Desert gold

Low taxes, expats-friendly, beaches, and its general status as an-up-and-coming business destination; Dubai, one of the 7 Emirates forming UAE, represented a great place to spend some time in my career. At least that was what I used to think.

From the top of the world’s tallest building- Burj Khalifah

Stepping out of its international airport, I was immediately struck by the intense heat wave. Summer in Dubai, where temperature soars to 41 degree Celsius, is no kidding. It was however, still terribly exciting to arrive in an unexplored part of the world- the Middle East.

Deira souks
Dubai Creek
Crossing the creek the traditional way on an abra

Dubai often conjures images of extravagance, of high rise buildings, and of the super rich. It markets itself as the Los Angeles of the Middle East and unabashedly so. However, behind each sky scrapers are tens of thousands of immigrant workers from the poorer parts of the world, often hidden or simply working on the next shiny building in the sweltering heat.

Skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed road
Burj Al Arab almost hidden by the sand storm from Iraq

I spent most of the time taking public transport (while most of the rich locals and expats, I imagine, zips around in their super cars) and could easily mistaken myself as being in India or the Philippines. The scenes along Dubai creek forms a remarkable contrast to the super powered Sheikh Zayed road.

Outrageous fountain show

Still, as I gaze at the Burj Khalifah (world’s tallest building) and walk along Dubai mall (largest shopping mall in the world), I can’t help but admire the can-do spirit of this city. A poor-to-riches story can’t be better told than in Dubai.

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