Socratic Dialogue - Tourism in UAE
Robert L. Fielding
Socratic dialogues that include questioning and answering techniques can be used to find reasons for opinion. Level 2 Writing students recently completed their Writing Project 1 (Defending an opinion), and used three topics.
Here, one of these (It is good that tourists come to the UAE.) will be used to illustrate a Socratic dialogue. This dialogue is between two students: Aisha and Maryam.
Aisha: I think it is good that tourists come to the United Arab Emirates.
Maryam: Good for whom; the country or the tourists?
A: I would say it is good for both.
M: Why do you say that? How does the country benefit?
A: Tourists spend a lot of money here – they stay in hotels, they eat in restaurants, and they buy souvenirs to take back to their families and their friends. The local economy must benefit by an influx of foreign currency.
M: That seems true. What about the tourists themselves, how do they benefit from their visits here?
A: I should say that they enjoy their time here. We have a lot of things to attract them: nice, clean, safe beaches, interesting sites that show our history, and our modern side – all the new buildings and structures in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
M: You mean places like Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi, and Atlantis Hotel and Jumeirah Palm in Dubai?
A: Yes, I do. Places such as these are big attractions for tourists. They show how our country has rapidly developed, and how it is continuing to develop as a business hub in the region.
M: But are tourists really concerned with business? They are here on holiday, surely – here to relax and enjoy the sunshine.
A: Yes, they are, that is true, but when they return home, to work for companies, or their own companies.
M: I see, so you think that they see business opportunities while they are here?
A: I am sure some do – not all the time, and not every tourist, but some will think about what they have seen here, and some will even make connections while they are here on holiday. That is how tourism benefits the UAE and those who visit these shores.
Robert L. Fielding