However, there was, as there always is in these cases, a sobering underbelly to this surreal delight. I wish I could say that my dad is one of those conscientious tourists who like to experience the places they visit as a local might, but fact of the matter is that he is as frugal a traveller as one might meet and we often ventured to the less tourist-friendly souks searching for bargains. It was here - in the back-ways of the markets and at the cheap gyro joints that lined them - that we brushed shoulders with the "army of migrant laborers" Ghaith Abdul Ahad writes of, and I was reminded of that old saying that has become cliched for a reason - all that glitters is not gold.
And funnily enough, it is through this peculiar binary that I guiltily remember my time in Dubai - through the pieces of brilliant gold jewelry my father bought me, and the indelible mind images of those laborers' averted eyes and bowed heads.
In any case, I think it's interesting that Dubai treats the laborers with just as much contempt as it does it's tourists.