I just got back from Dubai.  My initial reaction was that it looked very much like a larger scale Las Vegas.  There are a tremendous amount of new buildings that have been built.  There are even MORE new buildings being built (apparently, I heard that by next year, there will be 40% more building/capacity or another 10,500 rooms). 

I also went to neighboring Abu Dhabi as well and its easy to see many differences even though they are part of the same UAE.

Some comments, the city of Abu Dhabi “feels” more mature.  It is greener, but if I had to think what made it more “mature”, it was the age of the trees.  The trees were obviously older and larger.  It was interesting to see how it made the city feel different.

Coming back to Dubai, the city looks like it is trying very hard to become modern.  Therefore, the architecture has no consistency and the buildings all look like they are trying to out do each other in terms of grandeur and shock value.

Unfortunately, I could not climb the worlds tallest building (at least of this writing) Burj Dubai (aka Burj Khalifa) because of some electrical/mechanical failure in the elevator system.  This happened a month ago and would have hoped it would have been fixed by now.  Unfortunately, no go.  I also couldn’t go to the new Giorgio Armani hotel housed in the skyscraper.  Apparently, it has 160 guest rooms, 144 private residences and 8 restaurants.

The mall next to Burj Dubai called the “Mall of Dubai” (also where you enter to take the elevator to the top of Burj Dubai) is HUGE.  Since it probably just opened, about 1/4 of the shops were empty or under construction.

In fact, the whole city of Dubai seems to be “under construction” and all the tourist guides/books label various attractions “under construction” when some of them have clearly been abandoned.

Anyway, I have several hundred random pictures that I took of Dubai here.  Sorry for too many pictures of the Burj Dubai as it was REALLY difficult to get the whole building in one frame.  I was even using a 35mm lens on my Leica from several blocks away and still failed.

By the way, here is a great 45-gigapixel panorama (not by me) of Dubai. http://gigapan.org/gigapans/48492/

Your comments are always welcome.