Now for something completely different :)
When producing the Dutch TV series PlanetRace, we had some nice activities for the contestants to do and places for them to find. They had to canoo along the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Then they had to go to this Hotel, the Burj Al Arab and find the Heli platform, from where this image was taken.
The hotel is built in the sea, higher than the Eiffeltower and known as the only 7star hotel. Not that such a thing exists -it is 5 star- but they like to keep that special name. If you ever sleep here, you will be picked up in a Rolls Royce and guided through the huge foyer to your suite -there are no rooms, just suites.
The Heliplatform is at about 220m height and from it you can see how Dubai has grown from nothing to a huge city in just a few decades. It’s impressive to notice how they have succesfully switched quickly from being oil-dependent to a service-oriented place when the black gold ran out. Though the country is Arabic, most people are western or Central/east Asian and all big Western companies have large offices here.
And tourism is also very important, the city is completely Westernized and caters to all with anything from extremely expensive shopping through newly built but old-looking bazars and MacDonalds. With blue, warm seas, sandy beaches, hundreds of newly built private islands available and the desert nearby, it is actually not such a bad place, but you will have to like airconditioned places.
The heliplatform -where Agassi and Federed did their famous game of tennis some time later, >see pix here– is open on the sides and has some nets to catch some personal items that might blow away by the helis as well as drunk executives enjoying the views over the desert. But nets do not look nice on a picture, so I went to the edge, leaned over, put my camera under the nets and took this image. Meanwhile the manager was in total panic, but she did not dare to approach me, fearing she would tip me over, down onto the waiting Rolls’s.
Scanned from Provia slide, shot with Eos 3.
And no, our budget did not allow us to sleep here, that honour is reserved for moviestars, executives and dubious businessmen and -women :)