Photographs with Commentary by Debra Jan Bibel

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I first landed in Dubai from San Francisco (via the splendid Airbus of Emirates Air) to get a taste of what I call the arising Singapore of the Mideast. A nation building toward an international trade and cultural center, the United Arab Emirates boasts the highest skycraper, the needle Brij Khalifa, support of innovative designs of numerous architectural towers, an excellent metro system, and quasi political neutrality. Indeed, while I was there, the government instituted ministries for happiness [akin to Bhutan] and for tolerance. In Dubai, some 85% of women wear Western business casual without hijab head scarf and men are found in Western business attire. Most traditional garb were found among visitors from other Persian Gulf nations. In the capital, Abu Dhabi, there are museum branches of the Louvre and the Guggenheim, a building designed by architect Gehry. Dubai is clean and efficient and desires high quality of its products. The malls have famous up-scale outlets.

Dawn in Dubai.

Dubai stretches along the peninsula that juts into the Persian Gulf. Looking NE. Brij Khalifa skyscraper is the landmark. 5-star hotel along the waterfront. Two splendid nights. A rotating restaurant atop the hotel with 360 views. Architectural model.

The real building, I.

The real building, II.

A series of views from the 124th floor of 163.

The overpass carries the Metro trains.

Towers rising as mushrooms.

Domes are a reminder of Arabic style.


Polka dotted roofs and a sunken dome make an interesting abstraction. A wide variety of architecture in this modern city. Another view. A whimsical building as ruler. The older, more coastal city is flat. An obelisk.

More towers. Note the spinnaker sail, related to the famous Burj al Arab hotel, which I did not see, other than far in the distance. Burj al Arab, for comparison.

Smaller towers seem miniatures in comparison.

A mosque has its place.

Inside the viewing area shop, which sells the soundtrack CD. Yes, there is indeed music within elevators, corridors. I bought a copy.



Back to street level.

Human scale. A vibrant street, through dirty windows. Architectural detail. A walk along the waterfront; a ferry of ultra-modern design and the amphibious tour bus. The Persian Gulf, Red Sea down to Zanzibar depend on such motorized dhows, or jalibuts for trade goods.
Mosques in the old city. Ferries takes passengers across the inlet. Along the waterway. Another yacht. The lobby of the Hyatt Regency., where dozens of languages are heard and many business deals are made. Docked jalibuts, seen from my hotel window.
The pool and adjacent tennis court. The extremely busy airport was just minutes away and many scores of aircraft pass my window from early morning to late at night. Such an airplane now takes me to Dehli.        



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