Dubai, UAE

Two emirates and a whole lot of cranes. According to one rumour, one sixth of the planet’s cranes are in UAE – I could believe it having seen a skyline dominated by skyscrapers and new buildings: Dubai is a wonderful place for crane spotters. One sixth of the world’s cranes are here, scattered across a city that is rising out of the desert. Here, skyscrapers, cranes and electricity pylons crowd up into a sky heavy with sand carried in the wind from Iran.

A world in which the sand of the desert is tamed by concrete and reinforced steel. The shopping malls teem with Arab women hidden behind black veils; Russian women with thrusting cleavages; young Arab blades with baseball caps and flowing white robes; English men with shaven heads, tattoos and football shirts and Philippine maids staring at the Gucci handbags that they can not afford.

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