[SERIES] DUBAI, CAPITAL OF AFRICAN BUSINESS (2/4) – Skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, including the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, gigantic malls, cars each more luxurious than the other, artificial archipelagos bathed by the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf, breathtaking landscapes and an urban renewal designed to dazzle the world… Welcome to Dubai, where – in a far cry from the attachment to traditional dress – white dishdasha or thawb [ankle-length traditional robe] and keffiyeh [square scarf] for men, black abaya [robe-like dress] and shayla [headgear] for women – one encounters a cosmopolitan city-state open to the world, aiming for a reputation as ‘bling bling’ and ultra-modern.
Born out of the desert and poor in oil – unlike Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Dubai, its most populous city, symbol of futurism as well as of excess and hyper-consumption, never stops reinventing itself. Beyond the idyllic postcard, the lounge vibe of the beach clubs or the clichés relayed by social network influencers, the emirate – on a quest to be recognised for breaking its increasingly impressive records – wants to go even faster, even stronger and even higher.
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