The view from my hotel window in Dubai; pictured is the striking Burj Al Arab in the Persian Gulf. I am here for a few days attending the 3rd Dubai International Film Festival (indieWIRE lineup story), which opens tonight. The 13 hour flight was quite comfortable, thanks to my business class seat on Emirates Air (including a personal 15" TV screen with probably 100 movie options). First impressions... not surprisingly, Dubai is a rabidly expanding modern place with an incredible amount of construction happening.
The area where I am staying is one of a string of new developments along the coast, connected by a beachside walkway, including the Burj Al Arab and the sprawling Madinat Jumeirah complex where the festival is based. It is comprised of numerous new buildings, some built to evoke classic Arabian architecture and structures, others entirely futuristic and distinctive. (More photos below...)
Overheard on a shuttle bus today: Person #1: "Where is the old part of Dubai?" Person #2: "That's the usual question...there is no old area, its all new!"
The Madinat Jumeirah complex, near the conference area where the festival is taking place. Outside the Madinat Jumeirah's Mina A' Salam hotel. In the lobby of the Mina A' Salam hotel.