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Photographer's Note

Once before in 1997 we had visited Dubai, and seen the sand stretching out endlessly, with a handful of tall buildings rising on "the strip." Then 16 years later, in 2013, when we made a second visit to the oil-soaked Sheikdom, we could hardly believe our eyes. There were skyscrapers clustered like weeds. Rising prominently on land reclaimed from the sea was the most elegant and expensive hotel in the world — the 7-star Burj al Arab, resembling the sail of traditional dhow. Also on display was the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, soaring majestically to a height of 830 m.

Among the unusual architectural edifices is the 75-story residential building, Cayan Towers, shaped like inter-twined helical spirals. Within the 310 m distance that the building rises above the marina below, each of the four sides twists gradually by a full 90°. At the ground floor, the windows on one side may face East; on the top floor, the windows on the same side would face South. The future will have to judge whether this fairyland of opulent architecture is successful. Architects obviously love experimenting with ideas in form and function. Frequently they succeed. And sometimes they achieve outlandish form, devoid of function. This particular tower I personally liked very much.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6003 W: 457 N: 10419] (34885)
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