“We do not anticipate the future. We build it.”
– His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Emir of Dubai
Dubai is… hard to describe. Usually when I travel, I choose a destination because of an interest in its local culture. While I knew Dubai was a city full of expats (the local population is reported to make up between 10-15% of its residents), I couldn’t foresee how a lack of local culture would make the city feel.
I dutifully studied my greetings and vocabulary in Arabic, even though I was told, “everyone speaks English in Dubai”; I packed clothing that I thought would be appropriate in a Muslim country, even though I was told, “people wear whatever they want.”
It seemed the city was created for expats. Going out at night felt like being in any other cosmopolitan city, not in a place where alcohol can only be consumed in designated areas (and with a permit, although tourists don’t really need to worry about this). It’s the kind of place where people show up and create a new life, being whoever they want to be.
I will post numerous photo essays of Dubai over the next few weeks. You’ll be able to find them below once they are published:
Luxury Dubai Hotels
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Burj Kalifa, tallest building in the world
Flying Business Class on Emirates Airlines
Jumeirah Mosque, Dubai
Bur Dubai and Deira and souks
Behind the Scenes of Emirates Airlines In-Flight Meals
The Mall and Dubai Ice Rink