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Dubai, where superlatives are the norm

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Dubai, where superlatives are the norm

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:45 pm

After exactly a week in the midst of what must surely be the biggest construction site in the world, Bayern left Dubai on Saturday morning and relocated to Abu Dhabi, where Jürgen Klinsmann's side beat Al Jazira in the evening to win their first winter friendly. The squad then trained on Sunday morning.

Both Gulf states are constituent members of the United Arab Emirates, formed in 1971 and with its seat of government in Abu Dhabi. The initial bus transfer through the city left the Bayern party with the unmistakeable impression of a very different place from the one they have left behind, much more solid and stately compared to the seemingly ubiquitous construction activity in Dubai.

World's tallest building

Dubai is a city and emirate of the superlatives. Chiming with the Olympic motto, "higher, faster, further", one skyscraper after another adds to an ever-changing skyline. "The way they're conjuring a mini-Manhattan out of the ground here is almost frightening. You just have to hope it goes well for everyone involved and that these ambitious projects pay off." manager Uli Hoeneß commented.

Dubai is also a city of records. The Burj al Arab is the world's only seven-star hotel. Right next to Bayern's The Palace the Old Town team hotel, the world's tallest building is soaring into the sky (pictured right). The Burj Dubai is already more than 800m tall on its way to a yet-to-be-disclosed final height. The plaza in front of Burj Dubai will soon feature the most extensive fountain display on the planet, with jets of water set to rise 150m above the ground.testBoosting tourism

Just a few weeks ago, the man-made island named The Palm was officially inaugurated with a massive fireworks display, the most expensive and biggest of all time, naturally. The recently-opened Dubai Mall is the world's biggest shopping centre with some 1,200 retail outlets. A massive aquarium next door boasts spectacular displays of sharks and all other conceivable types of marine life (pictured). And if you fancy a little ice-skating, do it here in the very same location on a rink built to Olympic dimensions.

Incidentally, the Mall of the Emirates also includes the world's biggest indoor skiing centre, with 1.5 km of runs covering all levels of difficulty. New luxury hotels are springing up on practically every street corner, as Dubai intends to double annual tourism numbers from around 8 million now to some 15 million by 2015. Tourism is seen as vital to the economy of the future, as in stark contrast to Abu Dhabi, Dubai's oil reserves are forecast to run out at some point between 2015 and 2030.

Just like Vegas

Elsewhere, 140 square kilometres of desert are being transformed into Dubai Land, the biggest leisure and entertainment centre on the globe, set to attract up to 200,000 visitors a day. US newcomer Landon Donovan says Dubai reminds him a little of Las Vegas, another glittering city surrounded by desert - "but without the casinos." And if gambling wasn't prohibited by Islam, you can be sure the world's biggest casino would be right here.
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