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An amazing time-lapse video of Dubai’s rebounding growth

A still from Gerald Donovan's 28-hour time-lapse video  of Dubai. (Gerald Donovan/Youtube)

Dubai arguably boasts one of the world’s most memorable skylines: The Burj Khalifa, at 2,700 feet, is the world’s tallest building, and the Burj al Arab, which bills itself as the world’s only “seven-star” hotel, was built to mimic a style of Arabian ship.

Photographer Gerald Donovan captured those landmarks and many others in time-lapse video, compressing 28 hours of footage down to less than two minutes, he posted to Youtube on Sunday. But the most notable sight in his stunning video, filmed in late 2011, might be the flocks of construction cranes visible across the city.

Dubai suffered a sudden halt to its headline-making urban growth at the start of the global recession. In 2006, an industry expert estimated that a quarter of all the world’s construction cranes were in Dubai. That construction declined precipitously when Dubai's real estate bubble burst, pushing the much-indebted emirate to the edge of financial collapse and forcing it to take a $10 billion bail-out from its neighbors within the United Arab Emirates.

The cranes in this video, as well as more recent economic estimates, would suggest that Dubai is on it’s way back to its pre-recession ways. The U.S. government-backed reported in September that the country is expected to see a rebound in the real estate sector and broader economy this year. We can only hope for more man-made islands and dancing fountains.

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (



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