Skip to content. Skip to navigation
Personal tools


We decided on Dubai for our survey because Dubai is almost like the New York of the Arab World. Here we met young people from the whole region, coming to Dubai to try their luck. This city in the Gulf offers what they search for in vain in Casablanca, Cairo and Gaza: jobs, prospects and a relaxed lifestyle between beaches, shopping malls and night clubs. No religious watchmen look disapprovingly at strappy tops and stiletto heels. Those who prefer to stick to a beard or a headscarf and observe religious tradition also find plenty on offer in Dubai. The Emirate offers both of what many Arabs currently miss in the Western World: the feeling of home and demonstrating respect toward Arab Culture.

The city attracts young, well-educated, career-orientated people. But it is also the less privileged who come: construction workers, night-porters, supermarket shelve-stackers. What they all have in common is the hope of finding a better life in Dubai. Also they all know what they are talking about on the subject of relations with the West.

The symbols of Western Culture – and even if it’s just brand-name advertising along the city’s motorways – cannot be overlooked. Arab, Western and Asian influences all come together in Dubai. The town is ultra modern yet at the same time so very traditional.

Dubai is therefore the ideal place to speak about differences in culture.


© Bärbel Möllmann/Julia Gerlach hosting 2010/11 by banality design & communication