"United Arab Emirates is a world all its own. Many refer to it as an Arab Oasis, or Vegas of sorts, where big money and architecture open up to great displays of wealth and "prosperity." The two hotels shown (Burj Al-Arab of Dubai and Emirates Palace of Abu Dhabi) are known through public relations as the world's only 7-star hotels. One walk through either of them and you truly won't question that hype.
Dubai is currently building a skyline larger than Manhattan, and I was told that 17% of the world's construction cranes are there in Dubai, the most wealthy of the seven Emirates. I visited Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai. I was also told that UAE is one of the more liberal Arab nations, and that rang
true perhaps for foreigners, as there were many varied nationalities participating as tourists and workers/laborers---the food was fantastic, but my $20 martini was definitely lacking. Like Vegas, the beauty seemed contrived and unnatural, and like the shifting sands of that area, the whole scene
seemed like a real mirage, ready to disappear at any given moment, and perhaps in the blink of an eye."