In the UAE, we are often oblivious to the manicured beauty around us. There are all those well-tended roundabouts for example, with colourful displays of flowers and desert plants, palm trees and ornamental grasses.
The areas inside and outside the major Malls are pretty well cared for too as are all the Government buildings – you rarely see litter and certainly no dog poo, at least not in Ras Al Khaimah. Residents in some gated communities in Dubai might have cause for complaint on the doggy doings, but all in all, the UAE’s public spaces are beautifully presented and scrupulously cleaned.
So who deserves our thanks for this? Let’s call them the Beautiful People.
You won’t find these guys (mostly men apart from indoor cleaners who are often women) on the ads as you fly into Dubai on Emirates Airlines or into Abu Dhabi with Etihad. No, for tourist information purposes you’ll see the other beautiful people – the young couple shopping for expensive diamonds or traditional pearls in exclusive jewellers in Dubai Mall, the perfect family exploring the Atlantis Resort on the Palm Jumeirah, swimming with the dolphins; or maybe the sophisticated businessman entertaining his guests in a restaurant which charges a labourer’s monthly wage for a Seafood Platter.
Wherever you are in the UAE, you don’t have to go far to see beauty – the desert, the beaches, the mountains for natural eye candy, and the stunning architectural delights and imaginative landscaping that enhance our everyday experience of living here. Often, the people who keep these places beautiful are invisible to us.
We notice the coloured boiler suits, the creative headgear to keep out the blistering rays of the ever-present sun, but do we really see the person and think about what his daily routine must be? Do we look with our hearts as well as our eyes and see beauty in his presence, in his activities?
In my case, the truthful answer is ‘not often enough’. So this is my small tribute to those very important people who, being in the beauty business, make life that little more pleasant for the rest of us.
Irish Proverb: What fills the eye, fills the heart.
(All photos were taken this morning before 8am on The Corniche, Ras Al Khaimah – it was 32 degrees Celsius)