!!!Virtual Tour of Dubai City

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

19 December 2011

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

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.

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='01_Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='545'}]

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.

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='02_Palm Jumeira, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Palm Jumeira, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='450'}]

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.

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...

The United Arab Emirates is one of the most amazing countries in the
world. Millions of tourists come there to see its places if interest,
however, almost all of them are man-made.

The Emirates can't boast of either impressive mountain relief like the
Alps do, or of water zest which is fiords located in Norway or of great
forests with the richest flora and fauna of Amazonia...The desert, sea
coast and oil, perhaps, are the only wealth of the UAE. That kind of
wealth is quite enough in the neighbor country of the region. But
exactly the Emirates are famous for their landscapes. Why so?

[{Image src='03_Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='390'}]

The answer is evident: the landscapes have been created artificially in
order to overtake and surpass as well as to eclipse and impress as much
as ever possible. The aim has been achieved. And the most outstanding
project in that sphere is the artificial islands of the Emirates.

The construction of the biggest in the world archipelago named Palm
Islands began in Dubai Emirate in 2001. Millions of tons of both sand
and stones were being put by the workers imitating a palm which is the
most honored and popular tree of the East. As a result, close to the
Emirate's coast "three palm trees" grew: the Jebel Ali, the Deira and
the Jumeira.

The Jumeira is surrounded by a crescent which is both Islamic symbol and
simultaneously a breakwater. The island's size is 5 by 5 meters; the
total size is comparable with eight hundred football fields. The island
joins the mainland with the 300-meters bridge and the crescent and a
palm top are connected with an underwater tunnel. And there is a
monorail on the bridge — the first one in the Middle East.

[{Image src='04_Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='321'}]

On the Palm Islands there is a super luxurious hotel Atlantis as well as
other chic hotels; most mansions and apartments have already been
acquired by the richest people of the planet or are still waiting for
their turn to be bought. And the rest world population can admire this
beauty for free, for example, from the bird's-eye view that allows
understand its size and forms.

Not far from it there is another largest artificial archipelago — the
World. The idea of its creation appeared two years later. By that time
Dubai had become very popular among the tourists all over the world and
there was an extremely beach shortage. At the same time, in the UAE they
can't just put sand into water; sand should be of any unusual form.

As Arabian sheikhs have the habit to implement grandiose plans and,
therefore, they decided to create... all the Earth continents at the
coasts of Dubai. But right in the process of this idea's realization it
became clear that it would be hard to sell such huge territories. That
is why the continents were divided into number of islands in order
anyone could buy the Island of France or any state of America which is
also surrounded from all sides by water. Besides, the World includes not
only continents or countries but also cities or such sphere like
fashion: there is the Island of St. Petersburg or the Fashion Island
(Isla Moda).

Finally, now the island sizes vary from 14 to 83 thousand square meters,
the width of the straits may be from 50 to 100 meters and their depth —
from 8 to 16 meters.

[{Image src='05_The World archipelago, Dubai, UAE.jpg' caption='The World archipelago, Dubai, UAE' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='450'}]

It wasn't also easy to find a place for the future project of artificial
islands. By that time the coast line had already been occupied by the
Palm Islands. They had to put sand and make islands 4 km far from the
coast. And they are really islands, not like the Palms: the World
doesn't join the continent with a bridge. All 300 islands are available
only by sea or air transports, regular ferries and private yachts or
boats. The getting time will not be more than twenty minutes.

Nowadays, more than half of the World's ready objects have already been
sold. The construction works still have been going on. The highest price
for an island reaches 38 billion dollars. It can vary depending on
location, size and distance to other islands.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among the most famous buyers: they
chosen Ethiopia. And one of the islands in Antarctica estimated at 7
million dollars became a gift of a sheikh to Michael Schumacher...

[{Image src='06_Dubai Marina.jpg' caption='Dubai Marina' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='469'}]

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.

\\ \\
[9 Panoramas of Virtual Tour of Dubai City|Geography/Asia/United_Arab_Emirates/Pictures/Panoramas_of_Virtual_Tour_of_Dubai_City]

[{SET customtitle='Virtual Tour of Dubai City (AP)'}]          

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