DUBAI THE NEW URBAN MARVEL
Dubai, UAE

Dubai attracts rich pockets and poor taste as a place where everything must be big to be relevant. It's worked hard to have the world's tallest building, the most luxurious hotel, the largest shopping mall... It's something of a Middle Eastern Las Vegas and that's what makes it so captivating to so many people. It's a sprawling city that's half resort half building site on its way to becoming a major global hub and urban marvel.
South Asians make up more than half of the population and Emiratis are only about 10% of the total. Everyone else comes from everywhere else, and you're more likely to hear English and other languages on the street than Arabic.

Except for accommodation, the city isn't as expensive as you'd imagine (the most reasonably-priced hotels are clustered in the older Deira and Bur Dubai districts) and it hopes to attract 15 million visitors per year. Once the gaudy, the opulent and the excess settle, it will be the splendid cityscape views, the beaches and poolside terraces that will keep them coming in the future. As a major city rising from almost nothing, Dubai offers visitors the chance to witness history in the making, marveling at the new and the newer.