Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai sits on the southeastern shore of the Persian Gulf. For centuries Dubai has relied on the sea. Dubai was once a fishing village and then a small trading port.
Along Dubai’s coast, the blue green gulf water was dotted with the white sails of dhows, traditional Arabian ships. In the late twentieth century, the city grew. It expanded away from the shore. But the people of Dubai wanted to stay close to the water. The city began building artificial islands along the coast. On one of those islands stands an amazing hotel. The Burj al Arab Hotel combines the old and the new. It was built using very modern materials and techniques. But it is designed to look like the billowing sail of a dhow, calling to mind Dubai’s ancient connection to the sea.