Football commentators are fond of the expression “lowering the eyes”. It describes an astute decision by a player to forgo trying to kick a goal in favour of more modest short-term gains. A low pass to a teammate in a good position can be better than a speculative hoof at goal.

Lowering your eyes from the bright lights and high-rise glamour of Dubai, nicknamed the City of Superlatives, can be difficult. It’s impossible to stand under the 830m-tall Burj Khalifa and not be rendered momentarily speechless by its sheer audacity. Construction is under way on the even taller Dubai Creek Tower which, according to reports, will reach more than a kilometre into the sky. (Developers won’t say what the final height is going to be to prevent potential rivals from going a metre higher, and then what good would it be?)

I decide to seek out not the world’s largest mall or the world’s largest man-made island or the world’s only seven-star hotel but a small piece of land beside Dubai Creek that’s about as close as you’ll get in Dubai to a preserved historic village…

Read the full story here