the Superlative (Intermediate Level)
The superlative is an expression from grammar. It is used to describe and compare. The article below talks about Dubai and the UAE, and how the superlative has become a symbol for Dubai. Read the article to better understand the meaning of superlative.
Vocabulary to Note (as used in the article):
- annoyed - an unpleasant feeling
- identity - image
- native resident - a person who was born in a place
- effective - successful
- late - dead
- tranform - to change
- resource - natural things which have value
- found - to create
- field - a special area (of study, business, etc.)
- interference - coming in the middle of or controlling
- retail - business of selling
- industry - type of business, or business area
- freehold - land or property sold for permanent use
- recognizable - can be seen or understood
The Article (Read carefully, then complete the comprehension exercises which follow. Open printable copy in new window.):
The Superlative, A Symbol of Dubai
Today in Dubai and the UAE the superlative can be heard everywhere. Some examples of this are the tallest building, the biggest shopping mall, the largest man-made island, the first underwater hotel, and so on.
Some people may feel annoyed at the use of so many superlatives, but this makes the UAE an interesting place to be in. The country is making a new identity for itself and Dubai, with its superlatives, has shown the way to do this.
Changes in the Country
Not everyone accepts the way the country is changing. More foreigners are entering the country and some native residents are feeling that it is no longer their home. But the changes which are taking place in Dubai, and the rest of the UAE, have come from its rulers. It is the course that they have chosen for their country.
Three rulers have been most effective in bringing about these changes. The first was the late Sheikh Zayed. He was the first ruler and founder of the UAE. The second was the late Sheikh Rashid, the ruler of Dubai until his death in 1990. He started Dubai on the path of change. Next was his son and present ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed. He has been the biggest force for change. It is his leadership that is now transforming the country.
These leaders have not wasted the valuable resources of the UAE, but have used them to develop it. Oil is the most important of these. The rulers of Dubai are preparing for the day when there will be no more.
Ports and Freezones
The first step in bringing about change and developing Dubai was to increase trade. The emirate had already had a history of trading. The Dubai Trade Center, built in 1979, became a symbol of that and a way to make trade an important part of Dubai's future as well.
The next step was the construction of a second large shipping port in Jebel Ali, in the 1980’s, and the founding of Dubai’s first freezone. A freezone would be a closed-off area within the country where companies could operate with little tax or government interference. Dubai, by chance, had found a new way to succeed in business. It would repeat these steps to gain success in other fields.
The 21st Century
It was the new port and freezone, that really began the use of the superlative in the UAE. The port in Jebel Ali was the largest man-made port in the world. Soon there were other success stories, like Emirates Airlines for the airline industry. Success also came in tourism and in retail. The Dubai Shopping Festival with its Global Village became part of a growing retail industry.
By the end of the 1990’s Dubai was ready to become a city of superlatives. Emirates Towers were built, and with them the tallest tower in the world outside of Asia and North America. The Burj Al Arab became the most expensive and tallest hotel in the world. Later there was the start of freehold property sales. This has made the Dubai model for success even more popular.
Now, in the 21st century, the superlative has become a recognizable symbol of Dubai’s success. It is a symbol that the rest of the UAE and other Gulf states are trying to create for themselves.
Article composed by BD, adapted from the Superlative at A Word A Day (in the UAE).
Feel free to challenge or disagree with any answers posted and offer suggestions.
The following activities may be assigned in a classroom setting in order to enable sutdents to understand the aritcle better and write in a similar manner:
- Each section under the three sub-headings may be summarized in a sentence.
- The article may be summarized in 50-75 words.
- Student may describe some of the changes taking place in Dubai, the UAE or the place where they live.
- Students, alone or in pairs, may search online, read about and report on (orally) the history of the Dubai Trade Center or Jebel Ali port.
- Students may iscuss some of the new projects being built in Dubai, the UAE and other Gulf countries now.
- Students may make a list of 10 sentences using the superlative.