Dubai, a dizzying desert fashionable among footballers

It took exactly 62 seconds for the elevator to ascend through the bowels of the tallest building in the world, the Khalifa Tower, to the panoramic viewpoint on the 124th floor. From this record height in the middle of the so-called financial district, Dubai unfolds in its glass, steel and cement splendor of skyscrapers, modern watchtowers that symbolize the force of power that sprouted from oil fields, but there are also oases of sand in still unexploited lands that recall the desert nature of the small emirate that dared to dream big.

Perhaps because it was flat territory with no mounds other than dunes, Dubai decided to aim for the sky and in recent years has added landmarks to its skyline. The 829-meter Khalifa Tower, inaugurated in 2009, is the top of the world built by mankind, and Dubai erected this age-old, stylized and luminous minaret to establish an architectural reference, an updated version of the hierarchy like that of cathedrals. in the European cities imposed in their time.

The branches of the artificial island of the Jumeirah palm tree are full of inhabited mansions

Before, not so long ago, when the United Arab Emirates, the country that created Dubai and six other neighboring regions, had just turned 50 in 2021, wind towers were erected, called barjeel, clay or mud, as a natural ventilation system. Now, since the Manhattanization of power, the emerging world is asserting itself with skyscrapers, and Dubai is always looking for the highest, the most luxurious, the most original… The record is a national obsession.

infinite line

Avenue Sheikh Zayed

The main road from Dubai continues to Abu Dhabi, 130 kilometers away.  Futuristic subway stations reduce traffic jams and flying taxis are coming soon

The main road from Dubai continues to Abu Dhabi, 130 kilometers away. Futuristic subway stations reduce traffic jams and flying taxis are coming soon

Naufal MQ

Another view of this vertiginous desert is the Dubai Frame, the skyscraper version of a triumphal arch, which is in fact an aerial walkway made of transparent glass. The bridge was designed to give tourists a glimpse of the Dubai of the past and the future, with the old souk and the creek on one side, and the three urban centers with their skyscraper spiers which have sprung up in recent years on the , since the construction of the first, the World Trade Center tower in 1979, until today, which has established itself as a tourist destination for culture and fashionable architecture, for example, among footballers , as was the case seen in the last Christmas holidays.

The Marco Skyscraper

dubai frame

Contrary to what one might think, it is not used to take a selfie with the skyscrapers in the background, but rather as a catwalk that unites the past and the future of the ever-changing city. to grow.  Better not look down if you're dizzy

Contrary to what one might think, it is not used to take a selfie with the skyscrapers in the background, but rather as a catwalk that unites the past and the future of the ever-changing city. to grow.

Tom Dulat

As it comes from the Khalifa Tower, surrounded by a lagoon and the Dubai Mall, behind the windows of the Dubai Frame we can see the Arabian Sea, but the light mist prevents us from discerning the silhouette of the artificial islands on which the country rests in part from its real estate and tourism prosperity at the turn of the millennium. From the famous map of the world, a collection of private islands with mansions built off the coast, one gets a sense of what Australia would look like from the dizzying Golden Arch, but little else.

Al Wasl Square from the United Arab Emirates Pavilion, artwork by Calatrava, during sunset at Expo

Al Wasl Square from the United Arab Emirates Pavilion, artwork by Calatrava, during sunset at Expo

David Duster

World Expo 2020

New urban and architectural heritage

Dubai usually undertakes projects of great urban significance, and the latest challenge was the 2020 World Expo, which will leave a legacy of a new neighborhood with icons such as Al Wasl Square, with light shows every night until closing on March 31. It has been delayed for a year due to the pandemic, and is the first time the Middle East has hosted this fair of fairs which Seville and Zaragoza recently hosted and Barcelona nearly a century ago. Dedicated to sustainability, mobility and opportunity, it houses architectural gems such as the Alif pavilion by Norman Foster, the Terra by Grimshaw or that of the host country, designed by the Spaniard Santiago Calatrava.

The views are much better from Ain Dubai, the ferris wheel which claims to be the tallest in the world, inaugurated just three months ago and created in the image and likeness of the one in London, but with a diameter of 250 meters and ready to host parties, rotating banquets and celebrations. The Dubai Eye, the translation of its name, is located on the Bluewaters leisure island, reclaimed from the sea, which includes, among other proposals, the highest infinity pool, on the 77th floor of the Address Beach Resort hotel, or even a wax museum. under license from the famous Madame Tussauds.

The tallest ferris wheel

Dubai Eye on Bluewaters Island

ferris wheel dubai

The huge Ferris wheel needs more than 40 minutes to complete a full revolution

The Ferris wheel takes more than 40 minutes to make a complete turn, and you don’t have to reach the highest point to fully distinguish the two gigantic man-made palm trees, the Jumeirah and the Jebel Ali. The first is fully inhabited and with hotels at full capacity on its perimeter. The Jebel Ali is a silhouette still without buildings, testimony to the break that Dubai suffered with the last major financial crisis.

A restaurant with a view

Ce la Vie, at the Sky View Hotel

To see the Khalifa Tower, the tallest building in the world, there are few better places than Cé la Vie, on the 54th floor of the Sky View Hotel.  It has an infinity pool, and the fusion cuisine lives up to what we admire

There are few better places to see the Khalifa Tower than Cé la Vie, on the 54th floor of the Sky View Hotel. It has an infinity pool, and the fusion cuisine lives up to what we admire

David Duster

Like Jebel Ali, the pharaonic world map was a great failure, but since Dubai began its expansion to make a name for itself in the world, the emirate has become a tourist destination full of attractions, not only with the points sight, but also with museums like the Future Museum, which will open soon, with shopping centers which enter the Guinness book, such as the Dubai Mall, which has an ice rink, a waterfall, the fashion avenue with the most luxurious stores in the world and a cultural space, Infinity des Lumières, where you can see immersive exhibits. And of course, desert adventures just around the corner, never better said.

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