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Sometimes called the "Vegas of the East" because of its many over-the-top fantasy hotels and malls, this commercial hub in the United Arab Emirates has been the source of much curiosity since its first massive skyscrapers started getting photographed. Dubai
once had an economy based on oil. Now, not so muchfinance and tourism are much bigger businesses. The former can be credited to Dubai's practice of establishing "free zones" where businesses can almost completely avoid taxes.
Spectacles here include the unmistakable Burj Al Arabwhich sits on its own manmade island just offshorethe indoor ski resort Ski Dubai, the Palm Islands, and Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping mall. Approximately 70 malls and shopping centers are in the city, not to mention the traditional souks.
Photo Credit: Traditional "abra" in Dubai harbor (Frank de Luyck/Gallo Images ROOTS RF Collection/Getty)
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