Download e-book for iPad: A Diamond in the Desert: Behind the Scenes in Abu Dhabi, the by Jo Tatchell

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  • March 17, 2018
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By Jo Tatchell

ISBN-10: 080217079X

ISBN-13: 9780802170798

Tatchell takes us on a travel of town with an outlook that’s half local, half critic, half wide-eyed tourist. the result's a really unique university of views and pictures, from a regal expatriate whose husband was once one of many first Brits to settle in Abu Dhabi to younger Emirati artists celebrating their newfound freedom of expression. A compelling piece of historical past advised with an intimate narrative voice, A Diamond within the barren region is an eye-opening and infrequently haunting standpoint on simply how a lot this interesting urban has changed—and, for larger or for worse, how a lot it has stayed the same.

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Extra resources for A Diamond in the Desert: Behind the Scenes in Abu Dhabi, the World’s Richest City

Sample text

Business meant deeds done and favours returned, no questions asked. Everything always used to run on wasta, the influence one had over others, and baksheesh, the backhanders that made the system flow with willingness and goodwill. My parents received gifts regularly from staff returning after bi-annual leave to Egypt, Syria, Jordan, India and Sri Lanka. They appreciated there had to be a little give-and-take – on the advice of a colleague my father had taken an expensive gold Rolex, bought by the company, to a sheikh with whom they were seeking to curry favour.

As we drove down the single-lane road from the airport to the tip of the island, my father had reminded her not to expect too much. He had turned onto the sandy flat that led to the sea, and pulled up in front of a Portakabin on the beach. ‘It’s all there was, darling,’ he explained apologetically. She concluded that it would be best to take life day by day and make the most of whatever kindnesses came her way. At least the sea offered relief from the sand. Writing home that first morning, as my brother and I slept, she told her parents she had come to nothing at ‘Sand-on-Sea’.

We hit the downtown traffic. Zayed may have passed away, but on the streets he is still very much alive. Images of him, revered as the father of the city, are everywhere. His people cannot quite let go, it seems, and he reigns on, credited with taking the poor, forgotten sheikhdom and caretaking its growth into a peaceful, powerful nation state. Vast awnings for property and telecoms companies hang from high-rises, radiating slogans in nonsensical English: ‘Add Life to Life’, ‘The Reflection of Nature in Your World’, ‘Living the Art of Life’.

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A Diamond in the Desert: Behind the Scenes in Abu Dhabi, the World’s Richest City by Jo Tatchell


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