It’s sometimes easy to forget that people once looked at the cities of the Middle East the way we look at New York, London, and Sydney today; they were multicultural, international hubs, where everyone was accepted and ideas flowed freely.
During the Middle Ages, cities like Damascus, Cairo, and Baghdad were ground zero for innovation and culture. Merchants sold goods from every corner of the world. Mathematicians were cultivating algebra (which is actually an Arabic word). Scientists and artists flocked to Middle Eastern cities, because they were the place to be if you were talented and intelligent.
Today, the geopolitical is different in much of the Middle East. Dubai, however, still moves forward, continuing the tradition of cosmopolitanism and openness. In many ways, Dubai brings to mind the innovative atmosphere of the old Middle East, bringing together the people of nearly 200 nations and countless religions.