I love a visionary. Sheikh Maktoum bin Buti al Maktoum was a visionary. About 180 years ago, he convinced hundreds of members of his tribe to leave their home and migrate to what is now one of my favorite parts of this beautiful world. He established Dubai. Now I can relate on a very small scale to leaving all one knows and convincing members of your family to migrate with you. My entire family left Poland, migrated, and finally settled near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, USA – a beautiful destination in its own right, but not exactly Dubai.

This visionary saw that Dubai had everything going for it – the perfect geographic location to make it an important hub for trading and a successful port for business. Decades of successful trading in the pearl industry made way for even further success in the oil industry. Through it all, the family of this visionary seems to have held true to his vision and adapted it to the extraordinary times this Emirate has lived through. Today it is a true global destination – still an important hub for the entire region. Now its economic success is growing beyond the oil industry to real estate, construction and finance. One need only to step out into any street in Dubai City and know instantly that this is a special place – that is if you love the heat as much as I do as it gets to over 100 F in the summer! The skyline is filled with cranes – a have heard a statistic that over 50% of the world’s cranes were in Dubai prior to the economic crisis that every part of the world has felt. In between those cranes are the most innovative and absolutely gorgeous buildings. It seems the only rule for architects in Dubai is – be extraordinary. This is what excites me about Dubai. It does not settle. It keeps the vision forward. Burj Khalifa: The world’s tallest building, Burj Al Arab: The world’s most beautiful 7 star hotel, the Palm Jumeirah Monorail, Ski Dubai: The world’s first indoor ski slope, Atlantis (wow) and The Palm Islands, the World Islands, where to stop?

A nod to a great visionary, Sheikh Maktoum bin Buti al Maktoum. He must be smiling from heaven as I look up in wonder at the Dubai skyline.

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