Dubai Marina is modeled on the Concord Pacific Place in Vancouver, Canada, and is a canal city planned to house more than 120,000 people in residential towers and villas. It is ”the world’s largest man-made marina”.
Dubai – Fact Check

How Dubai became the city of "Why not?"

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Dubai – Fact Check How Dubai became the city of "Why not?"

Penguins in the desert? When it comes to excess, Dubai’s motto seems to be “Why not?” and the flightless birds more usually associated with Antarctic are the latest addition to its now-famous indoor snow slope.

Kieran Meeke
Kieran Meeke Travel Writer

While many cities with unsuitable climates have penguins in their zoos, few other than Dubai would make them an attraction in a shopping mall. Once a sleepy pearl diving and fishing village on Dubai Creek, the winding sea inlet that is still the heart of the city, the discovery of oil in the late 1960s brought massive change to Dubai.

The ruler at the time, His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum was concerned that the oil would run out quickly, famously saying: “My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel.” He embarked on an ambitious program to invest oil profits into turning his homeland into a regional trading center.

Joining with the six neighboring emirates to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he dredged the creek and built ports, a duty free zone and Dubai World Trade Centre, at the time the tallest building in the Middle East, to lay the foundation of things to come.

More than 60 per cent of all imports into the Middle East now pass through Dubai. His son Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum became ruler of Dubai, and has a personal wealth estimated at $13 billion, so it may be quite a few generations yet before there is any danger of the cash running out.

Meanwhile, the city the family built has gone from excess to excess and my time in Dubai is dominated by claims to the world’s biggest or best. This is a place where the sky truly is the limit.

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