A view of Dubai from the Persian Gulf.
Just 15 years ago, Dubai was a sparse desert outpost. Today, it's home to the 2,716-foot Burj Khalifa — the tallest building in the world — the 1,358-foot Princess Tower, and more than 150 other towering skyscrapers. Multimillion-dollar apartments and a bustling tourist scene have put Dubai on the radar of the ultra-wealthy.
Some are even calling Dubai "the Manhattan of the Middle East," but its year-round sunshine and warm weather is an advantage that even New York City can't beat. Trendy restaurants and bars, water sports, and other attractions keep both the locals and foreigners happy, and its skyline is a new level of urban beauty.
Below are 15 photos of what life is like in the United Arab Emirates' biggest city.
The skyscrapers of the Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers districts have been described as having "Manhattan-style" architecture and amenities.
The real estate market is similarly hot. Recently, a 12,400-square-foot apartment in the downtown area of Dubai came on the market for $15.25 million.
Apartment complexes in the Marina generally have luxurious accommodations with skyline pools and concierge services.
The 50-million-square-foot waterfront neighborhood has more than 150 high-rise buildings.
Many of the skyscrapers have been built by migrant workers from India.
According to the AP, foreigners far outnumber the locals in Dubai.
Temperatures rarely drop below 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, making it a perfect place to exercise outside.
Swimming is always an option.
Jet skis and motor boats are often seen off the coast.
This gym overlooking the city doesn't have a bad view either.
Before dinner, you can take a sunset cruise around the Marina with fellow tourists.
"Dintertainment" has become a popular trend in the city — restaurants providing not only food, but entertainment like cabaret shows and karaoke, have increased.
Thanks to the wide range of cultures that have flocked to Dubai, an enormous array of food can be found in the city.
Dubai is kid-friendly, too, with fun activities like the Dubai Aquarium and a recently opened 1,200-square-foot trampoline park inside the Mall of the Emirates.
Dubai's Department of Tourism has reportedly set a goal of 7 to 9% annual growth in tourism, aiming for 20 million tourists by 2020. Given the stunning skyline, numerous nightlife options, and incredible food, that shouldn't be an issue.