An article on Dubai. Assuming you’ve vaguely noticed Dubai’s emergence as the 1950s Havana of the Middle East (except with Indians and Filipinos instead of Cubans, and everyone else in the goddamn world instead of Americans), you probably won’t be too shocked.
(although most of the people who’ve commented on Rowan Williams’ speech last week will be deeply sceptical that a place exists in Islamofacististan where Ladies Nights and raffles to win gold Rolls-Royces are more common entertainment than public executions…)
The bizarre stand-out one for me is:
Emirates: Not the place, the airline. Emirates is Dubai’s super-luxe carrier where even economy-class passengers get hot hand towels, leg room and personal in-seat TV screens outfitted with video games, several radio stations and blockbuster movies. Passengers on a flight this week could choose from The Darjeeling Limited, Gone Baby Gone, Sicko, Michael Clayton and many other titles.
Sorry, has Hannah Allam never flown on Virgin or BA, never mind Singapore or Cathay? Yes, I know that US airlines provide the worst long-haul service in the entire world [*], and I’d rather swim the Atlantic than put myself through another eight hours of NWA or Continental ‘service’ [**]. But surely she must have flown on *some* other non-US airline at some point, and thought “wow, it’s nice to have seatback video and hot towels, I wonder why our useless buggers don’t provide them?”
[*] now that Virgin runs the Nigerian national airline, this is pretty much literally true. The only long-haul airlines that are worse than US carriers are now the developing-country-vanity-projects who fly a single plane to London and back on Tuesday, New York on Wednesday, Paris on Thursday, when they’re not seconded for the president to use as a private taxi…
[**] are they called “Continental” because the staff are lazy and rude?
[via. Yes, for one day only this site is renamed “ranty comments on Jamie’s links”]