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Sorbonne - CEFREPA Diwan Online Session
Cosmopolitan Dubai: Consumption and Segregation in a Global City

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Sorbonne - CEFREPA Diwan Online Session Cosmopolitan Dubai: Consumption and Segregation in a Global City

Wed. 27 January, 2021 / 6 PM Abu Dhabi time (3 PM Paris time)
by Dr. Delphine Pagès-El Karoui

This talk aims at rethinking cosmopolitanism outside of its normative framework, taking Dubai as a case study, and unravels how cosmopolitanism can be grounded in non-Western and non-integrative contexts. In the UAE’s highly hierarchical society, Dubai’s cosmopolitanism intertwines three main features: globalization , consumption and segregation.

Delphine El Karoui illustrates how the state and state-linked corporations shape cosmopolitan landscapes in order to achieve the status of a “global city”, and demonstrates how these spaces are experienced by its users. To unpack Dubai’s
cosmopolitan urbanism, this talk choses to study two ordinary (and overlooked) spaces, far cries from iconic architectural successes: Global Village, an outdoor mall and entertainment park selling products from all over the world and epitomizing the “commodification of difference”, and International City, one of Dubai’s rare housing projects conceived and built for lower and middle-class foreign residents. In this suburban cosmopolitan district, inhabited mainly by non-Westerners, logics of segregation are spreading against “bachelors,” usually constructed by various discourses as a threat to urban order in the Gulf region. As will be shown, a form of “cosmopolitanism from below” however emerges from these two “ordinary” spaces.

Dr. Delphine Pagès-El Karoui is Assistant Professor of geography of the Arab world at Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), Paris. She
specializes in urban geography and migration studies. Her previous work has focused
on Egypt and Egyptians abroad, transnational networks and migration narratives in
film and literature. She recently defended her Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches
(habilitation to supervise doctoral research) with a new fieldwork on “Dubai, ville
mondiale : le cosmopolitisme à l’épreuve”.

View online : Connection link for the webinar...