Whatever time of day or night you first glimpse it, Dubai grabs you, shakes you awake and reminds you that you’re alive. It’s a city that seems like it shouldn’t exist. An irrepressible example of man taking on nature and winning. Although nature has been known to fight back with powerful weapons – ask anyone who has seen a sandstorm Downtown or been fried while trying to work outdoors in the summer heat. A century ago Dubai was a desert. Half a century ago there were huts. Now it’s a multicultural metropolis; a literal melting pot of nations. In the dead of night it has a darker edge than Gotham city, yet you could probably see it glitter from space.
Seduced by Dubai
Out of night
Wide eyes rise,
scaling silver beam columns that lean and curve and flow,
unnatural angles, metallic tangles,
vast glass giants that stab the stars,
eternally needling sleeping angels.
Each fresh twinkle in the architect’s eye
a fairylit blade of bling and might.
Night guardians, soldiers of the sand,
a ring road of steel
in a golden land.
Out of water
Industrial pipes shunt water from tanks,
uphill through concrete roof and floor,
a ready made bank of fresh chilled air.
Assisted breathing, regulated heating.
Pillars drilled deep into tough bedrock
hold each new building fast and hard
while the ground shifts, the sand tilts, the sea swirls
and the future rises up.
New islands dredged from ocean bed
bring new breeze,
cool burning feet
while the heat brands the skin and melts the heart
in a city so bright it can outshine a star,
a city so fast it outruns the sun.
Out of sky
Launch of the brave.
Flying like falcons from the wizened hands of bedouin,
hunting not for prey, but record breaking fame.
In winged suits they shoot past deluxe suites;
sheets of fire trailing amber smoke,
while we drive deep into an underground place
park up in bays packed with silver and white
and emerge blinking into the light.
A diamond ring of consumption
this snow globe, when shaken, fills the air with flakes of gold
A wifi world of fun and temptation
A crystal ball where everything’s for sale.
In just moments, I’m sold.