30 March 2010


The Dubai World Cup was held over the weekend, inaugurating the new Meydan Race Course, which is truly an architectural wonder, spectacular when viewed from the air. Meydan is of course already well known as the primary promulgator of Sheikh Mohammed's vision throughout the FEI Nation sponsor of the Meydan FEI Nations' Cup Series in Jumping, and of the Endurance discipline at the upcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games:
Through our partnership with the FEI we will be able to share the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with the wider horse sport community, a vision of Meydan as a venue like no other sporting arena in the world.
Especially interesting in the aftermath of the 2008 Olympics, Meydan has also recently partnered with China to build a giant, sure-to-be-over-the-top, US $4 billion Horse City near Tianjin. That's pretty cool.

Unfortunately as with everything in Dubai, there's always a dark underbelly that the Western PR machine doesn't mention. Meydan appeared to be finished on the outside, but due to the financial crisis there was some other stuff covered up, resulting in two Bangladeshi construction slaves workers falling off an unfinished staircase to nowhere in the car park*. Racegoers were forced to have to trample over their worthless corpses, which was so not appreciated. The cost of repatriating the bodies to Bangladesh will no doubt be deducted from their miniscule wages, leaving the grieving families with a substantial debt still owed to Dubai and no slave one to work it off. Maybe the families have some little boys they can offer up as camel jockeys. Oh wait, they mostly quit using the camel jockeys after HBO did that monster exposé; now they use robots. But there's still a good market in Dubai for sex slaves despite the troubling economic situation, so we're sure the relatives will figure something out. Or else.

Dubai managed to avoid another multibillion dollar cash infusion from oil-rich rival neighbor Abu Dhabi in Dubai World's restructuring plan, preventing duplication of the Burj Dubai Khalifa humiliation with another last-minute name change from Meydan City to Khalifa City. So it's still Meydan City. But a tragically ill-timed phallic symbol tower by any other name is still just as grandiose...it's just an homage to the wrong phallus guy. And that really sukuks.

*Of course this story is, like everything on The Carrot, entirely fictional. Except the part about China. And the Burj Dubai Khalifa. And the dark underbelly, just generally speaking, but nobody died. And there were, in fact, some horse races. Or so they tell us.

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