The Dubai Story
Is it a case of unlimited optimism or just a wildly over-estimated sense of self? "1 and 1 is 11. Once you grasp that, you’ve won!" This quote by Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, demonstrates the attitude behind the development, almost overnight, of a coastal, desert village into one of the 21st century’s most futuristic cities. In his book "The Dubai Story", respected travel reporter Helge Sobik delivers the backstory to a modern fairy tale.
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Dubai - clash of different worlds
When worlds collide and times overlap: Camels parade on the beach, hired out to tourists for ten-minute rides. And not far off, the cranes of the container terminal at Port Jebel Ali stretch into the haze
Letting thoughts wander for a moment while the world continues to turn: Carnival on the Creek - with game booths, pavilion and Ferris wheel. At the centre of the picture, the silhouette of the world-record skyscraper Burj Dubai (since renamed the Burj Khalifa, "Editor’s note".)
The future is desired, the present is tolerated: But the past has scarcity value for daily life in Dubai – except on the Creek with the dhows, the low buildings of the creekfront district, the domes and minarets of the small old-town mosques
Dubai - so close to the sky and impressive by night
Two ways to get closer to heaven: Enter into deep prayer at the mosque, or take a lift to the top of Burj Dubai (since renamed the Burj Khalifa, "Editor’s note"), the world’s tallest skyscraper. The observation platform will be on the 124th floor
Averaging at least one floor per week: The construction workers in the high-rise buildings of Dubai Marina laboured even at night under floodlights to raise the mammoth structures within the tight deadlines
Even more impressive: Dubai at night appears even more exciting, faster-paced, more dynamic – and more finished, because some of the excavation sites and cemented-over areas are covered by the darkness, while other elements shine all the brighter
"The Dubai Story"
All the photos and captions have been taken from "The Dubai Story" by Helge Sobik, which was published by Feymedia (www.feymedia.net ) in 2009. The hardcover edition of The Dubai Story (ISBN 978-3-941459-03-8) has 243 pages and numerous illustrations, mostly large color plates, and is available in bookstores for 49 euros.
Author: Helge Sobik, Pictures: Jochen Tack (6), Nasa/AFP