reported for the AP from Dubai, brings us a boots-on-the-ground look at this fascinating place by walking its streets, talking to its business titans, its prostitutes, and the hard-bitten men who built its fanciful skyline. He delves into the city’s history, paints an intimate portrait of the ruling Maktoum family, and ponders where the city is headed. Dubai literally came out of nowhere. It was a poor and dusty village in the 1960s. Now it’s been transformed into the quintessential metropolis of the future through the vision of clever sheikhs, Western capitalists, and a river of investor money that poured in from around the globe. What has emerged is a tolerant and cosmopolitan city awash in architectural landmarks, luxury resorts, and Disnified kitsch. It’s at once home to America’s most prestigious companies and universities and a magnet for the Middle East’s intelligentsia. Dubai’s dream of capitalism has also created a deeply stratified city that is one of the world’s worst polluters. Wild growth has clogged its streets and left its citizens a tiny minority in a sea of foreigners. Jim Krane considers all of this and casts a critical eye on the toll that the global economic downturn has taken on a place that many tout as a blueprint for a more stable Middle East.  While many think Dubai’s glory days have passed, insiders like Jim Krane who got to know the city and its creators firsthand realize there’s much more to come in the City of Gold, a place that, in just a few years, has made itself known to nearly every person on earth.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Dubai is everything the Arab world isn't--a freewheeling capitalist oasis in the desert--and in this new book, Jim Krane brings us a boots-on-the ground look at this fascinating city, straight from the heart of Dubai itself.

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