Friday, February 09, 2007

The Road to Heck

So this morning, on my drive to work, I am quite pensive. It may well have been all the wine I drank at last night's BBQ.

My drive of around 30 minutes takes me along the Al Khail road, Sheik Zayed Road's calmer sibling, and I drive past ever-shrinking patches of desert that probably won't be around for much longer, stark electricity pylons marching along the route of the road, a variety of tower cranes emerging from the midst of numerous new developments in the distance,and concrete factories surrounded by fleets of dusty concrete mixers.

As I leave the industrial estate of Al Quoz behind on the left, the half-built towers of Business Bay and the enormous Burj Dubai development shimmer into view. On the right I pass the Nad Al Sheba racetrack, and if I'm lucky, I might spot small groups of camels galloping along in their awkward but fluid style, training with their R2D2-sized robot jockeys on their back. Then I turn off the Al Khail Road and head towards the Oud Metha side of the creek. The road sweeps past the Ras Al Khor widlife sanctuary on my right, where the creek shallows and widens, and thousands of flamingos stand in the water amongst low, thick copses of trees as the traffic rumbles by.

A little further on, I pass the newly-opened man-made extension of the Creek, and spot the towers at the Trade Centre end of Sheik Zayed Road sprouting from a dirty brown blanket of smog, and then the huge pyramid of the nearly-complete Raffles hotel which is near my office appears, and after another five or so minutes, I'm in the office, starting up my computer and waiting for the e-mails to flood in.

The city in the sand. There's nowhere quite like it.

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