Dubai calling

Long, isolated, softly curving freeway patterns lit by hundreds of tiny dots confirmed the decent into Dubai International Airport at around 1AM.  I have been waiting for this moment – the opportunity to visit Dubai – for about 5 years.  I’ve been intrigued by the insanity of this city ever since I learned about its unprecedented building practices and policy during my time at SOM Chicago.  I spent a year and a half working on Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world (topped off at over 818m /2,684 ft) scheduled to be completed this year.  There were many late nights and great celebrations to be remembered, for sure.  I have to strain my eyes , but I am able to see a faint whitish glow in the black distance floating at least 3 building heights above everything else above the horizon.  There it is: the beautiful beast, the desert flower.  (like a scientist seeing Frankenstein come to life for the first time)  If the tower were less complete, it would be lit up by the 24-hour construction crews that poured their blood, sweat, and tears into the structure’s foundations.  If it were more complete, it would be lit with the most powerful cannons of light, its spire acting as a beacon to all the GCC countries nearby, rattling all the Dark Sky initiative people (do they even exist in the UAE?).  Anyway, I can’t see it just yet.  As I ride a taxi to the city’s only hostel, the white veil plays hide-n-seek as the city folds and unfolds and loops around between us.  Finally,  seemingly impossible, Burj is completely out of sight without me having really seen it at all.  It’s a sign; our affair is far from over…enshallah.

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