by [Stas Sedov|http://rccam.livejournal.com] and [Dmitry Moiseenko|https://www.facebook.com/dmitry.moiseenko],
members of the [AirPano Team|Geography/About/Consortium/AirPano,_Team] that is a member of the [global-geography Consortium|Geography/About/Consortium]. \\

19 November 2015

with kind permission of [AirPano|http://www.AirPano.com]

We have been filming Dubai three times for the last several years. And
each time the results astonished us with the range and beauty of the
metropolis that used to be a desert.

The virtual tours over the city have been watched more than 5,5 million
times. Today we decided to show you the glory of the modern Dubai
architecture and picked the most interesting spherical panoramas out of
each project.

The origins of Dubai trace back to the VII century, however few people
associate the largest city of the United Arab Emirates with ancient
times. Dubai is best described as "the City of the Future": nowhere else
on the planet you will find so many incredible architectural
constructions that are ultra-modern and even ahead of our times.

[{Image src='01_Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='475'}]

Here is just a short list of Dubai's attractions: Burj Khalifa
skyscraper that looks like stalagmite or a desert flower with thin
petals; Seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel, shaped like a sail, rises on a
special artificial island (hotel room prices at Burj Al Arab start from
one thousand dollars per night!); 150-meter musical fountain that lifts
83 thousand liters of water up in the air while performing Arabic and
international musical hits. Breathtaking group of artificial islands:
Palm islands (a gigantic tree built off the coast of the Persian Gulf)
and World Islands, shaped as the Earth's continents.

[{Image src='02_Cayan Tower, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Cayan Tower, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='486'}]

All this is just a beginning! Besides its attractions, Dubai is known as
a shopper's heaven. The largest shopping and entertainment center in the
Middle East — "Dubai Mall" — also features one of the world's largest
aquariums. "Dubai Marina" is the largest and the most exclusive yacht
harbor in the world, and the length of Dubai airport has beaten all its
competitors a long time ago.

[{Image src='03_Burj Khalifa at night, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Burj Khalifa at night, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='469'}]

Note: all interesting things in Dubai either hold a world-record title
in size or are pioneers in its areas. Sometimes, both things are true.
For example, Ski Dubai, the indoors ski resort is not only the largest
in the region, but the first one in the entire Middle East where one
could enjoy skiing. One can enjoy skiing in the midst of 30 degree heat
in the center of the desert — isn't it impressive? This is exactly what
Dubai intends to do: to surprise, impress and bewilder with its novel

[{Image src='04_Al Yaqoub Tower, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Al Yaqoub Tower, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='511'}]

Even the weather in Dubai participates in this race for the "best of the
best" title. Due to its average temperature of 35,5ºC, Dubai is one of
the hottest cities in the world. Finally, beaches of Dubai have made
this emirate one of the most popular resorts in the world.

[{Image src='05_Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='611'}]

Turning back to its history, a long time ago Dubai started out as
exporter of pearls, but at the end of XX century it couldn't afford to
act on such a small scale. Nowadays the Emirate holds a leading position
in gold jewelry manufacturing, and gold prices in Dubai are such that
very few can resist the temptation of bringing home half of a suitcase
filled with jewelry made of this precious metal...

In short, Dubai is a paradise city, a page from a science fiction book,
a true picture of how even the most bizarre and ambitious ideas may be
implemented into reality. We hope that the panoramas and photos of Dubai
will transmit the incredible greatness of the unique and the most famous
city of the United Arab Emirates.

Photographing Dubai is always a pleasure. Everything about it is crystal
clear and straightforward: here's the tallest building in the world;
there's Marina, and then there's The Palm, the sail-shaped hotel and
several clusters of high-rises within an old city and several beaches...

It is very easy to find time for a photo session in Dubai. Dubai is one
of the world’s biggest airport hubs so if you are flying to Australia,
for instance, make sure to buy tickets with a stopover in Dubai; and
just like that you will have a couple of days at your disposal — A
couple of days to take nice walks and do a little shopping and flying
(if the weather permits).

By now, I've already flown above the city by helicopter twice, and our
website has published two tours. Yet, this type of photography does not
allow the photographer to capture everything in detail, to study
elements, or to go down below and come out from between structures.

[{Image src='06_Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='312'}]

It would be more convenient to go there with our drone (a
radio-controlled helicopter). However, considering the fact that I was
not allowed to open even the helicopter window without a paper from the
police, we assumed that our flying device would definitely arise
interest and objections from the local authorities and security

Therefore, when we finally planned to photograph Dubai and Abu-Dhabi
with the drone, we asked World Wide Web for help with obtaining the
required permits.

To our relief, several people responded to our cry for help. One of them
was Mirjana, who was working as a media producer in a large media
company in Abu-Dhabi. She was key to organizing our shooting in the UAE
–making sure every piece of the puzzle / paper is in place.

