The wonders of Dubai

Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, located in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, must be one of the world's most interesting places to visit. The ambitious construction projects underway in this desert city continue to make headlines.

You may already be familiar with this building: it's the Burj-Al-Arab hotel, one of the most expensive hotels ever built. Note the helicopter landing pad up high on the left. Very tall and shaped like a sail, it's luxury is unparalleled. You can read all about it's unique features here.

Now there's word that Dubai has entered into an agreement with the city of Lyon, in France, to build a replica of Lyon's cobblestone streets and quaint buildings in the desert city. The intent is to attract even more tourists to a place that is increasingly focusing on travelers for revenue. National Geographic's Intelligent Travel blog has an article with a photo here.

Dubai also has the distinction of offering the world's most amazing indoor skiing facility. You've go to see this place to believe it. Here's a YouTube video taken by a skier heading down the run. Check out some of the other videos (one shows a wonderful snow slide for those not interested in skiing or snowboarding. It's here.)

You may have heard about Dubai's famous palm-shaped land reclamation projects. Now, the world's tallest building is under construction in Dubai. A company is also building the world's first rotating skyscraper, and another the world's first luxury underwater hotel. Proposed name: Hydropolis. For an overview of this city's innovative architectural features with illustrations see the Dubai City online guide.

Given the political structure of the Emirates, I'm not sure what it would be like to live there; but I would certainly like to visit. If you have been there, post a comment and tell us all about it!

Thanks to Pravit Nuntanasirivikrom of Thailand for his nice photograph of the Burj-Al-Arab hotel.

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