Luxury in the Gulf
It is a rare situation in the world, but the native populations of the Gulf countries are minorities in their own lands. The majority are there to support and participate in the region's blazing growth. Méthos' teams went to study those at the top of the pyramid, the decision-makers, the rich native societies in the Gulf countries. An ethnography in the desert.
The Gulf nations have undergone a drastic transformation in the past three decades. The Middle East has become a new global center – for tourism, shopping and soon the arts. Global luxury brands are present there, benefiting from the hub that Dubai has become as well as the frenzied demand of local customers. The flood of money and brands into the country and the mushrooming of malls and public spaces has grated upon social values, traditions and religion, which seem to oppose Western influences. This makes the Middle East a fascinating region to study, particularly when looking at people who are minorities in their own countries, which is the case in most of the Gulf nations.
In close collaboration with local partners, Méthos' teams introduced themselves into local society, following, interviewing and filming nationals from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Thanks to the immersion among the elites of these countries we were able to produce a detailed analysis about their values, their attitudes toward luxury, and their shopping practices in the region and abroad. In the film Méthos produced, Gulf nationals can be heard expressing in their own words views on the recent changes, their lives, their pleasures, their expectations, their fears and their dreams for the future.