[{Image src='07_Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='545'}]

In the beginning, we had no idea how big of a puzzle it was — it took us
many hours to fill out all the applications, determine exact shooting
locations perimeters, provide specifications of our equipment. All the
papers were submitted, all payments made and passports scanned long in
advance. And we did not know if we would get the permits for shooting
until the last minute. The joyful message arrived right before our
flight: We got lucky! We did receive the permit to photograph Dubai!
However, as Dubai shooting locations are strictly divided in several
categories, with different and some very high fees to pay, our permits
were for photographing in public places, which is a rather limited
number of locations.The rest was a matter of organization: Mirjana would
pick us up before dawn, we would choose a starting point of shooting,
and then we would shoot, shoot and then shoot again.

It was disappointing that the tallest building in the world, Burj
Khalifa, is not considered a public place; so we could not fly our drone
around and above its musical fountains at the base of the building. The
cost of the permits to photograph Burj Khalifa is several thousands of
US$ per day, Burj Al Arab, the sail-shaped hotel, charges about the same
amount of money for photographing at its location.

[{Image src='08_Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='701'}]

It is strikingly different from the reception of our crew in the
adjacent emirate of Abu-Dhabi, where we were not only allowed to
photograph the best hotels and locations, such as the Emirates Palace
and Etihad Towers, but we were also offered to stay in these hotels so
that we could plunge into the atmosphere and later share our

Abu-Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and it has
completely different feel from Dubai. Firstly it is an island-city and
it is a planned city – with a grid street system, just like Manhattan,
it is very easy to navigate around it. Abu Dhabi main island is
surrounded by many little islands that are being developed into amazing
new industry specific quarters – cultural district, business district….
Being a capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi has numerous palaces and
governmental institutions around the city, which explains the vigilant
security. In fact, at any moment, someone important can be flying by in
a helicopter.

[{Image src='09_Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='318'}]

According to the procedures described in our permit, we were required to
request a corridor from aviation dispatchers for each takeoff. We have
never experienced anything like this before. Our shooting locations were
predetermined and logged in the air traffic systems well in advance. We
would dial the "tower", give our coordinates, and ask for a certain
altitude. We would be given permission to fly for 10-15 minutes, or we
would be asked to wait and call back while somebody of importance would
fly by not too far away. Once we get go-ahead, we would launch our drone
and do some photo shooting. Then, the corridor would be closed in the
same manner: with a phone call to a tower.

[{Image src='10_Jumeirah Public Beach, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Jumeirah Public Beach, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='583'}]

We were very excited about having a wonderful opportunity to shoot all
over Abu Dhabi with almost no restrictions. The only exception was the
outstandingly beautiful, snow-white Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. We did
not get aerial permit but we were allowed to shoot it from the ground.
So I came back several times there to see it in every light of the day
and spent a considerable amount of time admiring this work of art and
trying to capture its beauty in the panoramic photos. Now that our
photos are published, we see how much of the charm the portrait of Abu
Dhabi looses and we hope that we will be given the privilege to film
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in its entire beauty next time we are in the

[{Image src='11_Emirates Towers and Al Yaqoub Tower, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Emirates Towers and Al Yaqoub Tower, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='494'}]

The Emirates is a great, vibrant, wondrous country —  people are relaxed
and friendly, the standard of living there is rather high. They build
majestic cities with unusual buildings, make man-made islands, create
convenient conditions for business, and ensure safety. These two cities
that we had a pleasure to visit, Abu-Dhabi and Dubai, are definitely
aspired for greatness in the future.

We are very grateful to Mirjana DeLaey, Executive Producer at Abu Dhabi
Media Zone, for helping us organize our production and trip to the
United Arab Emirates from start to finish.

She and her colleagues not only offered help and support in obtaining
location permits, but also with the entire logistics for the production
and crew during our stay in the UAE. She was our producer for over 2
weeks full time, and even after our shooting, Mirjana continued working
with us over 2 months to the very end ensuring the material goes live,
all in the spirit of our project, so that everyone around the globe can
enjoy the sights of the UAE.

Filming in Dubai and in the UAE was great collaborative effort of
numerous authorities, companies and media enthusiasts. AirPano team is
very grateful to all for their kindness, perseverance and support.

We would like to express our special thanks to the UAE authorities and
media companies:

* National Media Council
* Ministry of Interior
* Ministry of Defense
* Ministry of Presidential Affairs
* General Civil Aviation Authority
* Department of Transport
* twofour54 — Abu Dhabi Media and Entertainment Hub
* The Media Company — one of the fastest growing media production companies in the Emirates

and our most sincere appreciation and gratitude to our Emirates
production crew: Mohammad Fathii and Ahmed Al Kaabi for making this
production possible.

\\ \\
[12 Panoramas of Dubai 1|Geography/Asia/United_Arab_Emirates/Pictures/Panoramas_of_Dubai_1]

[27 Panoramas of Dubai 2|Geography/Asia/United_Arab_Emirates/Pictures/Panoramas_of_Dubai_2]

[{SET customtitle='Dubai (AP)'}]                        

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