At every turn Dubai amazes the onlooker with the sheer scope and breadth of its projects.
One of the seven United Arab Emirates provinces, it has become a yardstick against which other international expansion projects are measured. This is not to say that everything is perfect: the sustainability of such growth is increasingly coming under scrutiny. But for now at least, the area is bene ting from colossal expenditure that is transforming the landscape in a way that might have taken a century or more in other modern countries.
This expansion is at least in part because - unlike some neighbouring emirates - Dubai does not have much oil: it generates about 6% or so of GDP.
Dubai's economy has been driven largely by tourism and by the Jebel Ali Free Zone at the industrial port of the same name. But this is changing, with the emirate's income increasingly boosted by business. Skyscrapers are sprouting up across the emirate at a startling rate.
Many projects aim to set up specific industries in separate zones and include Business Bay, the Dubai Land theme park, Media City, Knowledge Village, Dubai Health Care City-2, the skyscraping Burj Dubai, Dubai Waterfront, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Mall - claimed to be the world's largest shopping mall.