By Jo Tatchell
Read Online or Download A Diamond in the Desert: Behind the Scenes in Abu Dhabi, the World’s Richest City PDF
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Additional info for A Diamond in the Desert: Behind the Scenes in Abu Dhabi, the World’s Richest City
Having successfully tapped reserves in Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, these oilmen were eager to search territories further south. Geologists were convinced that the thick seam running south from Iraq would yield as far down as Abu Dhabi. Indistinguishable from their diplomatic counterparts, these men were the heralds of change. When Thesiger left Arabia, from the sandy airstrip in Sharjah in the autumn of 1950, he knew he was going into exile from the place he had come to know as home.
Then he begins to list the many improvements that have been made to the city, as if I had come to him for advice. ‘So many islands. Lulu Island, you can go there. Emirates Palace, very nice. ’ He thumps the stamp on my passport and secures the immigration card inside. ‘Insha’ Allah. Go. ’ He beams. It was my brother Bill who first got me thinking about Abu Dhabi again. I was sitting on a commuter train going into London when he called from a small town in the Australian outback with an unlikely piece of news.
But of course, here I won’t need to worry. If things are as they used to be, nothing bad is likely to happen to me. Asian shopkeepers and migrant labourers, sweepers and cleaners rarely committed crimes. As the BA representative said when I left my laptop on the plane, ‘No one will take it. It’s not worth it. They’re searched coming in and out of work every day. ’ The ever-present risk of deportation or an indeterminate spell in prison had always been enough to deter even the most hardened career criminal.