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A Snapshot of Dubai, Arab Melting Pot

It may claim to have the world's tallest building and biggest airport, but the Mideast city is also a truly global village with an odd cultural equilibrium

My friend Puneh from Tehran loved it, but Nazir couldn't stand it. She lived in a house in Dubai complete with lilac bushes and European aspens in the front yard, gardeners who kept the lawn manicured and neighbors from Europe, the Middle East and North America, who drove Volvos, Porsches and Jeeps.

"So many interesting people," says Puneh, an art dealer. "I felt so free, as a person, as a woman and as an individual."