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Hong Kong or Dubai?


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Hong Kong or Dubai?
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MAJB
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Dubai, UAE
 
2007-11-23, 10:19

My work is sending me to one of the two above places - I technically have a complete choice and am leaning towards Dubai, but for "office politics" reasons am being pushed towards accepting Hong Kong.

It would be a two year stint and I know next to nothing about either place. Does anyone know anything about those two cities, and which may be preferable?
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SKMDC
superkaratemonkeydeathcar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: chicago
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2007-11-23, 10:30

I'd kill to live and work in Hong Kong, which I've been to extensively. Great history and very beautiful, good gateway to Australia, Japan or many other great vacation spots.

Dubai (which I've not been to) seems to have more money than they know what to do with. Dubai is fairly open to westerners but living in that part of the world can be a bit oppressive. We have a Kuwaiti member if I recall, his expertise would be invaluable as he's in the same area. I can't think of his name though.
Either place would be a great experience for a couple of years I would think.

"What's a Canadian farm boy to do?"
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LudwigVan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2007-11-23, 12:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKMDC View Post
We have a Kuwaiti member if I recall, his expertise would be invaluable as he's in the same area. I can't think of his name though.
usurp, most likely. Ryan has also mentioned in this thread that he knows a few people who lived in Dubai.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2007-11-23, 17:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKMDC View Post
...
Dubai (which I've not been to) seems to have more money than they know what to do with. Dubai is fairly open to westerners but living in that part of the world can be a bit oppressive. We have a Kuwaiti member if I recall, his expertise would be invaluable as he's in the same area. I can't think of his name though.
Either place would be a great experience for a couple of years I would think.
Having ported in Dubai on many occasions I can say that there really does seem to be many who have money to burn. There's also many who have little. If you aren't used the the strict customs you might have a harder time adjusting to customs of the Middle East over Hong Kong. While they are willing to take Westerners in, it's still only so "safe" according to security advice given for travelers. Of course, this really depends on how "American" you look.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
Visit our archived Minecraft world! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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MacLahoriya
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Hong Kong
 
2007-11-23, 18:16

If you use Flickr then Dubai is "no no".

Anyway, I live here in Hong Kong and find it too crowded.
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2007-11-23, 18:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by LudwigVan View Post
Ryan has also mentioned in this thread that he knows a few people who lived in Dubai.
Yeah, I do have a few friends who've lived there. I can pass any questions along to them if you like. My economics teacher used to work at an international school there as well.
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torifile
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2007-11-23, 21:24

How do you like heat?
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Enki
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
 
2007-11-25, 01:55

Been to both several times, Hong Kong has more character. Dubai has more open space and new money growth. I found HK definitely more accepting.
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2007-11-25, 03:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enki View Post
Been to both several times, Hong Kong has more character. Dubai has more open space and new money growth. I found HK definitely more accepting.
Is it growth or spending in Dubai, because it looks suspiciously like the latter to me. Hong Kong has been a commercial boomtown ever since the Brits took up residence in the mid 1800s. The handover hasn't changed the city too much, and as China grows, Hong Kong will remain the pre-eminent business hub in south China.

Dubai's economy is what, oil and tourism?

Heat is such a non-factor. In Hong Kong you can pretty much get anywhere in the city without spending more than a few minutes away from air-conditioning. The same is probably true for Dubai.
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curiousuburb
Antimatter Man
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: that interweb thing
 
2007-11-25, 05:37

When I lived in HK for most of the 90's I described it as "New York on Speed... Warp 9 all the time"

Frenetic pace, and there's always 1000's of guys in China waiting to do your job, so the mindset is "shit or get off the pot"... throttle up, baby.

Dubai I visited briefly at the end of the 90's, and it didn't have the maniacal frenzy that HK did while the countdown clock was ticking.

Dubai also never 'officially' hits 50°C (since they'd legally have to send the workers home), but it frequently hovers at 49.9 (probably higher, but not announced as such). As such, there are days in the summer where the heat sucks the pace out of life. HK is tropical, but Dubai is a hotter setting still.

Both economies depend on 'third world labour', whether labourers from the subcontinent in Dubai, or Filipinos and mainlanders in HK. But each has its other layers of wealth and more Rolls Royces than you'll ever see as the elites profit on the backs of others.

Dubai is relatively benign compared to some of the more fundamentalist neighbours of the UAE, but you'll still think that women are 2nd class citizens in many regards... cannot drive without husband's written permission, burkha, segregated social events.

Both places have progressed since I was there, and each is an architectural feast for the eyes, but somewhat archaic in terms of attitudes and equality. Environmental consciousness is practically non-existent (profit and progress more important), and public criticism of government can get you in trouble (unless they're PR sensitive - Beijing Olympics best behaviour, etc).

Don't go in expecting western attitudes.

YMMV

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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torifile
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2007-11-25, 07:49

Quote:
Heat is such a non-factor. In Hong Kong you can pretty much get anywhere in the city without spending more than a few minutes away from air-conditioning. The same is probably true for Duba
Have you ever been to a place where it's over 100F for weeks on end? Even with AC, it gets to you.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2007-11-25, 13:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by torifile View Post
Have you ever been to a place where it's over 100F for weeks on end? Even with AC, it gets to you.
I can vouch for this. Spend 4 1/2 months on the Persian Gulf during the height of summer and and one A/C plant down and the second one only in half capacity. That third one running at 110% doesn't seem to make a difference. Any time outside bring new meaning to hell on Earth. On Jun 21st the temperature was 160DegF (71.11C) at noon in direct sunlight. I don't care if you're in a car with A/C or a building with A/C, you still have to travel outside at some point and in those moments every drop of moisture leaves your body.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
Visit our archived Minecraft world! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Enki
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
 
2007-11-25, 19:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
Is it growth or spending in Dubai, because it looks suspiciously like the latter to me. Hong Kong has been a commercial boomtown ever since the Brits took up residence in the mid 1800s. The handover hasn't changed the city too much, and as China grows, Hong Kong will remain the pre-eminent business hub in south China.

Dubai's economy is what, oil and tourism?

Heat is such a non-factor. In Hong Kong you can pretty much get anywhere in the city without spending more than a few minutes away from air-conditioning. The same is probably true for Dubai.
Dubai is pushing growth relentlessly. They are waiting for the Chinese to screw HK up as a world crossroads of shipping. Whether that happens or not, the Dubai money is being seriously driven into infrastructure that will be very valuable once oil inevitably tuns out.

And Dubai is very spread out, there is no escaping the heat like there is in cities that have been built-out and plumbed with underground public transport for decades.
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WrestleEwe
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Utrecht NL
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2007-11-26, 06:28

If you google around a bit you'll find that in Dubai, human rights basically only apply to natives and expats from the west. The way construction companies treat their labourers is getting dangerously close to slave labour (flying them in, taking away their passports, making them pay ridiculous amounts of rent for apartments, etc...)

I don't know about the way HK does it, but I guess that the brits have had at least some good influence.

I used to want to go to Dubai for a few years, but now I'm just not sure any more. Do you want to live/work in a city that has been built with forced labour?
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