"Deserts have a way of reclaiming whatever is built upon them."
Really? How? are we talking about a supernatural powers peculiar to the deserts that enable them to swallow 'everything built upon them'? or are we talking scientifically; like with quick sand phenomena and environmental unsustainability? It's not clear, but then photo-journalist must be an enigmatic profession or just pointless literary expressions bunched together.
""They have no oil, no culture, no history," says Peter Harradine, a prominent landscape architect in Dubai and manager of Harradine Golf."
My God. 'no culture, no history'? Now, when you tell long-term expats that they are not in a position to judge the local culture when they've themselves spent no effort trying to understand it and get to know it, they'd get annoyed. And it doesn't stop here, some will end up labeling the place as having 'no culture, no history'. Indeed, if you're in a constant state of drunken obnoxiousness and bitchy hangovers, then hardly any culture would stick on your brain.
Another fast conclusion here, it must be a requisite in photo journalism to interview clueless people.
"Now, with cash scarce and many of Dubai's expats moving away, the cranes (a quarter of the world's supply) have quieted and the streets are all but empty."
I don't know about you, but I'm starting to like the standards of photojournalism. It's not clear whether Lauren Greenfield had visited the city or not. But either way, it's utterly stupid to claim that the cranes had fallen silent or the streets had become empty. There is absolutely no denying the fact that some projects have been put on hold. But on the other hand, huge number of projects are STILL UNDERWAY. And how do you determine whether the streets are empty or not? Like, I jogged last nights through the back streets of Al Bada' area, and the narrow streets were indeed empty (I presumed the residents were indoor), but from where I was running, I could glance at Al Wasl road and see it was swarming with headlights. The time was 11:30 PM.
The rest of the article is a mixture of stories about expats who couldn't meet the mortgage payments on their properties (so they simply fled the country, and you're supposed to feel sorry for them since they've left feeling like fugitives), and then the months old claims that 3000 cars were found abandoned in the airport with maxed out credit cards in the glove compartment and fast food paper wrappers on the backseat. In this case, though, I can't blame photo journalism, because even when the fleeing expats are being interviewed by a journalist worth his salt, nobody asks the obvious question: "why did you decide to live beyond your means?".
There's also the sewage reference. No Dubai-bashing article could see the light without touching down on the subject of public sewage and the long queues of sewage tankers and how some of the sewage still ends up on the beach. That was right after a story about an extravagant beach club for the obscenely rich, and how it's flourishing despite the crisis. You're left wondering why those wealthy patrons aren't bothered by the sewer dumped into the beach right next to them?!!!111
probably because they're filthy rich.
Or so photojournalism could claim.