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Travel & Tourism

Dubai: Then & Now

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Credit: Maxpixels
Though Dubai’s neighbours try to insulate themselves from foreign cultures and conflicts, the Emirate actively encourages and welcomes new people and respects foreign cultures and believes that unity in diversity is the only way to peace. As the new Dubai builds itself up, the government is making sure it doesn't lose touch with its traditional roots.

With numerous new skyscrapers that reach to the heavens, Dubai's skyline is now dominated by high-rises. The Internet City, Knowledge Village and the Media City all have six-lane highways connecting the glass and stainless-steel buildings. Many of the residents were shifted to Bastakiya, wherein the houses were made of gypsum, coral and sand in the 1990s to protect the ancient architecture. Today the area is festooned with cement and towered houses that welcome the cool breeze. Here you'll find the Al Fahidi Fort, constructed somewhere in the 1780s, making it the oldest building in the city. The maze-like streets making their way through the buildings which have stood here since the 1890s serve as the only reminder of the city’s past life.  Adjacent to this older part of town is the Dubai Creek that is adorned with galleries, shopping centres, restaurants and cafes. In what seems like the blink of an eye, the city has flourished into a place of spectacular development and opulence. Obscure stone and wood-cut decorations on the top of the houses indicated the wealth of a family in the town. Bait Al-Wakeel was one more historic site wherein the very first office building in Dubai was constructed. As the city blossomed, the historic sites slowly faded. However, the government has preserved many historic sites and still wants to celebrate the old Dubai.

A living metal, glass and stone allegory, The enormous Atlantis Hotel along with the magnificent Burj Al Arab are both built on their own man-made islands. Burj Dubai pierces the sky as the tallest sky scrapper in the world. The Palm Jumeirah is not only a feat of engineering, but it also brings a unique opulence-meets-technology aesthetic to the city. The big waterfront of the Persian Gulf is shared by the well-guarded fortresses of Port Rashid and the large container ships of the Jebel Ali Port, the lifeline of Dubai's trade. They work to bring Dubai its new-age charm. You'll find several old souks (markets) preserved along the Dubai Creek where you can buy local, traditional trinkets, textiles and delicatessen.

The Dubai Waterfront is a giant collection of reclaimed, man-made islands. The World Islands, The Palm Islands are artificial archipelagos. The mammoth 'The Universe' project is in the pipeline. The World Islands comprise of about 300 man-made world shaped islands. Other projects in consideration include Hydropolis, the first underwater hotel, The Burj Al Alam, the tallest hotel, Dubailand, the Princess Tower and the Ocean Heights will line Dubai's skyline soon. Also, the Dubai Metro System will be a completely automated rail system. Dubai is hosting Expo 2020 from October 2020 to April 2021.


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