Dubai shuts down for Bush visit

It has been declared a public holiday in Dubai tomorrow because of Bush’s visit. The notice people get? Not even 24-hours. All private and public sectors will be closed, and so will all the main roads. In other words, doing anything tomorrow will either be painful, or impossible.

Dubai abruptly declared dysfunctional like this for a day, is an example of how your life can be thrown into unpredictable pandemonium if you live in the city.

I can imagine the situation in my office had I still been working there: some people rejoicing as others curse their way out of frustration. All major events or even personal plans for tomorrow need to be canceled immediately and rearranged: conferences, meetings, press-events, lunch at Gran’s, a visit to the zoo. You really learn to “go with the flow” in Dubai where you have no other option.

Can you imagine this in any other country? I think not. Sure, it’s Dubai’s way of maximizing security for a presidential visit, but Bush’s visit has been in the schedule for a while and I don’t understand why the city couldn’t have pre-planned this. French President Sarkozy is supposed to visit Dubai on Tuesday; will that mean another public holiday? I think Dubai should have just declared the entire week off. Easier for everyone, don’t you think?