Most of the world’s cities are forged over hundreds of years, through a combination of social struggle, slow physical transformation and economic peaks and troughs. Yet to many of us, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, arrived on the world stage fully formed - an instant global metropolis that seemingly exploded into existence overnight.
With a population of more than 2.5 million people, Dubai transformed itself from a small fishing port to the fastest growing playground for the extremely rich: a dazzling architectural mecca that screams opulence and a global gateway for business, all in just about 40 years. What drove this breakneck growth? Vanity, ambition - or was it all part of a master plan?
We explore the evolution of one of the fastest growing cities in the world, and look at how Dubai’s leaders tested conventional wisdom to achieve their version of success. As Dubai gears up for more years of expansion, could the city's past hold the key to its future growth? We look beyond the skyscrapers to see how Dubai is evolving into the 21st century.