From the record-breaking architecture of Dubai to the majestic gravitas of buildings found in Abu Dhabi, this book combines the diversity and complexity of the United Arab Emirates. Indeed, the rich building culture of the lesser known emirates Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fu-jairah is also given emphasis. The (architectural) history of the country is deeply anchored in Arabic tradition and was also influenced by Persia, other neighbouring countries and colonial powers. In 1971 the seven emirates established the United Arab Emirates (UAE). What followed was a race to catch up which catapulted the State from a modest Bedouin society into the era of the Burj Khalifa. At the same time, the country is increasingly shedding its dependency on oil and gas and investing heavily in trade, tourism and construction. Masdar City and Yas Island of Abu Dhabi and the towering skyscrapers of Dubai are the most striking results of the economic upswing. In 2020, Dubai will host the Expo - a first in the region.