Posted by: robertasu | 2009/12/28

Day 1

We’re next to a group of British businessmen and Korean tourists as we pass English speaking Dubaian security officers before being greeted by the Indian patrolmen who points us in the direction of our Lebanese tour guide, finally introducing us to our Pakistani bus driver.

This is Dubai.  Marhaba.   

Leaving what must be one of the world’s most advanced airports, our bus driver takes us through what our tour guide calls “the most expensive kilometer in the world.”  The futuristic skyscrapers’ blinking lights give the impression that the world of Star Trek is a near reality, and you might  be in it already.

But it wasn’t always so.  The simple fact remains that less than fifty years ago this highway was a dirt road, our tour bus a caravan, and the “most expensive kilometer in the world” a collection of tents and brick houses. 

Now these new and old worlds collide before the world’s very eyes.  Just exactly how they collide will be examined over the next two weeks by a group of graduate and undergraduate students from Arizona  State University.  Through the multidisciplinary lens of Architecture, Healthcare, Journalism, and Political Science, our group will seek to understand better the modern workings of a future city.  Then, hopefully, we can assess such a fascinating and revealing urban landscape.


  1. I liked how you described how Dubai is such an intense intersection of cultures and people in the beginning. At the airport what you said is totally true and can be pretty overwhelming if you have only arrived for 10 minutes.

  2. Hard to believe it’s only been a few days, but that first kilometer is so impressive and unforgettable!

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