Local Event Sports Association

If poker, pool, and racecar driving are sports, then shouldn’t certain international flights qualify as well? These flights—and if you’ve been on one, you know exactly the ones I mean—require physical and mental stamina at least equivalent to flopping a full boat or driving in a circle at suicidal speeds.

I mention this because it’s taken me roughly three days to completely arrive at the home of the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards .

The festivities are being held this year in Abu Dhabi—one of the United Arab Emirates shining jewels of modernity on the Persian Gulf. The other gem is, of course, Dubai, but that’s the last we’ll hear of the “other” major city in the UAE.

There is apparently something of a rivalry brewing as each tries to establish itself as the primary tourist mecca in the Emirates and far be it from to insult my collective host. It’s a little bit like Los Angeles versus San Francisco except the tools of competition are skyscraping cranes and hotels that are so nice, they require new categorization.

That and the UAE economy isn't an e...

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