Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Bad News Day

It was British Labour government spin doctorette Jo Moore who famously sent out a memo suggesting that government departments might find that 9/11 was a good day to put news out if they wanted to bury it. Moore was found out and ended up getting her career pretty effectively buried, of course.

Which has little to do with this post except that some terrifying news has come our way but the government seems to have buried it during a period when news has been dominated by the air-show, the Big 5 exhibition, the Red Bull FlugTag (good fun, great PR) and, of course, the upcoming Rugby 7s, the annual event where 10,000 animals are herded into a pen and fed alcohol until they become anti-social and leery.

What news could be so sinister, so awful? Wait'll I tell yer...

The government is going to 'regenerate' ageing areas of Dubai, according to the report we found in Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), including Sheikh Zayed Road and *sob* Satwa. You can view the full appalling story at Arabian Business.

Dammit. Satwa is where our office is. We like it here.

So the news has resulted in much amusing speculation from colleagues, including new names for the 'regenerated' Satwa: New, New, Old, Old Town; Satwa Boulevard; Satwa Lakes or Satwa City. Some other ideas could include 'JustbehindJumeirahOneCityofWonders' or how about 'Satwa Community'?

We're expecting ski-slopes, dolphinariums and theme parks where before there was a plant souk, a bus station and myriad shawarma joints, shoe repairers, car upholstery shops and all those other diverse little shops that make a city, well, human.

Now we're going to be bulldozed and replaced with faceless skyscrapers and shopping malls coloured that Dubai Dun colour that has taken over everywhere; we're going to be bombarded with the usual realtors Prozac-speak: "Elegant Living in the Old City" and all the rest of the tosh they push out. Golly, there's probably going to be some sort of Old Satwa display in one of the new shopping malls.

Dowdy, down at heel and raggle-taggle, Satwa is one of the last few truly human places left Dubai-side. And now it's going to get morphed, like everything else, into The Projects.



Carrington said...

Does that mean that Satwa residents will soon be able to "Photograph the breathtaking migration of peregrine falcons" just like residents of the Burj Dubai? Sounds lovely!

Keefieboy said...

Utterly clueless, aren't they. Satwa, along with Karama, Bur Dubai and bits of Deira, actually has an authentic character all of its own. And it's far more appealing than the theme-parkesque stuff they keep building. Dammit, I'll have to leave. Oops, I already did. So that's all right.

halfmanhalfbeer said...

Nooooooo, I live in Satwa and I love it. They can't, just can't. Stamps foot.

Seabee said...

I used to work in Satwa, way back when, and I still love the place. I go there on many occasions just to wander around and soak up the atmosphere. I always take visitors there too. And I must say that if we need anything, from a piece of glass cut to a new tyre to some saffron to bathroom fittings to haberdashery to stationery or whatever, I go to Satwa ad I find it.

Let's start a 'Save Satwa' petition.

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