Discover this energetic, futuristic megalopolis between desert and sea
In just a short time, Dubai has become a must-see destination. This Middle Eastern city mixes modernity, luxury, and tradition, and symbolises the new Arab dream.
In just 150 years, the small Bedouin village of Dubai turned into an ultra-modern city. How can one imagine that in 1960 the city did not even have electricity? The discovery of black gold in 1966 enabled its lightning development. As of the 1970s, concrete buildings began to replace Bedouin tents, but it was not until the early 2000s that this desert state started to become a playground for the unbridled imagination of international architects. The construction of Burj Al Arab on the artificial Jumeirah Beach sounded the starting bell of this race towards modernity. This sail-shaped building placed at the water's edge has become the emblem of the city. Over the years, Dubai has pushed the limits, allowing it to move onto the water and to expand the city, while also moving up and into the sky while erecting the imposing silhouettes of towering buildings. The opening of the artificial island Palm Jumeirah in 2006 caused a stir, unveiling to the world's eyes the architectural fantasy of the city. But in Dubai, one accomplishment overshadows another, and in 2010, the 828 metres of the Burj Khalifa hoisted the city into the Guinness Book of World Records with the tallest building in the world. It is a city of superlatives.
And its population has also grown exponentially. Dubai attracts many expatriates who come to live and work in this new Eldorado: there are no fewer than 200 different nationalities here, representing just about every country on the planet! And to satisfy the shopping cravings of its inhabitants, the city has built almost 100 shopping centres. Travellers passing through have more than 92,000 rooms in some 650 hotels to choose from. Most major hotel brands now have an address here, as do many star chefs. Dubai captivates and attracts talent. But it remains very much a city of the Middle East where you can stroll amid the spices in the souks, walk in the vicinity of mosques, enjoy the tranquillity of the desert, relax in a luxurious spa, or even ski when it is 40°C! Dubai will certainly not cease to amaze you. With the World Expo scheduled for 2020, the most extravagant achievements may be yet to come.