Once upon a time there was a Sheikh having a dream…

His Highness Sheikh Muhammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Ruler of Dubai.

The Ruler before couldn’t imagine this small desert village would become a 3 million metropole with a jungle of superlatives, when he began to plan the future of this town 40 – 50 years ago.

Dubai like we all know it, bases on the dream of this single man.

To fulfill the visions – which the sheikh dreamed of, he had to make others dreaming too. Reaching the impossible – fascinating people all over the world – was his biggest ambition.

Dubai – between illusion and reality – is, as i think the best interpretation for this place on earth.
Some dreams became reality, others got condemned – resulting in a surreal city. Imagine some of the most iconic projects on earth with abandoned nearby.
Not just the tower – Burj Khalifa, with it’s 828m the tallest manmade structure – the entire city is full of decadence in the superlative form.

Everything is clean, looking for flattened chewing gums in vain, even the highway piers are painted and decorated with ornaments. In the middle of the wilderness, in the Arabian desert, a city has been built, and shows what is most expensive in the desert: water.

At the airport, it flows down the walls meter by meter, at the foot of Burj Khalifa, where the famous Dubai Fountains are located – biggest in the world, every half hour from 6 pm every day, water is shot into the air in spectacular form dancing to various music pieces whether Vivaldi, Whitney Huston or Arabic sounds, the water, decorated with cheerful colors. Up to 150 meters high – definitely a world record.

Maybe the reason why Dubai is mostly commented contemptuous by the West is that it is competing with us. Replacing the West, thus Europe, as the ideal and the maker.

Shifting the center of the world a sensitive piece to the east and disturbing our Eurocentric perception.

This photostory is part of my book i’m working at for the World Expo 2020 Dubai.

The book “Vision Dubai”

  • Between illusion and reality
  • Once upon a time…
  • Build it and they will come
  • Water – Dubai’s gold
  • Safest City on Earth
  • 200 nationalities
  • My point of view