Deserted versicolour during the lazy hours of the day, bluish power of the night pierced by Vesper, the caravan goes into the giant oven, it caracoles decidedly. The Arabia of a Thousand and One Clichés would be within reach. Yes, but are these dunes, this vault, this crew on the move, are they as we expected or are they mirages? In the United Arab Emirates, Arab emirs united forty years ago to invent a modern country, and their primary concern at the time was not the picturesque. First build the Nation: with the sons of the Sindbadian sailors of the "Indian" coast of Fujairah, those who enjoy the Friday zebu fights; with the children of the "top of the tent" of Ras al-Khaimah and those of Sharjah the East, the literate and pious Qawassim, former pirates who have been mellowed; with the naval architects of Ajman, kings of the tapered dhow; with the people of the lost cities of Umm al-Quwaïn and their mysterious cult of the dugong barbarouffeur; with Dubai the Deluded, a kind of postmodern "persistence"; and of course the people of Dhabi, in other words the oil bosses, fantastically rich, paradoxically the most reasonable, the Swiss or, as now tempted by new energies, provocative design, museographic creation.
High-tech cities two hours away from the "Quart Vide" - desert of deserts -, the inter-two seas of a copper peninsula, the freshness of palm groves and springs, the architectural fever, a fascinating political laboratory, this crazy and elegant two-colour combination of the white suit of Monsieur and the black suit of Madame in the immensity of the light of a golden age emerging under the sun and the diodes, we are there! Yesterday "Great Barrier of Pearls", "Pirate Coast", "States of Truce", these Emirates play identity and otherness in an open melee on a ground of non-negotiable religious traditions, the hand stretched out towards elsewhere, the Zen attitude in daily diet: flying great cormorants from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia and Pakistan, the audacity and the stakes seize us at the foot of the parasol, a cocktail in hand. And doubling the méharée on a background of eternal dunes, no less majestic, it is a gleaming procession of Mustang, Murcielago, Cayenne, Phantom, Vogue, California, Virage and other Panamera, projectiles that trace the outline and the ambitions of this new world created on the very old.
The editorial team
Acknowledgements : To the companions of the journey, from near or far, Christophe Tourenq, Mouza al-Yammahi, Patrick Antaki, Antoine Sfeir, Laurent Gillard, Antoine Gründ, Aaesha al-Shamsi, Ludovic Baudry, Catherine Menet, Marie-Christine de Warenghien, Ahmed el-Cheikh, Zaki Nusseibeh, Gasparine Garrigues, Dominique Chevallier-Wixler, Sheikha Mahra Khalid al-Qassimi, Jean-Yves Grand, Alain Azouaou, Radia Garrigues, Elisabeth Atzinger, Olivier Louis, Claire Bertolotti, Valérie Amy, Victor Cassé, Inès Zahouani, Elke Menz, Karim Mekachera, Julien Coron, Teddy Gillot, Laurent Rigaud, Sophie Rostang, Rocio Jolivet, Céline Gallina, Tristan Deloménie, Shamia Mouratsing, Peter Kollar, Jaber Ahmed, Ronan Kermoal, Karim Rusdhy, Julie Leblic, Chris Chellapermal, and to Aimé, the one who comes.