Saint-Exupéry might have had the Little Prince say that he liked the desert because that's where camels can hide out. Dubai is one of seven Gulf Emirates that has become a hi-tech avant-garde metropolis where superlatives are superfluous. Major wonders of architectural imagination and scale include the National Bank of Dubai, Clock Tower, Creek Side, and Dubai Internet City. It also operates the world's largest man-made harbour in Jebel Ali, which also features a major water desalination plant. It is the world's third-largest trans-shipment hub after Hong Kong and Singapore. Nonetheless, Dubai preserves close ties to the past, based on Bedouin tradition, camel racing, falconry, pearl diving, and the world of palm groves. The land thrived before the era of oil derricks and is now preparing to live again after they leave as it invests in higher education that heartily welcomes women. Time-honoured legends of Arab cavalries that swept across the deserts still survive in horse races that display equestrian tradition against a background of exclusive state-of-the-art driving machines: welcome to this sneak preview of the 21st century!
Klaus H. Carl is a German photographer who travelled throughout the world. He has already published Athens and Saigon and his photographs illustrate most of the Great Cities titles published at Parkstone International.
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