Dubai Rising: An Aerial View of the Sprouting City

Glittery, glitzy, and glam, Dubai is certainly an attention-seeker. This Middle Eastern metropolis was barely on the international radar a decade ago. Now, it’s one of the hottest destinations on the planet.

Dubai is an engineering playground of modern marvels and manmade meccas. Its rise in global prominence is astounding and its allure remains as strong as ever.

Dubai’s flamboyant hotels, dazzling shopping malls and towering skyscrapers attest to its bold vision of the future. Materialistic to the bone, the city coined the term “shopping festival” – an annual event with the sole purpose of getting people to travel to Dubai and spend money.

Ostentatious as it may be, at its heart, Dubai remains what it’s always been: a traditional Islamic town.

An aerial view of The Palm Jumeirah and Atlantis hotel in Dubai January 7, 2012. (REUTERS / Jumana El-Heloueh)

An aerial view of the Burj Al Arab hotel is seen in Dubai January 7, 2012. (REUTERS / Jumana El-Heloueh)

The skyline of the Sheikh Zayed highway is seen with high rise towers in Dubai January 7, 2012. (REUTERS / Jumana El-Heloueh)

An aerial shot of the Al Farooq Omar Ibn Al Khattab Mosque, inspired by Istanbul’s Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque), is seen in Dubai January 7, 2012. (REUTERS / Jumana El-Heloueh)

A development is seen on one of the islands of The World Islands project in Dubai January 7, 2012. The World Islands is located approximately 4 km (2.5 miles) off the coast of Jumeirah. The collection of man-made islands are shaped into the continents of the world, and will consist of 300 small private artificial islands divided into four categories – private homes, estate homes, dream resorts, and community islands, according to the development company Nakheel Properties Group. (REUTERS / Jumana El-Heloueh)

An aerial view of The World Island in Dubai October 25, 2010. (REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah)

An aerial view of the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai October 25, 2010. (REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah)

An aerial view of Burj Khalifa in Dubai October 25, 2010. (REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah)

An aerial view of the Dubai Marina October 25, 2010. (REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah)

An aerial view of Palm Jebel Ali under construction in Dubai October 25,2010. (REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah)

Heavy fog rolls by early in the morning near the Dubai Marina. (REUTERS / Steve Crisp)

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