Maybe I'm not seeing the full picture, here, but I'm sure there are Arabs who ask themselves similar questions: if I visit Orlando, am I fueling the American war machine?
I think both questions are a little ridiculous. I don't think "socially responsible" should have been the term used, but rather a simple "would you".
Frankly, I think it's great that more big American entertainment companies are integrating into Arab soil, and that they are allowing it.
But I can't help but think cultural exchange is a good thing, and if theme parks are one way of providing it, that's great. Also, it's good to see American businesses being "exported" in this manner.
Take it a step further, Robert - is it socially responsible to visit ANY theme park, when you take into consideration the downturn in the US economy, the energy they consume (not to mention the energy patrons expended just getting there), the additional paper and plastic products in the environment, the frivolous use of engineering and manufacturing resources, and the $billions they vacuum out of the economy that might otherwise be spent helping those less fortunate, fighting "global warming" (:roll eyes:), saving baby seals in the Arctic, or whatever your personal cause?
One could argue the minutiae of either side 'till blue in the face, and it wouldn't change the fact that it's going to happen. I for one am happy for another set of coasters to conquer!
I'd go and I can understand why thousands of british tourists are abandoning the USA and heading there.
Immigration getting into the US is regarded as being over the top now, yet getting into Dubai is very painless.
I would, and plan, on visiting in the next 5 years or so.
Everything seems safe now, but sooner or later the hardliners in that part of the world are going to see all the people from the US/Europe coming to visit as a target rich place to commit terrorists acts.
I think building anything out there, especially multi-million dollar projects, is a bad idea, but that's just me. Is it socially responsible to visit? Sure, why not. If you've got the few thousand dollars to burn on a trip like that, and you've got a passport, I don't see why you shouldn't. Just don't expect me to hop a plane and go over there.
Man, this is a charged debate. This may be the biggest politically disputed TPI topic I've seen.
Rather than get political, I'll just say this. If you don't want to go, that's fine. Shorter waits for Kraken for the rest. And it's natural to be skeptical - U.S.-Arab relations aren't exactly magical right now.
And if you want to go, great. But don't put down others as racists or bigots because they're scared or skeptical of the place.
My last thoughts on harboring indentured servants, laundering money for al Qaeda and biggest per-capita energy consumersevery counrty. So if you dont want to go to Dubai for thoes reason then you should never leave your house. You name a state or country and I will show you something bad about it. Every country has done something bad.
I find it interesting that the majority of voters have come down against visiting Dubai, though the majority of comments have defended visiting there. That suggests that this might be one of those issues in which many people feel a certain way... but are not comfortable attaching their names to that position.
I also think it is worthwhile for Americans to hear people from outside the U.S. talk about international travel. That was an ulterior motive of mine with this vote, so I was glad to see some folks cover that angle.
The vote results should suggest that Dubai does face a substantial obstacle that other countries do not face in attracting visitors. That threatens to become a huge issue affecting the potential for success of the theme parks there. Like it or not, it's an issue that needs to be addressed. (I'd throw hostile security becoming a huge barrier for U.S. theme parks in attracting international visitors on that list, as well.)
It's interesting to me that, in the U.S., the anti-Dubai crowd tends to include both ultra-conservatives (offended by Islam) and ultra-liberals (offended by the cheap, restricted imported labor). It's near-impossible to bring the far left and far right together in America, but congrats to Dubai -- they've done it! ;-)
As a bonus, maybe our theme park season passes will work at their respective Dubai counterparts and the stateside park companies will reap some badly needed cash.
Dubai has the potential of having the highest concentration of theme parks in the world, something that should have all of us extremely excited. I for one am going to go in 5-10 years after all of these parks open (and I have a higher income to afford the trip). Frankly what concerns me the most about these projects is whether or not the parks will have themeing and guest service at the same standards that the park brands have here in the USA. In the end, having new theme parks in a new part of the world will help the industry grow as a whole.
I won't ever visit Dubai. Why go there when there is so much in US to do. I'm not a big international traveler (never had the desire) so I might not be their target. Our family travels a lot, I just have zero desire to go there. Nothing racist about it.