'The Sheikh's New Clothes?' Dubai's Desert Dream Ends

The boom years of the early 21st century were good for many people, but perhaps no one enjoyed them more than Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. Stripped to its essentials, Dubai is a sweltering strip of sand blessed with a natural harbour known as the creek, which has been an entrepot for merchants and smugglers for centuries. Building on his father's vision, Sheikh Mohammed turned Dubai into a 21st Century boomtown, luring western financiers and tourists with gleaming steel and glass towers, vast beaches, and green golf resorts.

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