NYU Abu Dhabi starts its first semester in September, and boy, does it already sound insufferable. Its 150, 90 per cent bilingual students—hailing from 39 countries—are already discussing, on Facebook, a "possible civil rights club." Its island campus—island campus!—is set to open in 2014. Its vice chancellor, Alfred Bloom, says that NYU Abu Dhabi will turn the city into "one of the idea capitals of the world - a world city."
Ha. Right. What can Abu Dhabi actually expect, if NYU's track record in New York is any indication? Basically, a bunch of savage, lanyard-swinging 20-year-olds ruining all the good bars, dozens of "glassware" shops selling hideous bongs, and crust punks gravitating to the only people on earth who are willing to talk to them: College kids.
And as more and more high school seniors decide they want the "Abu Dhabi experience," residents can look forward to the school annexing neighborhood after neighborhood, until eventually the entire city is a fun ball pit for anyone willing to spend $350,000 for the opportunity to sleep through class in a city instead of some tiny Massachusetts town—and all of the shitty nightlife and displaced natives and irritating buskers and impossible-to-navigate sidewalks that entails.
Idea capitals of the world, here Abu Dhabi comes!