Binks Is Here

Commentary on the World

Dubai

I’m sure we’ve all heard of some of the crazy-ass mega projects going on in Dubai (the palm-tree islands, the gigantically tall buildings, the indoor ski hill, etc.)

Here’s a gallery of how Dubai looked a few years ago, how it looks today, and how it will look in the future. (The server’s probably getting pounded by Digg right now; so maybe check it out tomorrow if it doesn’t work right now…)

Supposedly, Dubai has some 15-20% of the world’s cranes, and there are more construction workers in the city then actual people living there.

I’d also heard that a lot of this buildup is to turn Dubai into a tourist centre - so when the oil dries up; they’ll have a long-term source of money.

I don’t think I’d go there, though. Apparently just recently one man was arrested for “drug possession” when he arrived at the airport in Dubai (he’s a German citizen) - he had on him anti-nausea drugs. This, apparently, triggered their standardized drug responses, which includes a urine test. Any drugs found within urine result in a charge of possession, which carries with it a mandatory 4 year sentence (apparently codeine is an illegal drug). Now, I know it’s a bit lax to not be relying on the mainstream press, but there’s a Facebook group friends have started up. It reeks of desperation; but the latest comment stands out:

Spoke to Cat this morning - he’s been in court today but was unable to tell me what had happened/how it went because he didn’t understand a word of what was said… unfortunately it was a very short call…. 17/02/2008

Note that the guy’s been detained since January 26th, and they don’t appear to have been offered the services of a translator…

I was unable to find Canada’s policy with regard to translation services - but I’m fairly certain that with regard to criminal cases, you have a right to be properly informed of your charges and rights, and you probably have a right to a translator during the court process.