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27 March, 2004

The Missing

Dubai's brightest and best show up under the stars to pay homage to Lola LebCan on her birthday. Skyscrapers glitter around the poolside setting, in the shadow of the Evil Tower. Dubai is a place where people grow older, and wearier, but never get old.

There are no old people here. The local pensioners hide away in their villas; occasionally you may spot a bronze-masked black-clad old woman scuttle across a quiet side street in Jumeirah. Old men are never seen - not in the shopping centres, in the coffeehouses, or at the shisha pipes - do they exist?

The rare sight of elderly foreigners - generally parents and grandparents visiting their expat offspring - brings a strange pang. For a real world where old ladies push tartan shopping trolleys along a busy pavement, where senior citizens gossip on public buses, and old men take a stroll through the park.

None of that here. This is YouthWorld.



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