This is a group of manmade islands shaped like the world. And I think to myself, ‘Self, is this real or a Photoshop creation?’ So I do some investigating. Turns out it’s real, and snuggled just off the coast of Dubai. And it’s spectacular.
This leads me to further investigation, as the only thing I really know about Dubai is that it’s in the UAE, is home to the world’s largest indoor snow park (in the desert. Who thunk that one up?), and there was some hullabaloo about ports a few months ago. Not a lot of info. So I dig around a little bit, and what do I find?
Dubai only gets about 3-6% of its income from natural gas and oil. The majority of Dubai’s economy is from the Jebel Ali Free Zone, which provides tax and business incentives for corporations. (US companies with a presence in Dubai include Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, and CNN.) The port is one of the busiest in the world.
I was fascinated by the demographics, though. The men outnumber the women 3-1. And the majority of the population are expats from Asia, mostly Indian and Pakistani. Only 17% of people living in Dubai City are UAE nationals. Sounds like New York.
But the wildest aspect of this place is its tourism. Check this out:
That’s the Burj al Arab hotel, the tallest and apparently most luxurious in the world. Only $4,000.00 a night, folks! Step right up! See that heliport on the top? Tiger Woods was paid $1 Million to shoot some balls off of it.
Then Andre Agassi and Roger Federer decided to play tennis up there. (That is so cool.)
Then there’s this, the big brother of the World Islands shown above:
Three manmade islands shaped like palm trees. Sheesh. One with a Trump Tower going up in the middle of it:
And then there’s the skyline. Wow.
Did I mention New York earlier? Hope the towers in Dubai stay standing. It seems like a neat place. Though it feels so futuristic, I expect someone to credit Phillip K. Dick with the plans for development.