If you look at photos of Dubai in the 1960s, right before the petrodollars started flooding in, how different it appears now is dumbfounding. Ratchety abras delivering fish and pearls have been replaced with luxury yachts. Open-air souks have been ousted by air-conditioned mega-malls. Today, the city boasts driverless trains, and pretty soon, helicopter taxis. Dubai’s evolution has been supersonically charged, and there’s no end in sight (so long as you keep filling your tank with gasoline).
That bygone Dubai still lingers, though, in historic areas that aren’t mentioned nearly enough in this emirate’s narrative, and in the harmonious intermingling of world citizens and expats from all over. Sure, Dubai might be built according to superabundance and bragging rights, but no one can deny it’s pretty awesome to see it all at least once.