polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Dubai in Pictures: Icarus Too Close to the Sun?

by Katia Savchuk

Skyscrapers rise in the desert -
vestiges of a building craze now on hiatus.

Sewage trucks cart waste from the central city.

Reality is catching up with the city where anything was possible. Scenes of effete luxury and grand abandonment abound in yesterday's photo-chronicle of Dubai in the New York Times.
"Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest skyscraper, is still under construction, overlooking artificial islands shaped like palm trees. The tower is a useful symbol for considering Dubai. Is it the Tower of Babel? Is it Icarus, flying too close to the sun? It’s unclear whether this crisis will simply be a pause in Dubai’s ascent or whether Dubai’s story will itself become a cautionary tale of mythical dimensions." 
– James Estrin, "Showcase: Dubai's Improbable Tale"
Dubai is all over the news this week. What do you think about the desert bust?

Credits: Images of Dubai from Lauren Greenfield.