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Story: Selfie-obsessed tourists take snaps in front of Burj Khalifa, camel traders ride through hot sand storms, oil magnates stride through shopping palaces and burkas blow elegantly in the desert wind. Dubai is the ultimate playground of excess; a luxurious sand metropolis of endless riches.

It’s also one of the fastest growing cities, boasting some of the largest and most extravagant structures on earth. It’s said that about 20% of the world’s cranes are currently in the city; in 1990 there was only one skyscraper in Dubai – there are now over 400. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world at 826 metres high (163 floors); the Dubai Mall is the largest shopping centre in the world at over a million square metres; and the Dubai Metro is the longest automated train network in existence.

At the same time, Dubai is one of the safest places, with a crime rate close to zero. The city has a dystopian feeling akin to a sci-fi film; too empty, too clean, too isolated. But in spite of all the madness, somewhere between the rolling sand dunes and towering monuments, there are intimate moments and touching scenes of humanity. These images go some way to portray that.

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