Leaving India, I still had one more great experience to look forward to before coming home: A one week stopover in amazing Dubai. Despite two obvious similarities with India - a large Indian population and a quickly developing economy - I could not have picked another place to provide a more pronounced contrast to India. Dubai is exceptionally clean, orderly, wealthy, developed... and most of all luxurious (for those with money). And it's hard to experience without your nose being pointed towards the sky.
Dubai's icon nr. 1 -the Burj al Arab. The world's first and only 7-star hotel seen from a nearby shopping centre dominated by palm trees and an artificial lake.
Another place that profoundly affects Dubai's skyline: Skeikh Zayed Road, where skyscrapers seem to simply shoot out of the desert sand into the sky. Just 15 years ago there was next to no development here.
But it doesn't stop there. This may not look like much but what you see here will in a few years time be the base of the world's tallest building - the Burj Dubai.
Here you see a sign showing what Burj Dubai is expected to look like when it is finished in 2008. It will be surrounded by numerous other new buildings and will stand at a height ofmore than 750 metres. This means that you could take the currently tallest building (Taipei 101) put the Empire State Building in New York on top of that, and Burj Dubai would STILL be taller.
The sky serves other functions than hosting large man made structures. Dubai is also a luxurious beach resort and these kite surfers harness the power of the wind, rather than the fury of the waves to perform their hobby. Here the surfers are pulling down their kites at dusk.