Monday, Mar. 30, 2009


Floating on a rising tide of oil revenues and infrastructure investment, the city of Dubai arose from the desert virtually overnight. Now, however, it's home to a multitude of high-concept real estate that might never see the light of day. Where to begin? The entertainment and amusement hub Dubailand? Luxury residential project The World (pictured), consisting of 300 islands shaped to look like a map of the world? The vertigo-inducing Dancing Towers? Or the monumental Burj Dubai, the tallest manmade structure in the world, which topped out at some 2,680 feet in January and faces further delay? All have been recently held up. According to a recent HSBC report, some $75 billion of projects in the United Arab Emirates have been suspended or cancelled.

See 10 things to do in Dubai.

See TIME's photos of acclaimed Italian architect Renzo Piano