The Middle East-a new story

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I’ve been quietly following and trying to wrap my head around David Warlick’s concept of telling a new story . I’m not sure if this is what he has in mind, but I think there is a story here somewhere.

First I have to give credit to my friend, and hopefully soon to be blogger, Reece Lennon who is a technology teacher in Dubai for forwarding me the following information.

In his book The World is Flat Thomas Friedman in the first few chapters talks about the changes that happened while he was sleeping. The changes that happened in India and China around the turn of the century while we were focused on elections and then the 9/11 tragedy the world was changing. I believe the following stories would fall under “While we were fighting”.

From 2002-2005 I spent my time teaching at Yanbu International School in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. An experience that I am forever greatful. During that time I traveled around the Middle East and saw some of the changes that were taking place there. Although I never made it to Dubai the stories that were told about the city would have rivaled those during the days of the silk road to China. How the city was growing, expanding and much like China not an end in site.


So here are the stories.

Did you know that there is Approximately $90 BILLION (2005 EST.) worth of projects underway in Dubai and that 15% of the worlds tower cranes are currently in Dubai? What does this mean for the economy of the Middle East and the world?


Did you know that the Burj Dubai Tower will be the tallest tower in the world when completed in 2008?

Burj Dubai Tower

Where are all the workers coming from? The United Arab Emirates is a country of approximately 2.6 million people and 73.9% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2005 est.). Where will your next job be?

Did you know the world’s biggest Ski Dome, the world’s largest theme park: Dubai Land (2009) and the real size dinosaurs roam on Earth Jurassic Park will all reside in Dubai. Where is your next family vacation?

Where do you plan on buying your next vacation home?

Dubai Marina Project: Jumeirah Beach Residences (40 blocks)


World Largest “Palms” – Jumeirah Palm, Jebel Ali Palm


Want to own a piece of the World? Only $7 million for your own private island.


When we talk about the world getting flatter we don’t realize just how big the world is. While we have been busy talking about China and India, and fighting the war in Iraq, Dubai has quietly gone about its business selling oil, and bring itself into the 21st century. In his book Friedman makes the statement that they (China and India) are not racing us to the bottom, to the low wage jobs, but instead are racing the U.S. and the rest of the ‘modern’ world to the top. What impact does this have on education? What impact will Dubai have on tourism worldwide? It is already fast becoming a tourist destination for many European and British tourists. How long before “I want to go to Disneyland!” turns to “I want to go to Dubai!” The world is only getting flatter.

Information from NumberTEN Architectural Group. Retrieved on 4/21/2006

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.

1 Comment

  1. Ten years ago (wow. I am getting old) I lived in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, and two hours up the coast from Dubai. Even then the city was booming incredibly. Evn then, you had to buy a new road map for the city at least every 6 months as the city was changing so fast. Many times we were driving down the road, looking at the map, trying to figure out where we were going only to find that the road we were on didn’t even exist on the map!

    The UAE, and Dubai in particular, is a beautiful, vibrant nation. Many, many, many globally – focused people. It is still the most cosmopolitan place I have ever been in my life and will soon stand should – to – shoulder with places like Singapore as pre – eminent city states in the world.

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