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March 30, 2002

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Dubai is more than a modern city; it looks futuristic. It began as the Middle East entrepot of trade and business and oil fueled its growth into overdrive. Since indepence from the British in 1971, Dubai and the UAE sped down the fastlane of economic development; a company couldn't grow much faster. Many Asian and Western ex-pats work in the UAE, enough to make you wonder if natives are still in the majority. Sparkling skyscrapers, sci-fi architecture, and clean streets create an amusement park atmosphere.
Dubai's architecture shows it has deep pockets. Al Khor 'creek' (really a Persian Gulf inlet) separates this city into two main districts, Deira in the east and Bur Dubai in the west.
Dubai contrasts: abras, or motorboats, ferry people across the creek and pass ancient dhows docked in front of 21st century skyscrapers.